Tuesday, January 29, 2008

DC United Designated Player Madness

With the 2008 training camp kicking off yesterday, DC United introduced four of their five new South American signings. Their fifth signing evidently will be introduced today, Marcelo Gallardo. Gallardo seems to be the replacement for Christian Gomez, the transmission of the club for the last three and a half years. We all knew that Gallardo was joining the Black & Red for a few days now, but the biggest question was if he was going to be the club's first Designated Player Allocation (DPA).

Well, he is.

So now let us all take a step back and look at this entire picture here for a moment, shall we?

We had a guy who was our #10, a guy who over the last three and a half seasons, was either the best player on the pitch, or was only the second best because the 2007 MLS MVP was wearing the same jersey as he was. Gomez had already proven that he had the chemistry with Moreno, Fred, Emillio and Olsen. He was the 2006 MLS MVP to boot. Yet when it came to contract time, DC United was adamant that Gomez was not DPA material, but was willing to offer him the highest non-DPA salary possible for two years. When Gomez balked on the contract offer, United walked away and landed Gallardo, whom they do feel is DPA material.

Now, I am honestly going to reserve judgment here. Gallardo might be a true step up from Gomez and if we see United bust open the 2008 MLS season with 6 straight victories and a spot in the CONCACAF Champions Cup final, then spending DPA money on Gallardo will be fine with me. Hell, if United are hoisting up the MLS Cup in November, I am not going to be one bit unhappy that Gomez isn't on the pitch or on the bench.

What troubles me is that a guy gives you 3 and a half years, puts in an MVP season, saves the entire club from being embarrassed by our biggest rival at home (RBNY 2006) in the playoffs and still looks to have at least one to two years left in the tank, but he isn't worthy of a DPA spot? I guess being MVP in this league isn't what it should be. I feel that both sides, United and Gomez, appear to have handled this contract and break up very badly. This isn't the first time that United has not been the best at communicating with players, ask Alecko about his trade to Toronto.

I hope that the front office are right about Gallardo. I am looking forward to this upcoming season, but it looks like I have to buy a new road jersey, as the one I have with C. Gomez doesn't quite fit the roster anymore.



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