|David Beckham, LA|
There have been 29 designated players in the MLS since 2007, 16 of whom are currently playing in the league. These players were brought to the MLS in an attempt to significantly augment the quality of the league. However, if history tells us anything, it is that many of these high profile players did not earn their paycheck.
|Eric Hassli, Vancouver|
More designated players that have drawn criticism include DC midfielder Branko Boskovic, RSL forward Alvaro Saborio, the infamous Blaise Nkufo, and of course TFC midfielder Julian De Guzman, who is still yet to score in the MLS after 40 appearances. The fact that these overpriced players are breaking bank while MLS All-Stars such as Omar Cummings, Tim Ream, and Steve Zakuani all receive 5 digit salaries is alarming as an MLS fan. The MLS gets criticized enough as it is, and the last thing we want is to make it look like we are desperate to overpay for washed up foreigners.
|TFC Fans Deserve More from their DPs|
The recent trend of discouraging DP’s is an embarrassment to the league and must be stopped before the MLS’ reputation slowly disintegrates to a spec of dust. If you are an MLS owner and are reading this, I suggest you check out my cheat sheet below as to how to avoid becoming the next club to flunk the DP test.
1. Improve Scouting Systems - Hopefully, I am not the only one that notices the inexperience of many MLS scouts in the league today. It seems as though many “talent detectives” are looking for the wrong attributes in their prospects, resulting in multiple DP fails in the recent years. How could the Dynamo possibly have overlooked Koke’s homesickness and susceptibility to the Houston heat? Did Toronto FC really believe Mista was MLS material (much less DP material) after scoring just five club goals from 2006-2010? Many clubs must first rebuild their scouting systems from within before looking to add their next international star.
|Lindpere is not a DP...|
3. Finally, the MLS’ attractiveness must improve in the upcoming years so teams can lure top international figures over to the league more easily. If MLS expansion continues to improve and fan bases remarkably resemble those of the Cascadia Northwest by 2015, primetime players would more willingly come to the states and thus improve the league. In other words, if we pretty ourselves up, snagging a date to the prom will be a piece of cake.