MLS expands Designated Player rule

Tribute To Midfielder Cuauhtemoc Blanco

[MLS announced this morning that the Designated Player rule has been expanded](http://www.mlssoccer.com/content/mls-expands-designated-player-rule). The new rule will allocate two DP slots to every MLS team (an increase from the one slot previously used) with an option for every team to buy a third slot for the price of $250,000.

Furthermore, each DP signing will now count as $335,000 towards the club's payroll. The cap hit will only be $167,500 if the DP is signed midseason. These figures represent a decrease from the $415,000 cap hit taken by clubs for their DP's since the rule came into place in 2007.

For the most part, I like the rule change. DP's tend to increase the quality of play game-to-game and bring fans in -- both of which are obviously good things. However, DP's can not work out. Sometimes they don't bring the necessary effort to a club and end up hurting the team much more than they help them. Overall though, I'd say the risk outweighs the reward.

More interestingly, the rule change opens up some possibilities for the Fire... The club currently has one open roster spot and could (theoretically...) bring in a DP to fill the slot. The Fire is in need of an attacking midfielder to help facilitate the possession attack they want to implement and bringing in a skilled player from overseas could certainly help move that process along.

One players that the Fire might have on their DP wish-list is Cuauhtemoc Blanco. The former Fire midfielder's contract with Mexican side Veracruz expires in June and the Fire has previously said that they would be open to negotiating with the Mexican star when Blanco returns from the World Cup in late June/early July. Personally, I'm not sure how much I would like a return of Blanco. As we all know, he tends to spend a lot of time with the ball at his foot. Not exactly the best trait for a possession based attack...

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  • Thanks for the update Sam! It's good the league is increasing the DP 2 2 players with a 3rd optional at a 1/4 $USD hit. Hopefully DP hit the ground running and are a good fit. I liked Blanco and the good attendence as a result of him, not only at Toyota park, but the Fire enjoyed a slight "Blanco Effect" playing on the road with his supporters. He did drastically slow the game down which gave players a breather, but wasn't the most fun soccer to watch other then his good technical passing and free kicks. With our new uptempo style, which is a welcome change to the over the top method which rarely worked, we need a speedster. Too bad we lost 2 speedy guys in Rolfe & Segares this past offseason. Segares would have fit in nicely on the left side where Krol doesn't seem fast enough! Too bad Ivan G. is long gone, he was a very nice versatile player for us as well! I see this DP opening benefiting more players coming from South of the Border or from Africa where the attractive $USD might bring them here before they depart for Europe with more seasoning. :-)

  • I must say I hate the new MLSsoccer website and chicago-fire beta site wont even let you read some articles saying you don't have permission. What is going on? Sam How the Fire looking in practice this week?

  • In reply to Adam25:

    They're still working out some technical issues over at both sites. I'm not really sure what the deal is with that. Hopefully everything will get worked out soon.

    And I was only able to attend Tuesday's training, but they looked fine. Did a ton of fitness work and a decent amount of small sided games. They looked just fine.

  • In reply to Adam25:

    Lets get Franck Ribery

  • With Blanco here we have no choice but to play a 4-5-1. Cannot counter attack with him and McBride on the field at the same time. Would you rather have Blanco or John on the field? If we brought him in, he would be playing for a year and a half straight with no break at 36 or 37 years old. He would have nothing left in his body and would be useless. If another team wants him then more power to them. If we could bring him in for less than 200k (never happen) then thats fine, but a DP is not ok with me.

  • That's great news, unfortunately I think this will mean shopping season is wide open in New York, LA, and Seattle.

  • After the World Cup, let's welcome Michael Ballack to our side.

  • Blanco = Elephant...

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    Ballack looks good in Fire red.

  • In reply to ggorecki:

    Janjo - I'm not viewing this as a retirement at all. He's getting up there in age and can cash a huge paycheck and dominate over here. Not crack, maybe just a little wacky-tobaccy.

    Joe - I agree. There is no doubt that he still has some skill, but I like our side better without Blanco. He's so slow that every touch may as well be a set piece.

    Stary - I like your vision.

  • In reply to sjmick:

    I am ambivalent about Blanco returning. When he arrived in 2007, his touch and vision transformed a Fire team that was almost unwatchable into one that could utilize all of its attacking options.

    But Joe has a point. With Blanco in the current Fire team, how do we not play a 4-5-1?

    I don't follow it closely enough, so maybe a Mexico NT fan can provide some input. How is that Blanco is an effective first-11 player for the Mexico NT? He obviously is not an anchor around their necks. And shouldn't our Mexican coach be able to figure out how to use him effectively should Blanco return?

  • In reply to ggorecki:

    When Blanco plays for Mexico its like 15 min because that is what he can handle.

  • You're the one that said you want Blanco back in your comment. Where would John play if Blanco is back? Where would Blanco play in a 4-4-2? If he plays up top then we have a 37 year old and a 38 year old as our strikers and they both run the 40 in 6 seconds. He can't play in middle because he plays zero defense. Blancos return would be to only bring fans in, not because he is a good player still. Anybody can focus on the field when you barely make it out of the center circle for 90 min.

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