With the end of the 2007 season in sight, there has been a lot of talk recently about MLS and a possible second designated player slot for each team. Since MLS announced the DP rule and the three-year window that accompanied it, I thought that was a good amount of time to see if the rule would work.
But now it seems like five months has been enough time for the league to reconsider their original plans. I've wanted to write something on the matter for someone but other stories have surfaced across the web that have made valid points on the topic.
ESPN's Jeff Carlisle said some teams are clamoring for an extra spot while others want to give it more time before re-assessing the rule. What strikes me is that the league didn't come out and say that they would stick to their three-year plan and pretty much left the door open to re-evaluate the rule.
Goal.com's Pat Walsh, meanwhile, had a really well-written column on the matter a couple of weeks back. He makes a good case against expanding the rule.
As far as my own thoughts on the matter, I may still write something for the PE in the coming weeks. I just think it's impossible to know the true effect the rule has had when only five players have been brought in under the DP rule. Juan Pablo Angel and Cuauhtemoc Blanco have injected some world-class talent to their clubs, Claudio Reyna and Denilson have not lived up to their clubs' hopes while David Beckham seized the world's attention but injuries have slowed him considerably.
On the field, DPs have played no role for the four best teams in the league as DC United, Houston and New England have not used their spots while Chivas USA (stupidly) traded theirs away. Angel's and Reyna's team is in the playoffs and Blanco's is getting there while Denilson's is in with no help from the World Cup winner.
When the Galaxy got Beckham, one of the first things I thought of was how the Galaxy would be able to keep Landon Donovan and Beckham. I expected the Galaxy to have traded for a spot by now but I always thought that somehow, someway he'd be in a Galaxy uniform next season no matter what. Turns out the Galaxy might not have to trade for a DP slot in order to keep him after all.
And here I thought we were past the days of MLS' knee-jerk reactions.