Kansas City technical director Peter Vermes spoke highly of Claudio Lopez on Monday but I wonder if his words are accurate.
"When you talk worldwide, it’s obvious Claudio is a bigger name than anyone in our league outside Beckham,” Wizards technical director Peter Vermes said. “His success on the field — in playing two World Cups, the Olympics and two of the biggest leagues in the world in Serie A and LaLiga — creates an aura around him.”
Lopez is a fine player, no question about it. He can and will contribute. Perhaps he will come in and start scoring in a pace as quickly as Juan Pablo Angel or maybe it will take him a little more time to adjust.
But as far as name players go, I wouldn't say it's obvious that Lopez is Big Name No. 2. The aforementioned Angel was a star in England and Argentina before heading to MLS and those are two pretty big leagues. Marcelo Gallardo had fine careers in France and Argentina as well while Cuauhtemoc Blanco is a recognizable name outside of North America. Even Abel Xavier is a pretty recognizable name, if only for his eccentric hairstyles.
Names alone, though, don't win anything and don't draw much in this league. So it surprised me that Vermes would throw that out there. Still, I'd be more concerned about ensuring that Lopez settles into the Kansas City area smoothly and eases into the club in equally smooth fashion than touting him as an obvious big name.