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Does Spanish scorer Raul makes sense for MLS?

Apr 20, 2012, 2:05 PM EDT

FC Schalke 04 - Press Conference Getty Images

While crushing a delicious egg sandwich this morning (the secret’s in the bread), I thought about Don Garber’s comments yesterday concerning Spanish scoring near-legend Raul:

Raul is winding up a two-year deal at Schalke, and he knows European sides aren’t exactly driving at high speeds along highways of Germany’s Nordrhein-Westfalen region to recruit him.

So Raul says he’d perhaps like to try MLS. The question with all these guys, of course, is whether MLS is winking back at them, returning the flirty interest.

Garber says “affirmative.”

The commissioner’s comments on goal-line technology made headlines Thursday, but Garber dropped lots of other newsy bites into his talk at the Associated Press Sports Editors gathering.

So is he a snug fit at any particular MLS address? Here are three clubs that might make sense:

Houston Dynamo: Dominic Kinnear still needs a striker. Brian Ching still has plenty to offer, but asking him to carry the weight over an entire season is asking for trouble. He turns 34 next month, and there’s a long history of injury. Second-year man Will Bruin has something, but he’s far from a finished product. Calen Carr has his moments but may be best off the bench. Raul in Dynamo Orange over a short one- or two-year hitch? Makes sense to me, especially considering how many other elements have fallen into place for second-place Houston.

Chivas USA: You have to feel for Juan Pablo Angel. He found his scoring boots after last year’s swap of Home Depot Center locker rooms. But the 36-year-old Colombian striker hasn’t played since opening day of 2012, still dealing with concussion symptoms from a preseason collision. He’s aiming to get back on the field this week, so we’ll see. Either way, you wonder if Raul could fill in for Angel or work in some sort of rotation if the Colombian veteran can shake the symptoms and get back on the field? Chivas has room for a DP – although whether they may not have the will to pay the financial freight considering their meager revenue streams.

Philadelphia: The Union signed Lionard Pajoy to be a main striking threat. How’s that working out? Not great. Raul looks like he’d be a clear upgrade, albeit a pricey and risky one.

A quick word about where the Spanish goal-getter doesn’t make sense: It might be tempting to look at any team with an average or lowly record and say “Sign him up!” But in some cases that’s just begging to create instability from instability.

For instance:

New England? No. Artificial turf and 35-year-old knees are a terrible match.

Columbus? No. Too many other needs, and he doesn’t fit with the club’s youth initiative.

Montreal? See “Columbus.”

Toronto? They have a classy striker in Danny Koevermans; they need defense around BMO like grass needs water.

D.C. United? Maybe, but they are full up on DPs.

  1. joeyt360 - Apr 20, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    Branko Boscovic’s contract ends this summer, and right now it’s looking real likely DC will drop him. Not that I think they’re in the market for a high-priced striker.

  2. Steve Davis - Apr 20, 2012 at 3:00 PM

    Yeah, the Boskovic experiment has surely run its course. But he’s a creator … or supposed to be. So, does another striker make sense? Maybe, but I’m just not sure. (Now, if we’re talking about dumping Salihi …)

  3. Oscar - Apr 20, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    Reblogged this on Oscar Oliva Jr.

  4. smgraff4 - Apr 21, 2012 at 1:23 AM

    Technically DeRo (I think) is not a DP, but making very close to the limit for DPs. So there is still room, even if Boskovic stays around.

  5. footballer4ever - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:08 AM

    No has beens , please. If he had come sooner before going to Germany, then I’d say yes. MLS is in a place where they could demand more from interested players to come to our league, not for players whom are no longer wanted in any other European league. Let him go to the Mexican league and see what he’ll do about that.

    • Ramiro - Apr 23, 2012 at 4:02 PM

      Haters gonna hate. MLS is a better league with Raul than without him. Raul is wanted by a lot of teams in Europe. And MLS is in no position to be turning away people with the talent, skill and most importantly, the attitude of Raul. He is regarded by many as being the ultimate team player.

    • helpmecruyff - Apr 23, 2012 at 4:48 PM

      Not a fan of “Raul Madrid” but you’d have to be crazy to not want him here. Anyone who saw him in Germany these two years know he is still a quality player. If he was an EPL player then there would be no debate, Robbie Keane walks into the league yet a man who took his team to a Champions League semi is doubted.

  6. Ramiro - Apr 23, 2012 at 4:12 PM

    Here’s an alternative option:

    -LA could trade one of their three DP’s to a fellow MLS team. That team would take on the player as a DP, but LA would pay the money that exceeds the DP slot ($350k) like they did when trading Angel to Chivas USA. And then LA has the DP slot to get Raul.

  7. footballer4ever - Apr 24, 2012 at 8:12 AM

    “Haters gonna hate”, what kind of language or complex is that? First of all, i love MLS, but my opinion, regardless what anyone thinks, is that Raul with the leftover skills he may have is not what the MLS needs. For all you “Raul White Knights” or “Real Madrid white knights”, get off that white horse already 😀

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