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Want Rodolfo Zelaya for your MLS team? Anyone … Anyone?

Jul 22, 2013, 7:25 PM EDT

El Salvador v United States - 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup Getty Images

I’ll play a dangerous game here and make a couple of assumptions:

If you saw El Salvador livewire striker Rodolfo Zelaya against the United States on Sunday, and if you have a dog in the MLS fight, you want that guy for your team.

That’s the first assumption. The second one: You want him, like, yesterday.

It’s always dangerous to get too excited about a small scouting sample; I’m the first to say so.  Then again, he’s not exactly new, now with 17 goals for his country.

Besides, it certainly is tempting to crave the dogged 25-year-old’s services after watching his one-man-army act Sunday against the U.S. back line, isn’t it?

Zelaya helped made Nick Rimando work in Sunday’s first half  and made the U.S. rear guard look a bit silly as he blew by one defender after another, ultimately felled by DaMarcus Beasley (in a moment that should remind everyone, Beasley is not a natural defender.) Zelaya then coolly finished his penalty kick against goalkeeper with a good history of stopping them.

He sometimes made U.S. center backs Clarence Goodson and Matt Besler look too stationary with his speedy movement.

(MORE: United States cruises past El Salvador in Gold Cup quarterfinal)

Oh, and this: consider that Zelaya scored all four of El Salvador’s goals in the tournament, and you can see why his time appears to have arrived. Skillful, tenacious and with a nose for goal, he looks a little like Carlos Ruiz from back in the day – although presumably without all the baggage.

After two years at Mexico’s Leon and an injury-interrupted loan spell in with Russia’s Alania Vladikavkaz, the Salvadoran is back in his home country with Alianza. Translation, it probably wouldn’t take a king’s ransom to buy the guy, especially since he has just six months left on his contract. If the Salvadoran Primera Division club wants to cash in, it has to be now. Otherwise Zelaya can move without compensation in January.

  1. talgrath - Jul 22, 2013 at 7:55 PM

    The question is price, really, anything much more than $150,000 means using a DP spot to keep his costs under control, there aren’t a lot of teams that are both looking for a forward, have a DP spot and/or the cash to burn for a higher price player. That said, there are some teams that could do, if they are willing to open their wallets; DC United could use a striker of his caliber and should have either cap space or a DP spot to burn, Toronto is looking to find young talent for a designated player and could fit the bill, finally Chivas could pick him up, but they won’t, because he’s not Mexican or Mexican American.

  2. donjuego - Jul 22, 2013 at 8:55 PM

    So — who has discovery rights on Zelaya? All the bloggin speculation is meaningless. How about some reporting?

  3. wyrm1 - Jul 22, 2013 at 10:24 PM

    I’m a DC United fan, and was thinking the exact same thing while sitting in Baltimore yesterday. I would gladly pay him the $200,000 or so that we are wasting on Pajoy.

  4. mikeevergreen - Jul 22, 2013 at 11:03 PM

    What about the SLV guy playing for the Atlanta Silverbacks? Eric Wynalda found him.

  5. hildezero - Jul 23, 2013 at 3:43 AM

    Maybe going to United is after all a good idea, so he can play in front of his Salvadoran fans in DC and in the Maryland and Virginia states.

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