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LA Galaxy to unveil third Designated Player on Thursday: Will it be Omar Gonzalez?

Aug 14, 2013, 7:35 PM EDT

Will Gonzalez lead LA to another MLS Cup this season? Getty Images

The two-time defending champions will make it official tomorrow, and if previous reports are any indication, the announcement will be more reassuring than surprising. After having the likes to Kaká, Frank Lampard, and Giovani Dos Santos linked with their third Designated Player position, the LA Galaxy are expected to announce a contract extension for former MLS Defender of the Year and reigning MLS Cup Final MVP Omar Gonzalez, a deal that will claim that final cap-defying spot.

To be clear: The Galaxy made no mention of Omar in their release on Wednesday, an advisory that noted their third Designated Player will be unveiled at noon Pacific on Thursday. And given the timing in the calendar and the stature of the club in question, it’s no Gonzalez will be the man who stands at the podium.

However, if you’re betting against the big U.S. international being announced tomorrow, you’ve either got a guy on the inside or have a dangerously low regard for your money. Gonzalez is the big favorite here.

We talked about Gonzalez’s Designated Player potential before. It’s an intriguing debate. To what extent do defenders justify these scarce DP spots? And is Gonzalez one of those players? Does the fact that he plays for the Galaxy — a team with more stars on their radar than any other MLS team — chance how you evaluate their potential re-signing of Gonzalez?

Tomorrow we’ll find out if those questions become more than hypotheticals.

 

  1. pensfan603 - Aug 14, 2013 at 8:08 PM

    Sources say its gonzalez… while i still hold hope that it is eto’o even though the mls transfer window has closed.

  2. tylerbetts - Aug 14, 2013 at 8:53 PM

    Honestly, I hope it is Gonzalez. Long term, that’s what’s right and best for who/what the Galaxy want to become.

    I know there’s been debate about team using a DP spot on a DP other MLS teams could get/affod, and how much more valuable a DP spot is to an LA Galaxy team that can attract the Beckhams and Lampards of the world.

    Yet …

    There’s no secret, the LA Galaxy have a goal of becoming a “worldwide brand”. That ambition is great, and can be part of what helps to keep pushing MLS to bigger and bigger heights. While it’s tough for an MLS team, under current salary and player acquisition rules, to become a true super team, that’s what LA needs to strive for to become the Barcelona of the US.

    And, to get there, you need to start to have players … world class players … players you can market the hell out of … that are known as “LA Galaxy Players”. It’s great to have Beckham. But he’ll always be more associated with Madrid or Manchester. It’s great to have Henry in NY. But he’ll always be more associated with Arsenal. Sure, it would be great to bring in Lampard, but he’ll always be associated with Chelsea. Same for bringing in Drogba, or any other host of currently established superstars.

    And that’s why LA Galaxy need, yes NEED, a DP like Omar.

    Sure, a defender isn’t the most glamorous position. And, sure, you might short-term sell more LA Galaxy merchandise if you could put “Lampard” on the back of a jersey. But I don’t think LA is thinking short term.

    They’ve got, in house, a guy who has serious potential to be front-and-center(back) on the US National team for the next 6-10 years. That’s HUGE for marketing potential. Because, the USMNT is still a lot more popular than MLS. But, if the Galaxy can get, and keep, USMNT impact players, they can tap into that pool of potential fans out there. Plenty of USMNT fans in cities and areas that don’t have an MLS team. But, they will seek out a way to watch their favorite USMNT player (plenty of people, like me, tried to find feeds of AZ last year to watch Jozy, I’m sure). That can drive up TV ratings, because suddenly, it’s not just people in LA who care about the Galaxy. But there are Galaxy fans in Atlanta, and St. Louis, and Detroit, and Minnesota, and Wisconsin, and the list goes on.

    So, yes, Omar as a DP is a risk for the Galaxy. But it’s a risk I’m glad they’re taking.

    And, i wouldn’t be shocked to see them market the hell out of him in a US kit. And, I also wouldn’t be shocked to see them market Villareal, as long as he keeps developing, in a similar way. And see them continue to try to stockpile young USMNT talent. Afterall, wouldn’t it be nice to have America’s Team in America for once?

  3. dfstell - Aug 14, 2013 at 9:41 PM

    I wonder if this means that Donovan probably won’t be back next year for the Galaxy. It seems like the Galaxy should have more cash to spend now since I doubt that Omar will be making Beckham money. What does the Galaxy do with that extra ~$4MM/year in cash since they don’t have another DP slot?

    That’s the only reason I wasn’t really in favor of this move for the Galaxy. It just seems like a waste to not deploy that money on payroll. So now I wonder if that means Donovan is gone and the Galaxy will use Donovan’s salary plus the different between Omar and Beckhams’ salary to chase someone really big for next season?

  4. hildezero - Aug 15, 2013 at 12:02 AM

    @pensfan603

    What makes you think it’s probably gonna be Eto’o?

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