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Santa Cruz: is he for real? Should I believe in him?

By Jeff Maurer

In case you missed it, Goff is reporting that DC United are kicking the tires on Manchester City striker Roque Santa Cruz. Here’s the upshot:

“Although numerous names are sure to surface in the coming months, an Insider contact says one particularly prominent player has already appeared on United's radar: Roque Santa Cruz, the three-time Paraguayan World Cup forward who is out of favor at Manchester City. Per club policy, United officials won't comment on player searches”.

What to make of this? First, Goff makes it clear pretty clear that this is a preliminary inquiry into the possibility of the consideration of a signing. Santa Cruz is “on the radar”. I own a pair of soccer cleats…am I on the radar? Isn’t every striker in the world who is not 1) Operating a F-117 Nighthawk, or 2) Luciano Emilio conceivably on the radar?

Goff also notes that there are serious barriers to this actually happening. For starters, Santa Cruz’s presumed salary would be in excess of $2.5 million, or 62.5 Stephen Kings. He’s also under contract, which means that MLS would almost certainly have to pay a transfer fee, which would be like me paying for parking (never happened, not likely to ever happen).

Still, Goff wouldn’t report this unless United were legitimately curious. And that tells us a few things:

1) Management knows that we need to upgrade at striker. Seems pretty obvious, but I don’t think we should make any assumptions at this point about what the front office knows. After all, they thought that cutting our entire midfield this offseason might not present any problems.

2) Will Chang might be willing to splash some cash. The fact that someone in the front office was able to recommend considering a high-priced South American option in the post-Marcello Gallardo era without being publicly flogged is a good sign.

So, should United fans be hoping that Santa Cruz pays us a visit this winter (wordplay!)? The answer has to be an unambiguous “yes”. Why not – it’s Will Chang’s money, not ours. Salary cap considerations might require that we cut Boskovic, but I doubt many United fans would suffer a crippling bout of depression if that came to pass. Would he be an upgrade? For Pete’s sake – Nate Jaqua would be an upgrade. Santa Cruz is a quality striker, similar in style and pedigree to Juan Pablo Angel, and that move worked out okay. Remember, he’s being displaced by Carlos Tevez and Emmanuel Adebayor, not Fabian Espindola and Alvaro Sobario (that was a shot at Robbie Findley, in case you missed it).

So, sure, let’s hope this happens. Let’s hope that Man City’s uber-wealthy owners realize that the amount of money they spent on Santa Cruz in 2009 – $28 million – can probably be recovered by rifling through their old coat pockets, so they might as well sell him to the first bidder that comes along. Let’s also hope that all of Europe forgets about a guy who won a Champions League trophy and recently played in every match for a World Cup quarterfinalist. If both of these things – and about thirty others – come to pass, then I’ll start believing that Santa Cruz is coming to town (pun hat trick!).

By Box Seats blogger  | September 23, 2010; 4:00 PM ET
Categories:  Jeff Maurer, United  | Tags:  Roque Santa Cruz, United  
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Jaqua would be an upgrade? Hahahaha... I see what you did there.

Posted by: DadRyan | September 23, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

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