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Lopez Possibly Coming to MLS

*After being sent a link to this story on Univision's Web site, which quotes Argentina's Claudio Lopez saying there is a 90 percent chance he will sign with MLS, I made a few calls. The verdict: Lopez's claim is credible and three MLS teams have expressed varying levels of interest in the 33-year-old forward, who has played in Italy, Spain and Mexico, and made 58 national team appearances. However, it would take designated player money to sign him, probably similar to Juan Pablo Angel's $1.6 million deal. (Lopez apparently turned down a $4 million offer to play one season in Dubai.) Is he worth a major contract?

*Wake Forest Coach Jay Vidovich tells me that, as of early this week, forward Marcus Tracy, who scored three goals in two College Cup matches during the Demon Deacons' NCAA title run, was planning to return for his senior season. There has been much speculation that Tracy would consider leaving early and signing with MLS in time for next week's draft.

By Steve Goff  |  January 9, 2008; 6:55 PM ET
Categories:  MLS  
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Next: Morning Update


Well I think he is worth JPA money (as long as its only a 1-2 yr contract) but who would he go to?

Posted by: Mike | January 9, 2008 7:17 PM | Report abuse

He's a player whose game was based mostly on speed, and is now no longer that fast. I don't think he's worth anywhere near as much as Angel. For, say, a non-DP max salary player, he'd be worth considering. DP money? No way.

That said, I hope he can scam one of the other 13 MLS clubs into signing him as their DP.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | January 9, 2008 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Steve - I thought the GenAd list was coming out today.

Posted by: Brian | January 9, 2008 7:48 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Chicago was one of the teams? Luis was saying they were looking aggressively for another spot.

Chest: his game was largely predicated on speed, but MLS isn't exactly a super speedy league, especially in the summer.
Also, a lot of the older strikers tend to develop in to great poachers. If he did come to Chicago, he would be an upgrade over the horror show we currently call our front line. Especially with the service Blanco provides.

Posted by: papa bear | January 9, 2008 7:57 PM | Report abuse

DP money? I think he would be better than Schelotto, but not as important as Blanco. So depending on the team, yeah.

Posted by: Lost in BA | January 9, 2008 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Steve - I thought the GenAd list was coming out today.


Says who?

Posted by: Goff | January 9, 2008 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Says who?

Posted by: Goff | January 9, 2008 08:05 PM


Don't you go home and eat dinner with your family? I mean, it's 11 here in BA, so it's not even dinner time yet, but I know back in DC the kids are going to bed, right? ;-)

Posted by: Lost in BA | January 9, 2008 8:11 PM | Report abuse


This time of year, I usually work from home.

Posted by: Goff | January 9, 2008 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Goff, I'm watching GOLTV, and they just said that DCU is looking in Germany for a veteran "marquee" defender, and then played it off sort of like an "oops, shouldn't have spilled the beans on that." Unless I missed something, that's new to me. Have you heard anything about this?

Posted by: AT | January 9, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse

any word on whether nyarko decided to go pro or not?

the woman in front of me in line at a midtown manhattan kinkos was picking up a box of '2008 MLS media manuals' but i couldn't snag one for you. sorry!

Posted by: pat | January 9, 2008 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Lopez better than Schelotto? Are you on crack? They are different positions and Lopez loves to cherry-pick. Schelotto is a field general better than anyone we have. I'd rather have El Guille.

Posted by: bristol | January 9, 2008 8:45 PM | Report abuse

A moot point...DCU won't get him. I am convinced that the front office is in the habit of doing things on the cheap. They simply can't conceive of paying "real world" money to get real players.

DC will never get a DP-calibre player unless they spend DP money.

They like importing cheapo players from lower latin american leagues. The best latin players are not in south america, they are in Europe. Of the ones left in South America, DC goes after second or third tier players. Feeding on the scraps of the scraps.

Yes, Emilio did well, but he was playing in Honduras. Showing well in MLS is not exactly a hall of fame achievement. If we truly outstanding, he would not have been toiling in Honduras, he would have been in Europe and DC would have had a coronary at his transfer fee.

In Europe, even second division teams pay more than MLS (Troy is making more playing for a team in one of Europe's artic circle leagues than in MLS).

They can complain that not having a SSS cuts their revenue stream and they can't afford DP players. Blah. This is the league the owners bought into. Either compete or get off the bus. I don't expect DC to move mountains and sign Drogba, but when seemingly inferior teams are making daring signings and DC has two consecutive failures - er, Supporters Shields - to show for its efforts, I seriously wonder whether to renew my season tickets.

Look at the numbers...of all the cheap south-of-the-border imports in the last 4 years, only three made any substantial impact: Emilio, Gomez, and Fred. The innumerable others either never made a mark, or ended up on the junk heap. (I am still ticked they let Kasal - leading scorer on Fulham's reserves - get away...just miserly). The odds are not in their favor. Then again, what do you expect when feeding on the carrion of the lower latin american leagues?

No, where most clubs like big strong target strikers, DC goes after a Smurf. Does anyone wonder why some new striker that costs less than a used Acura does not score goals (ahem - Kpene)?

Wenger is the master of finding talent young - and cheap. DC, alas, is not. We got three good season out of Gomez. He is on the downside, now. Fred is quality, but not yet firmly entrenched. Emilio blew the doors off this year, but we have to see if he can keep his form into his second year...

Posted by: Fed Up | January 9, 2008 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I am on crack. But that aside, Mellizo has 10 caps, for whom he scored 0 goals. He is one of Boca's top goal scorers, not one of their top playmakers.

Piojo has 58 caps and 10 goals. While Mellizo is more of a forward and Piojo is more of a striker, it doesn't mean he isn't as good. And sure, history isn't as important as what have you done for me lately. But Lopez is younger and a proven goal scorer.

Now, my point was, depending on the team, if someone needs a proven goal scorer, then yeah DP money. I never said United should pay DP money. No one even said United was in the mix....

Posted by: Lost in BA | January 9, 2008 9:27 PM | Report abuse

@ Fed Up - Personally, I don't consider two consecutive Supporters' Shields to be a failure, even without the Cup. Of course, taking the league Cup is what you go for, but so is the lock in the international competitions. Who says we need a DP? Chicago needed a DP to compete; LA needed a DP"compete." Top 3 teams in the league last year - MLS Cup finalists Houston and NE, and SS winner DC - did not, and still have not, utilized the DP. Making "daring" (see also "risky," "stupid") signings, costing lots of money and ruining the team's salary cap (not to mention chemistry), isn't necessary when you have continued success. For the time being, I'm going to trust Kasper & Co. - no matter the size, a little pace at the top never hurt anybody, and from what I hear, Niell has pace for days.

Posted by: AT | January 9, 2008 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and from watching YouTube vids, it looks like dude can sky, too. He's out-jumping central defenders to win headers and score goals in one or two of these vids.

Posted by: AT | January 9, 2008 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Re: Fed Up | January 9, 2008 09:25 PM

Spoken like a true Yankees fan...

Posted by: edgeonyou | January 9, 2008 10:23 PM | Report abuse

fed up, your a complete and utter moron.

Posted by: fed up | January 9, 2008 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Back to the lecture at hand...

If DC is after Lopez, it would seem to make the Niell signing rather odd, doesn't it? The only way I can think of it making sense is if it's all part of the dominoes falling. That is, if Moreno and Gomez are on the way out, that leaves DCU short one striker, and their attacking mid. The replacement "10" is already on the roster, as center-mid is Fred's natural position. Lopez doubles as a winger, as well as a striker, so he could take Fred's vacated spot on the left side, leaving Emilio and Niell up top, and presumably #14 (sorry, this isn't Boz's blog is it?) out on the right.

I think if this turns out to be the case, even Fed Up will be a little excited about the offensive prospects that might come out of this line up.

Posted by: AT | January 9, 2008 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Fed Up is completely correct...if you accept at face value that money = talent and productivity, both coming and going.

Those that embrace squishy things like "team fit," "heart," and "rejection of transfer fee as an absolute marker of football value" may disagree on the other hand.

The Yankee's analogy was apt--if all one had to do was buy a team, the Oakland A's--to choose a team completely at random (haha)-- ought never make the playoffs. Likewise, Dallas and LA should have finished 1-2 in the West.

Posted by: viv | January 9, 2008 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of the Oakland Athletics, ESPNsoccernet had an interesting piece on how A's GM Billy Beane is involved, trying to utilize and adapt "Moneyball" principles to the rebuilding of the SJ Earthquakes.

Story by Jeff Carlisle:

Posted by: SportzNut21 | January 9, 2008 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Although I dont completely agree with all Fed Up has to say, he brought up a good point on the talent that we scout for cheap. We are great at finding good players that will mesh in GREAT in the MLS, cannot ever get their hands on REAL talent that would succeed still in SA. The last true good players i can think of that could have easily played in any top SA team is Moreno and Etch'. Other than that, the players we got our hands on were just good for the MLS. We never won anything outside of the MLS since the our "glory" years where etch' showed that he is a greater talent than the MLS ever could produce or buy again, and showed why we will never have a team like that until we can get our hands on a player like that, of that caliber *cough* *cough* veron.

Posted by: Bolivian DC Fan | January 9, 2008 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Fed Up - just stick your finger down your throat.

Just watched Contacto Deportivo and they confirmed Davino isn't getting huge wads of Beckham money.

I wonder if any MLS team would try to sign a guy like Alain "King" Nkong who scored some important goals for Mexican champ Atlante last season and had earlier been released by Colorado. Now that MLS has slightly relaxed the foreign player rules he would seem an attractive option as a small, fast forward or wide midfielder for a team like San Jose or Toronto. Or better.

Someone (maybe in an earlier Insider thread?) mentioned Salvadoran Nat Dennis Alas who just signed with the new Real Maryland team. He has the infamous distinction of being tossed from a World Cup qualifier. For wearing jewelry.

9/4/04 at Foxboro - he was already carrying an early yellow when someone on the US team helpfully pointed out to the ref that Alas was wearing a bracelet. Ref didn't like it and tossed him in the 26th minute. El Salvador's goalie went on to challenge all world endurance records for rolling around on the ground in agony every time Conor Casey came near. US outshot El Salvador 19-1 in a dreary 2-0 win.

Posted by: garbaggio | January 9, 2008 11:51 PM | Report abuse

Hey Goff, Theres an article from a Colombian Newspaper claiming that a defender from Millionarios of Colombia has been signed by DC United for 4 seasons. His name is Gonzalo Martinez.

From his Wiki it seems he has good international experience playing for Colombia and in Italy for 3 years from 01-04.

Maybe our next Llamosa?? Hehe. :p

Here's his Wiki:

And the article below.

Posted by: Bolivian DC Fan | January 10, 2008 12:20 AM | Report abuse

O yea he's 32 though.....

Posted by: Bolivian DC Fan | January 10, 2008 12:21 AM | Report abuse

If you're going to insult him, at least do it with proper grammar.

What you meant to say was: "Fedup, you're a complete, and utter moron. Please, die in a fire."

Macfarlane and Chang aren't in this to throw money into the fireplace. Leave that for RBNY, and the Lala Gals.

The fact is, United has not, and will not, turn a profit until we have our own stadium and control major revenue streams.

Therefore, it isn't in the best interest of Macfarlane and Chang to overpay for overpriced, over-the-hill, European "Talent".

The only things I wish United had done differently in recent years is keep Dema, Esky (at a reasonable price), and Donnet. We could definitely use Donnet on the wing now, especially with Gros gone for at least the year.

Posted by: AlecW81 | January 10, 2008 1:04 AM | Report abuse

Agreed on Donnet, although i thought he was asking for alot, right now we could have afforded him. His touch and control is unmatched to anyone on our team, in his limited time he showed me alot of his natural ability. Remember his good control of the ball and shot that banged out RBNY? I wonder if we can scoop him up from argentina again? It seems we are getting alot of attention from South American players lately.

Posted by: Bolivian DC Fan | January 10, 2008 1:15 AM | Report abuse

Well, Matias is currently still donning the Black and Red... for Newell's Old Boys.
He has 1 goal in 18 caps (per Wikipedia). They seem pretty stacked in midfield, so I could possibly see him being moved, but I bet it wouldn't be for free. I still think he'd be worth it, we need real wingers bad.

Posted by: AlecW81 | January 10, 2008 7:50 AM | Report abuse

So what 3 teams are interested? I think it would be interesting if Lopez and Guillermo were put together, and maybe it would happen due to their Argie connection? We are in desperate need of a big-time proven striker, absolutely desperate. It is also watercooler talk that Guille has been pushing the Crew FO to go out and get a DP to help him turn the team into a contender. I could see maybe Guille also talking with Lopez about coming to Columbus and explaining how it is up here from his own experiences. Maybe that puts something in our favor when considering who we'd be fighting with for his signature... of course, this is all assuming that the Crew are one of the teams interested in him.

Posted by: indycrewfan | January 10, 2008 8:28 AM | Report abuse

How does MLS even know Tracy will go into the MLS draft? I find it hard to believe he hasn't received any offers from Europe yet.

I would also like to see Nowak get him in the U-23 lineup. It seems like he has recovered very very well from his injury in '05 and could compete with the likes of Davies, Hill and Zimmerman...

Posted by: Southeasterner | January 10, 2008 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Galaxy re-signed Chris Albright

Posted by: Anonymous | January 10, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

I forgot that money won championships. Here I was thinking it was players, coaches, and strategy.

MLS buys second and third tier players because of salary cap issues. The fact is, playing in the US is an attractive option for many foreign players, but salary cap restrictions make it unrealistic.

Posted by: Ted | January 10, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse


Here's another player linked to United... I think; my French is far better than my Spanish:¬a_seccion=

Posted by: Evan Whitney | January 10, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Interesting...I had read he was being looked at in MLS, but had no idea we were the one purusing him. Should provide good compteition for Wells and maybe even take the starting job.

If we get Niell, Martinez, this goalie, resign Gomez/Moreno/Vanny, and add a winger, I'd be very very happy. We'd be pretty deep and setup for all the competitions we're in.

Posted by: strago | January 10, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse


I like this piece as it points out that the success of the top teams in this league (like DCU) is rewarded with inclusions in tournaments that allow the clubs to grow their brand (and arguably at an advanced rate when compared to those that aren't). But it also shows how the thin rosters and drop off in talent dillutes the product or hurts performances greatly too.

Now, when the CBA goes into renegotiations this year, I wonder how balance between extending the roster sizes to 30 or 32 from 28 will be balanced with the likely goal of the Players' group to seek out living wage minimums for the guys who fill "Developmental" spots.

Posted by: UVA-United | January 10, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Great line from the article (on the busy schedules of MLS teams):

Even at his peak Ron Jeremy wasn't working that much.

Posted by: Come again...? | January 10, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

3...2...1... til Goff deletes that mlsrumors link.

i'm sure they (jademls from bigsoccer?) only posted it because they saw it on here anyways.

Posted by: pat | January 10, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Just wanted to know for future reference why that Mls rumors link was deleted? I love this blog and do not want to load it with junk, is MLS rumors not a good source? This is not JADEmls

Posted by: dcfan | January 10, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Goff, reports out of the Columbus Dispatch quote Marc McCullers Crew GM that they are in talks for a DP player who is a European veteran Goal Scorer who ha played for their national team a number of times. Any idea what country or hints without giving away too much.

Posted by: BD1259 | January 10, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

That's just it, MLS Rumors is junk. It' a bunch of unsubstantiated crap which is usually wrong. Hear it here first or hear about it.

Posted by: Chico | January 10, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

If Columbus get Sheva I'm gonna be PISSED!

Posted by: Anonymous | January 10, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

MLS Rumors is just that. A Rumors site not a news site. Ever read most European rumors sites?

Same thing.

Posted by: harDCore | January 10, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

If Columbus get Sheva I'm gonna be PISSED!

Posted by: | January 10, 2008 11:26 AM

I thought the same......but then realized "Mrs" Sheva would NOT move to Columbus. Neither would I and I hardly have any where near the disposable income she does.

Posted by: marksman | January 10, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Columbus, KC, and RSL will likely have the hardest time signing big name DP players. I think the rest of the cities in the league would have enough diversions to interest the family or any player, no matter their country of origin.

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