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Gomez, Rapids Closing In on Deal

From a well-placed contact, the latest on the negotiations between Christian Gomez and the Colorado Rapids is that there is one last, minor hurdle to overcome but it should be cleared up by Monday at the latest. As we reported a few days ago, the contract would be guaranteed for two years and pay the Argentine midfielder in the neighborhood of $400,000 annually -- the maximum without needing to use a designated player slot -- with incentives and bonuses pushing it toward the $500K per year he has been pursuing.

Once the deal is finalized, Colorado will then execute the trade with D.C. United for Gomez's rights. What will United receive? I'm told that D.C. initially asked for Colorado's designated player slot, among other things, but that the Rapids declined to relinquish it. There's still a chance the DP could be included, I'm told, but allocation money and draft picks are more likely.

By Steve Goff  |  February 3, 2008; 11:50 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Comments

Goff, if they do get a DP from the Rapids, are there any targets to fill that spot this season?

Posted by: DP? | February 3, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Can you imagine if that DP slot was used to sign Pavel Nedved to fill in the defensive midfielfer role; we would be favorites to win the Copa Sudamericana, SuperLiga, and CONCACAF Champions Cup! An appearance at the World Club Cup could elevate DC Utd's branding worldwide in contrast to the west coast supper club's self-promotional antics. These cups would far outweigh anything that could come with winning the MLS Cup.

Posted by: Faraway_Fred | February 3, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Goff - How can incentives be included on top of the 400k figure and it not be counted against the cap or rather that Colorado doesn't have to use a DP slot?

Do you have examples of these incentives?

Why doesn't all player have these incentives if it doesn't count against the cap?

Posted by: Salary Cap | February 3, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

My guess would be that if United got an extra DP slot, they would wait until the summer to use it. Why? First, because it would allow the front office and coaching staff to take stock of all the offseason changes. Second, there will be a lot more players available during the summer transfer window, allowing DCU a bit more flexibility in acquiring this hypothetical second DP.

That said, I'm okay with trading the rights to Gomez for draft picks and allocation money. The draft picks could be used to replenish DC's reserves next season or to facilitate further trades. The value of allocation money is harder to judge, but it'd add to the war chest United has assembled from the sales of Arguez and Perkins.

Posted by: noptov52 | February 3, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for keeping us up to date. I didn't expect to see anything new until tomorrow-but Insider is my startup page-always hoping to get the latest insights.

We'll miss Christian.

Posted by: towson | February 3, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

We don't need Nedved, and he's not coming.

I don't think we need another DP. Gallardo isn't staying that long.

How about ALL Columbus's draft picks? Then we might actually nab some American players and add the depth that we definetly need.

Posted by: iagofart | February 3, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

still sad that we're losing gomez... that type of productivity for $400k is a solid bargain. but i'm optimistic that we'll have a strong team this year.

mls amazes me though-- gomez is out of contract with dc, and yet we control his "rights", thus we get something (draft picks, money) for nothing. not too shabby.

Posted by: hogmesh | February 3, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Second DP striker is what we need. Don't go with draft picks which is useless.

Posted by: td | February 3, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Gallardo is--barring the drastic--staying until the end of the initial DP program period. A second DP slot would only be good for the nest two years as well, meaning... It wouldn't have likely been for Emilio.

*shrugs*

At least we'll get the allocation money needed to insure Emilio's resigning under the cap.

Posted by: B.A. | February 3, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

And Bullard saves the day! Great to see McBride back in action.

Posted by: Southeasterner | February 3, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Fulhamerica is so generious not only scoring for themselves but foe Villa too, wow!

Posted by: td | February 3, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Take that DP slot and trade it away for a starting left/right midfielder or forward. DC could have a field day negotiating that to teams who are after DPs (Chicago, Chivas USA, LA).

Posted by: Jason | February 3, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Really too bad we couldn't offer him the 400K plus incentives like Colo. What is the difference between what we offered and what he will get? 75K? That is a very small delta. Then the question would be if we had resigned Gomez would we still have signed Gallardo? Because having Gomez pushed up to Jaime's slot could have been a great move with Gallardo coming in. But if we can get 20 or more goals out of Gallardo, Neill and Jaime we will be OK.

Posted by: JMR | February 3, 2008 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Getting back to the main topic, looks like we will get more in allocation dollars for Perkins and/or Arguez than for an MVP player that we own the rights to. Somebody please correct me if I am wrong.

Posted by: JMR | February 3, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

"if that DP slot was used to sign Pavel Nedved to fill in the defensive midfielfer role"

Nevded has been either a playmaker or winger throughout his career.

Posted by: silentbob | February 3, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

44 days to the first home match!

Posted by: Curious | February 3, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know what is going on with Ghana and Nigeria? All I can tell from Reuters is that the score is 1-1, midway through the second half, with Ghana down to 10 men.

Posted by: 22201 | February 3, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Get the DP slot and trade it with FC Dallas for Arturo Alvarez and Dax McCarthy!

That wiuld be sweet but realisticly, we are going to get draft picks.

Posted by: LUIS | February 3, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Ghana 2 Nigeria 1 Final

Posted by: sitruc | February 3, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Ghana played with 10 men for the last 30 or so and scored again around the 82nd minute.

Posted by: sitruc | February 3, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

The Ghana vs. Nigeria game was one of the most exciting I have seen in a long time.

I would love to see Kingston come over to MLS, maybe Hearts will loan him out for a season :-)

Posted by: Southeasterner | February 3, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

JMR says... "Getting back to the main topic, looks like we will get more in allocation dollars for Perkins and/or Arguez than for an MVP player that we own the rights to. Somebody please correct me if I am wrong."

----------
Well, the huge difference is that we don't really own the rights to Gomez. We only own them if he goes to another MLS team. Were he to sign elsewhere (like in the Middle East as was rumored) then we would have gotten nothing. So, compared to that, getting some draft picks or allocation money seems good.

OTOH, Perkins and Arguez were still under contract, so DCU truly did own their rights.

Posted by: Phil | February 3, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Can't believe Sheva's name hasn't been thrown in the mix about a second DP. He definitely has fallen out of favor with Chelsea and his wife is from DC....sounds like the timing couldn't be better

Posted by: DigzTFC | February 3, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Ivory Coast just got a goal around the 25th minute against Guinea. This one has been as quick and back and forth as the rest of them, but COI has had the better of the possession and chances.

Posted by: sitruc | February 3, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

We're pretty set at forward, what we really need is a true winger. A low-level DP winger would take DC from a very good team to a team that could truely dominate Concacaf.

Posted by: Brian | February 3, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

It should be either a hunk of allocation money (to get a true winger)or a DP slot to do the same. We're fine up top thin in the middle.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 3, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Drogba just put the Ivory Coast up 2-0 in the 70th minute.

Posted by: sitruc | February 3, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

...and now Kalou has scored his second in the 73' to make it 3-0.

Posted by: sitruc | February 3, 2008 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Niell is on loan right, so we need to have some allocation money stocked up to buy him or someone else to try out in that slot.

Posted by: dwbpnm | February 3, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Someone explain allocation money to me . .

So if we get allocation money for Gomez, is that the MLS version of a transfer fee or some kind of finders fee? Is the allocation money used to increase your salary cap at all?

America and Pumas playing on Univision.
Good match, great goals. We need to beat these guys.

Posted by: delantero | February 3, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Wow...4-0 with another Kalou goal(his second) in the 81 after a nice little sequence.

Posted by: sitruc | February 3, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

delantero,

Allocation money is simply money you can used against your cap amount.

For example, if United acquires $500,000 in allocation money for this upcoming season, they can apply it towards player salaries for the season to lessen the salary cap hit. If United's total salaries for the season adds up to the cap limit of $2.3 million, they can use the allocation money to make it only $1.8 million against the cap.

Now I'm not sure if you have to use it for a single player or simply can arbitrarily subtract it against your cap total. From what I'm hearing, most teams use the allocations on individual player basis' to soften their cap hits.

For example, the Galaxy have three maximum salary players in Beckham, Donovan and Ruiz totalling 1.2 million of their 2.3 million dollar cap. Since they traded numerous players away during the draft for strictly allocation money in return, they are using that money against the enormous cap hit they would normally have to take with three max salaries.

However, allocation money can only be used for one season. it doesn't count against next season's salaries so the Galaxy are almost in a situation where they will have to trade players for allocation every off-season just to soften their enormous cap hits.

I'm sure I'm missing some intricacies, but that's the gist of it regarding allocation money.

Allocation money is now more valuable than straight up player trades/and or draft picks.

Posted by: A Rickey | February 3, 2008 7:22 PM | Report abuse

First the Revs, now the Pats. Life is good.

Posted by: dcca | February 3, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

About time we had an exciting Super Bowl

Posted by: Taylor | February 3, 2008 10:34 PM | Report abuse

"Why doesn't all player have these incentives if it doesn't count against the cap?

Posted by: Salary Cap | February 3, 2008 12:19 PM "
The cap only includes guaranteed monies. Every player does have bonuses. Win bonuses being the biggest example. Some players have performance bonuses as well that don't count. (assuming they aren't easily achievable--i.e. you couldn't give Emilio a million dollar bonus for scoring 3 goals)

Posted by: papa bear | February 4, 2008 6:03 AM | Report abuse

Pretty interesting to hear that Welker of the Patriots was a soccer player. Perhaps that explains his ability to find space where it's jammed with linebackers and cornerbacks -- he's thinking like a midfielder.

BTW... anyone as unimpressed with Belichek's post-game quotes (sp?) as I am? Not a gracious word from the man. Compare that to Tony Dungy/Lovie Smith last year.

Posted by: Joe Doc | February 4, 2008 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Joe Doc,

I was not happy to see Belichek and the Pats come over to congratulate Coughlin and his team when there was time still on the clock. Why is it that belichek could not have been happy for the giants and just joked and said they beat us fair and square instead of looking very stoic and unhappy. I'm tired of looking at a stoic unhappy coach on the sideline for my team.

Well, back to soccer. I saw the highlights of the two ANC games last night on FSC. One word: Amazing!

Posted by: toddinho | February 4, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Joe Doc:

Old interview with Welker:

He grew up playing soccer. From age 4 to 17, Welker roamed fields indoors and outdoors in Oklahoma City, darted between and around opponents and learned to recognize where other players were. He once scored 17 goals in an indoor championship game. Playing soccer helped him hone skills he would use in football.

"Absolutely," he says. "You use your feet a lot, and I feel like I've got good feet. And it helps with your quickness. I think it definitely played a big role in my style of play."

Posted by: Anonymous | February 4, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Papa Bear:

thanks. I assume MLS determines whether incentives are 'acceptable' or not? and that the team pays them, not the league? could we, instead of the structure you listed, pay Emilio say, 15k per goal? (I would actually structure it to say "per goal scored by DCU while he is on the field" which is a much better incentive because it increases his financial incentive to share the wealth. so not 15K, how about 5k per goal scored by the team? would they allow that?)

Posted by: northzax | February 4, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

now, Welker is the type of player the US Soccer Establishment needs to stop losing to football. he was only offered a scholarship to Texas Tech at the last minute when someone else lost theirs (despite being all-state in Oklahoma and rocking Texas in the high school all-star border war) because he was too small to fit the mold.

Posted by: northzax | February 4, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, anonymous. The Welker information explains a lot.

Watching Welker runs his routes reminds me of a good central midfielder or target player showing in the gaps between defenders. You can tell he has a sense of where the holes are; as for his feet, well, there have been few NFL players now or in the past who have played the slot position better.

I'm just an average NFL fan, but I find myself applying soccer tactics to every sport I watch (use and exploitation of space, off the ball runs, etc.) Welker makes that application easy.

OK, enough NFL... Curious, how many more days until MLS starts?!

Posted by: Joe Doc | February 4, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Again, United should go for more money rather than any draft picks. Draft picks are useless for United, seeing as we don't take the draft seriously.

Posted by: Bootsy | February 4, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

now, Welker is the type of player the US Soccer Establishment needs to stop losing to football.

==========================

--the Revs should give him a trial, put some fans in the seats.

-- but seriously, (1) isn't Oklahoma pretty far off the radar for the "US Soccer Establishment ?; and (2) the day when a stud HS stud football player from OK chooses soccer over football may be a ways off.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 4, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

I guess Colorado is not any faster with the negotiating...
This has been "as good as done" for quite a while. WTF

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Posted by: simeksaz | March 23, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

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