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Peralta's Exit

D.C. United General Manager Dave Kasper has confirmed Argentine media reports that central defender Gonzalo Peralta has left MLS and returned home to continue his career with second-division Union de Santa Fe. United did not exercise the option on Peralta's contract, which guaranteed him $199,000 last season. DCU had expressed some interest in re-signing him to a lower salary. He made 17 league starts and had 18 appearances, scoring once. Hernia surgery and other ailments sidelined him for much of the summer and fall. (Gonzalo Martinez next?)

What did you think of Peralta when he was healthy?

By Steve Goff  |  January 11, 2009; 12:03 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Decent player at best who had no pace at all.

Posted by: dpowellutkedu | January 11, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Eh, he was alright but certainly not worth 200k. Defense was and still is our weak link, so we need to fill the gap for sure, but surely we can find a cheaper American player with similar talent? Where is the next Boswell? I'd rather spend $150k, on some of these college players that are jumping ship to Europe!

I'm all for bringing in foreign players for skill positions....those have seemed to work relatively well (Etcheverry, Diaz Arce, Moreno, Gomez, Fred, et al). But the foreign defenders recently Erpen, los Gonzalos...even in the past going back to Sonora havent been worth the money in my opinion. We should save it up for a really good DP...oh wait, that doesnt work either :)

Posted by: Brian76 | January 11, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

I thought he was a decent player; very good in the air and able to body up with any target forward. But he was far too expensive (twice Namoff's salary!)and just not worth the salary hit.

Posted by: b18bolo | January 11, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

According to some reports he's on loan to Union....who is he on loan from DC United or MLS??

Also would DCU have any interest in Chris Birchall?? He's shown interest in MLS {San Jose}bsince he's out of contract in England and looking for a new club.

Posted by: BenCanada | January 11, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

a very good player but the impression I got from peeps in the clubhouse was that he never meshed well with the others on or off the field.

so, nice to free up some salary space.

Posted by: Section107 | January 11, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Peralta never adjusted the weight of his challenges, which often meant him giving away fouls needlessly on opponents' first balls up field. Whether in the air or on the ground, he tended to run into people (especially after he returned from the hernia surgery), giving opponents free kicks where we had a strong chance of snuffing out an attack and coming away with possession. He was also slow, unreliable on the ball, and his communication skills seemed to be lacking.

It does, however, hurt to lose our biggest physical force in the air. Despite his size, Burch doesn't often play like a big man, and since he's often taking free kicks, we don't get that much benefit from it on offense (other than when he hits a bomb, but that doesn't happen too often). Janicki might be able to replace him in this regard, but we could probably use more size, not less. He was also the only center back we had that had any inkling to organize his fellow defenders. Even though this often went awry (the aforementioned communication problems), it seemed apparent to me that our other central defenders all seemed more comfortable alongside Peralta than anyone else (especially McTavish).

Like I said when SG posed the question before, I don't think Peralta was worth much more than $50-70K. He was too mistake-prone, and to spend nearly $200K on a defender in MLS, you have to be getting a guy that has a shot at being an All Star. He did seem like a nice guy, but I'd rather have a jerk that helps us win than another year of inexcusable defending.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | January 11, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: beergorila | January 11, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

What did I think of him?

Slow. Clumsy fouler. Poor on the ball. Shaky marker. (Remember the first half of the season when the opponents would kick some totally innocuous longball to our 18 and Peralta and another defender would let it bounce all over until a random forward would take it and score?).

At 30-50k I guess he'd be worth keeping, but at 200k?

Posted by: edgeonyou | January 11, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Chest_Rockwell in that Peralta was too mistake-prone. Simple mistakes in the back hurt DC a lot this previous season - and though he was a big/strong defender, too many balls slipped by him when he was healthy and playing.

MLS daily wrote the other day that DCU is interested in Kamani Hill? Any truth to this or just another rumor?

Posted by: AnthonyTheGreat | January 11, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Not surprised by this move. He had good footskills but was slow and as stated above mistake prone. After his return from hernia problems, he seemed to resort to grabbing and fouling which didn't do anything to aid our defending. I don't expect Martinez to be back either. It seems like we should be able to find some quality defenders somewhere. This now makes it even more important to re-sign Namoff.

Posted by: sbg1 | January 11, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

This loan question is confusing. Sometimes South Americans have their rights owned by agents, not clubs. So maybe 3rd party is loaning Peralta? Kind of how Tevez wasn't owned by West Ham and still isn't owned by Man U. I think Toja was in such a situation before MLS fully bought his rights.

Posted by: undrafted | January 11, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

I liked having a defender who was physical, but he was so clumsy about it there were always fouls looming. Nelsen played a lot of body, but with stealth, so strikers were always watching their backs and refs seemed to rarely catch him.

Too much money for what he brought to the team.

Posted by: eadc | January 11, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

So much for the Bones Brigade... At least we kept the Style King of the Week in Guerrerro...
As everyone said too much dough for what he brought to the team. I wish him all the luck in the future. I really wanted him to be better... I'll never forget him heading in that ball that was at his feet for a goal. It left me totally underwhelmed.
Thank god we got Janicki, hope he continues to progress.

Posted by: DadRyan | January 11, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Early on...he looked great. Then he fizzled as we kept tinkering with the defense and then the injuries piled up. Good to have the money to invest in some new talent.

Steve - any truth to the Kamani Hill rumor is that just an agent spinhing his player?

Posted by: LostinPotomac | January 11, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

"...but surely we can find a cheaper American player with similar talent?"
Posted by: Brian76 | January 11, 2009 12:43 PM
Yeah, I think that's what they saw in Janicki, who's a lot of the same player, cheaper, and american.

Posted by: StewartDC8 | January 11, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

I guess the MLS draft now looks more important. Not just the actual picks, but the potential to trade for a strong center back.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | January 11, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

I-270, do you mean a strong veteran central back in MLS or a player in the upcoming draft?

It looks to be that only Gonzalez is the only central back who will most probably have an immediate impact in this draft.

Yohance Marshall and Colum Angus are two others who might go later in the draft (their int'l status doesn't help their cause) but that's about it for central defenders, though A.J. DelaGarza from Maryland has had an impressive combine so far.

Can lightning strike twice in MLS for an undersized central defender? (Parkhurst being the first, but he's a full two inches taller than A.J.)

I doubt it. Hopefully the Honduran Chavez will be a good player. You also have to consider the Sierre Leone defender Koroma as well. He came here essentially injured and has played and started African Nations Cup qualifiers at the age of 18.

Who knows?

Posted by: ARickey | January 11, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

He was a ok player. Janicki is an unproven guy. We didn't see him much last year. I am hoping for the best.

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | January 11, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

ARickey: The latter. Looks like a lot of cap space just opened up.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | January 11, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

70 days to the first match!

Is it just me, or does the level of hype about player trades and moves seem down from last year? Is the front office doing a better job keeping things quiet this year? Or is there truly a lack of news -- maybe the result of having two designated players who seem destined to return?

Posted by: Curious99 | January 11, 2009 11:09 PM | Report abuse

As a player, I would say Peralta is big-boned. With some muscle on top.

He's simply horrible with a ball, not great at marking, has no speed, and fouls on almost every challenge. Other than that, he wasn't too bad.

Posted by: fischy | January 12, 2009 12:36 AM | Report abuse

the draft will not provide a solution for a starting center back.

Posted by: fonkyou | January 12, 2009 2:04 AM | Report abuse

They are going to need some serious help on the back line. This should translate to big bucks! I hope they sign a pair as if they had a pair...:-)

Posted by: bobfairchild1 | January 12, 2009 7:43 AM | Report abuse

I've got no bad feelings towards Peralta. We signed him hoping that he would be a top flight MLS caliber central defender like Parkhurst or Marshall. That didn't happen. It's just like our front office to find any central back with height in South America and just assume that he will emerge as one of the best in the league. What we got instead was a physical back whose idea of ball control was to boot the ball down field. He just didn't fit our style of play.

But with that said, I'd rather have Peralta back (but in the $60-80K range). Without him, we might currently have the worst backline in MLS on paper.

The solution: Draft Omar Gonzalez! He might not start this year, but if you add him into the mix along with McT, Burchy, Janicki, and Namoff, at least we might have some long term stability.

Posted by: DCUMD | January 12, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

To Peralta- GOOD RIDDANCE !! He never communicated well with his back line, he did NOT mesh that well with his teammates, he was a poor marker, did not read the game well and he was grossly overpaid in relation to his performance and others on the back line. Thanks to MGMT for freeing up some $$$$$

Posted by: patrick18 | January 12, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

The donkey departs. Applause!

Posted by: runningcloud | January 12, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Peralta wasn't a bad player. He was average but he's not worth the $ they were going to pay him this season. There's a reason why he's playing in the Argentine 2nd

Posted by: Charisma_Man | January 12, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

At least take the $150k and buy Macoumba Kandji from Carolina Railhawks. He can play on the wing or up front. Use the remaining $50k on a proven A-league (one of Montreal Impact players) defender.

Posted by: Charisma_Man | January 12, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Peralta was ok. And I mean just "ok" last year. Some good moments. But at that pricetag... The club was right to offer him less. We'll see what Janicki does ina full season.

Posted by: yankiboy | January 12, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

At least take the $150k and buy Macoumba Kandji from Carolina Railhawks. He can play on the wing or up front. Use the remaining $50k on a proven A-league (one of Montreal Impact players) defender.

Posted by: Charisma_Man | January 12, 2009 9:49 AM
Charisma, are you kidding about paying the $150k for Khandji. He didn't really do too much to impress with Red Bull. SO at that price? Now if the kid only cost $35k, I might think about it. But otherwise, no way. And I have seen the kid play a lot (on internet and the tizzzube) and talked to dudes who had to mark him... He has great potential but that pricetag is too steep.

Posted by: yankiboy | January 12, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Kandji wasn't given a lot of time to prove himself. Additionally, the way NYRB plays didn't allow Kandji's potential to be shown. NYRB just knocks long balls (with no accuracy) to the guy, and he's trapped in the corner and you expect him to create miracles? He needs to be given the ball in the midfield so he can take on players and beat them on the wing. If he's not worth $150k, why did Osorio protect him from the expansion draft?

Posted by: Charisma_Man | January 12, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

The signing situation with Bryan Namoff is looking suspiciously like Gomez last season. I say give him what he wants. At least we will have 3 tried and true back there and can only use 1 newbie.

Posted by: VirginiaFan | January 12, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

The wrong Argentinian left.



Posted by: jayrockers | January 12, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Peralta was worth a shot. Didn't pan out. At risk of getting carried away, I have high hopes for Janicki. Watching him back there at the end of the season was more than just seeing a new guy play well -- it was a needed reminder, as the season disintigrated, that this team has a future. Good center backs just have a presense that makes the game flow differently, and calm things down. Janicki has that. Peralta doesn't. Peralta always seemed panicked. His awful 30-40 yard "distributions" resulted in part from his desire to get rid of the ball. Martinez, conversely, was great with the ball -- one of the top 2-3 ballhandlers on the team. He just forgot to go back and play defense sometimes. :) I would not be upset to see them give him a second go. Return McTavish and Burch to the situational roles they played in last year.

I hope our guys are spending as much time scouting the lower divisions as they are in South America and at the combine. When you think about the fact that Boswell only got noticed in college because a scout went there to see someone else, and you think about Janicki, it makes you wonder whether the "talent recognition" process that feeds players into MLS is sufficiently mature. To be sure, other professional sports "find" people in lesser leagues -- such as Kurt Warner. But the evidence seems to indicate that MLS needs to do a better job identifying the talent pool.

Posted by: regularfan | January 12, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse


Osorio has been known to be "wrong" about a player. Look at who he brought in last season. Contrast that with who he played during playoffs...

You point about the RBNY style of play is good one. It didn't play to strengths of "The Show"... He didn't get a lot of looks. That is true.

Posted by: yankiboy | January 12, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Sad to see him go, but with Janicki it looked more likely. I would rather see Martinez go first

Posted by: Konoha7 | January 12, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

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