Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: SoccerInsider and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  Sports e-mail alerts  |  RSS

Emilio Won't Return to D.C. United

Not a huge surprise, but we're learning today that striker Luciano Emilio, who spent three years with D.C. United and was MLS's most valuable player in 2007, will not return to Washington this season.

Emilio's contacts in the United States say he has signed a six-month contract with second-division Rio Branco de Americana in his native Brazil.

United officials weren't expecting to retain him after declining to exercise the option on his contract last month.

"He's a good guy, he did a great job here and we wish him well," club president Kevin Payne told the Insider. "We wanted to go in a different direction and we're confident we will find someone to fill that role. We have some ideas that would have less impact on the salary cap."

Emilio, 31, was United's designated player last season, earning nearly $800,000 -- by far the highest salary on the squad. He scored a team-high 10 goals in league play, increasing his three-year total to 41, but lacked the menacing quality that had made him one of the league's most dangerous forwards.

Upon arriving in Washington from Honduran club Olimpia in 2007, Emilio had an immediate impact and helped lift the club to its second straight Supporters' Shield. His 20 league goals were the most in MLS in five years and he became the third United player to earn MVP honors. In 2008, he had 11 goals and five assists.

What are your fondest memories of Luci?

By Steve Goff  |  January 8, 2010; 12:45 PM ET
Categories:  Brazil , D.C. United  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Video: Adu's Greek Arrival
Next: U.S. World Cup Cities Cutdown Tuesday

Comments

Should have off loaded Emilio after his 20 goal 2007 season. He was 29 and was never going to go anywhere but down from there. Instead, DCU has grossly overpaid him for the past two seasons. Should have got a transfer fee from some European or South American club and then signed two young, promising strikers with that money.

Posted by: FrancoNiell | January 8, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

I loved the the game winning goal he scored in extra time; at Chicago 2008. One of the best moments I've ever seen with this team.

Posted by: decoi | January 8, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

my favorite memory is when he stopped being a drain on the financial and attacking resources of the team.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | January 8, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

@FrancoNiell

i'm all for "sell high" but that is some serious 20/20 hindsight you're exercising there. there's no way any team's management would think "i know, let's get rid of the League MVP we just got this year who scored 20 goals so that we can build for the future" after his 2007 season. just be thankful they let him move on once his skills did dip appreciably and that there's now some significant $$$ available to find some new talent.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | January 8, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

My favorite Luci moment...Bob Boswell Dot Com!

Posted by: CrippledKeeper | January 8, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: jezz | January 8, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Hey, lay off the guy. He helped this team immensely, and while his form was never there this past season, 10 goals is nothing to sniff at.

My fondest memories of him were his exuberance on and off the field. On the field, he loved playing the game, and it showed. Off the field, his videotaped rendition of "You're Beautiful" still makes my wife and I laugh.

Posted by: Logan_Circle | January 8, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Fondest memory? Probably the game in Chicago where he got the 2 late goals but, there were some great moments at RFK, too.

Most interesting is the comment by Payne. Suggests they don't intend to use the DP to fill the slot. Are they saving it for a midfielder -- perhaps after the World Cup -- or have they soured on the DP?

I've been reading from other sources that United were leading the charge to push for a second DP slot, but that seemed to be inconsistent with prior comments by Payne reported here.

Posted by: fischy | January 8, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Luciano was a great addition in his first year. Incredible player.

Year two - he lost his willingness to produce until he got more money. And he hit the buffet table too.

Year three - actually worked hard in the offseason, but had lost his dynamic ability to produce goals. While he finally learned how to be a possession attacker, DC already had one of those in Moreno and his decreasing speed and lack of creativity with the ball at his feet hurt in the teams production of goals.

Lesson learned - sometimes you have to deal with one good season and sell and take your gains and look for the next guy. Thanks for 2007. 2008 had too many problems to be solely your fault. And 2009 wasn't bad, but wasn't good - and age didn't produce a fine wine, but instead some vinegar.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | January 8, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

My fondest moment? Hearing that he won't be back.

Yes he was great the first year, but after that the other teams figured out how to nullify him and he never figured out how to really change his game. And then we paid him more to continue to suck? Good riddance.

Posted by: iamgnat | January 8, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

OT, but it needs to be mentioned. Reports are coming out that the Togo team bus has been attacked by rebels. So far one is dead, four injured. Very sad start to the ACN.

Posted by: SonicDeathMonkey | January 8, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Fondest memory? Probably the game in Chicago where he got the 2 late goals but, there were some great moments at RFK, too.

Posted by: fischy | January 8, 2010 1:11 PM
--------------------

That was one of my favorites, too. Talk about an uplifting comeback, especially when we were having such a shoddy season.

Posted by: Dynaformer | January 8, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Teams sell high performing aging players all the time. Arsenal does it on a regular basis with great success. Clubs that are well run know how to move players around and not over pay for old strikers who have one good season. Emilio's best years (including in Honduras) were behind him.

Posted by: FrancoNiell | January 8, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Fighting with Gomez over the PK.

Or his first game against his former club, Olimpia, where he had some nifty goals. One with a heel, I believe.

Posted by: delantero | January 8, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Loved him doing the Blanco goal celebration, too.

Posted by: Logan_Circle | January 8, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

its easy to say the club should have sold him after 07, but remember MLS's rules on transfer fees. I don't know them completely, but I do know that the club doesn't get all the money. So would it have been worth selling the League MVP for $2M or so, if the club only got a fraction of the money back (and I believe the "money" is just allocation dollar/consideration, no?)? He was a great player for DCU, and its time for him to move on.

Posted by: VTUnited | January 8, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Whoa doggie! Hatin on the Emilio after he earned an MLS Cup, a Supporter's Shield, and Open Cups. That's a pretty good track record.

Yeah, he didn't keep it up, but the rest of the team didn't help much either.

He's a good guy and I wish him the best of luck.

Posted by: delantero | January 8, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

I dunno. I'm not sure he ever struck me as that much of a "good guy." What sticks out in my mind are antics like his meltdown at getting yanked from the game - drawing a red for throwing crap on the field, or refusal to show any hint of happiness when his teammates scored.

Posted by: jburksva | January 8, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

@delantero,

Emilio got an MLS Cup?

Did Gallardo get the Ballon d'Or? ;)

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | January 8, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

That late game winner in Chicago was thrilling. He had many.
Will still always like the guy. The joy he found in scoring goals was always fun to watch.

Here's a pretty nice one. Poaching of course, but still awesome.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l21C83Hgd80

Posted by: DadRyan | January 8, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

@jburksva -- Have to agree. Emilio may be a nice guy, but he seemed like a very unhappy player the last year -- The antithesis of a good teammate.

I think the team ought to be able to do better. Looking forward to seeing what Kasper and Payne come up with.

Posted by: fischy | January 8, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Um, Emilio has not won an MLS Cup. Only arrived in '07.

Posted by: FrancoNiell | January 8, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

OT, but it needs to be mentioned. Reports are coming out that the Togo team bus has been attacked by rebels. So far one is dead, four injured. Very sad start to the ACN.

Posted by: SonicDeathMonkey
=============================
"The wounded include two players, two team doctors, a driver and a journalist traveling with the team. Ameyi identified the wounded athletes as Obilale Kossi and Serge Akakpo"

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100108/ap_on_sp_so_ne/soc_togo_bus_attacked

Posted by: emanon13 | January 8, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

@decoi

I agree that was one of his best games. He dominated Chicago with 2 goals after they tossed us from the 2007 playoffs. It was sweet retribution. I love how everyone on this blog has a what have you done for me lately attitude on this blog. He was good, but not enough to justify 800k in MLS.

Posted by: no_recess | January 8, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

i'm all for "sell high" but that is some serious 20/20 hindsight you're exercising there. there's no way any team's management would think "i know, let's get rid of the League MVP we just got this year who scored 20 goals so that we can build for the future" after his 2007 season. just be thankful they let him move on once his skills did dip appreciably and that there's now some significant $$$ available to find some new talent.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | January 8, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse
_______________________________________________

Wrong, our FO just played it TOO safe, and ignored Morelias offer and bid for luci, in the summer of 2008. Had we let him go and let our already downhill season keep going and thrown Francis Doe in his spot, who knows! Maybe doe would have found his play quicker then he did towards the end of teh season when he started getting substantial minutes! And didnt wasnt he also the leading goalscorer in the suerpliga that year? Or close to it?

With that said, Doe was a mistake being let go.

Posted by: BolivianDCFan | January 8, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

never understood why the front office just made him a DP and gave him extra salary when he was already under contract. His play suffered ever since then.

Should have sold high when Morelia wanted him.

That Blanco celebration was pretty great though...

Posted by: joe_hill | January 8, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Doe? Doe??!?! He had exactly one good match for us, and a half-dozen in which he was a non-factor. He came into camp out of shape. He was way overpaid for the goals/assists he brought. Doe??!?!?!

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | January 8, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Doe was a solution at forward like Janicki was at centerback. and by solution, i mean band-aid at best.

Posted by: VTUnited | January 8, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I was not a big fan of his but my fondest memory of him is scoring a cracker against LA in front of 35,000+ at RFK.

Posted by: RedDevil1 | January 8, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

I am a big Emilio fan. Name another player that could deliver 40 goals in three years? I think it will be a mistake letting him go. Part of his downslide last year was the poor play from the midfield. Emilio was forced to play with his back to the goal, which was not what he was brought here to do...

Posted by: alan19 | January 8, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

@FrancoNiell

"Teams sell high performing aging players all the time. Arsenal does it on a regular basis with great success. Clubs that are well run know how to move players around and not over pay for old strikers who have one good season. Emilio's best years (including in Honduras) were behind him."

Posted by: FrancoNiell | January 8, 2010 1:21 PM

Did you say Arsenal and success in the same sentence? Been a while since the 2003 season.

Your hindsight is blinding.

Posted by: Boogie_Knight | January 8, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

I would say that volley from the shot that went off the cross bar. That was pretty cool. I'll miss some of the shameless poacher moments, too.

Having said that, yeah, we need a new direction. Under Onalfo. Let's hope the two aren't mutually exclusive.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | January 8, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Emilio got an MLS Cup? Did Gallardo get the Ballon d'Or? ;) VirginiaBlueBlood

Excuse my early Alzheimers . . . not a good sign!

Posted by: delantero | January 8, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I agree it's time to move on, but I'm not as willing to bury the living. I appreciate Luci for what he's done and wish him well. We'll miss his capabilities.

(Francis Doe???)

Posted by: JkR- | January 8, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

My favorite Luci moment...Bob Boswell Dot Com!

Posted by: CrippledKeeper | January 8, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

+2.

Posted by: SportzNut21 | January 8, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

this
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wtRyaP35m0

Posted by: jezz | January 8, 2010 1:10 PM
-------------------

That was great.

I'm gonna miss Emilio. Yes he was slow and could only score from rather close to the goal but still, he was pretty good when he was here.

Good luck Luci.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | January 8, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

@Boogie

Hard to argue that Arsenal are not a successful EPL club. Consistently finish near the top of the table, nearly always advancing in the Champions League (final in 06), etc...

Besides, the point was about their transfers. Vieira, Bergkamp, Overmars, & Henry all were sold in their late twenties for high dollar amounts but never really produced like they did at Arsenal.

Posted by: FrancoNiell | January 8, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

I will miss Emilio. Only Juan Pablo Angel scored more MLS goals over the past 3 years. Of course, that's not enough for some folks around here.

Emilio was overpaid by MLS standards when he was bumped up to Designated Player. But players and their agents are supposed to bargaing hard for their salary so I blame that on DC management not Luci.

Best of luck to him in the rest of his career and in life.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | January 8, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

I with the late goal against Chicago crowd. Yes 40 goals in 3 years will be hard to replace. However, Emilio didn't really fit the team last year, nor probably this year. A good move for him and for DCU.

Posted by: griffin1108 | January 8, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

My favorite Emilio moment: There was a match in 2008 when Emilio had two assists and said to reporters in the locker room "I'm a #10". Love the sarcasm.

I had no expectations of Emilio returning in 2010, but I did have my fingers crossed that he might sign on again for something in the $250-350K range. Unless we sign a new star striker from abroad, I don't see how we are going to make up for those 10 goals that we're losing. Is there any player on our current roster that will score 10 goals next year? Sure, Pontius will improve if he's up front full time, but 10 goals?

Posted by: DCUMD | January 8, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

@FrancoNiell

i understand the point you're making, but Arsenal lives in a whole different universe from DCU. they can go out and get a world-class striker just about any day of the week. DCU couldn't simply drop their best goal scorer and count on being able to find someone with similar abilities given the limited resources of MLS and the arcane rules the govern so much of the player movement here. sure they could have dropped Emilio and hoped to strike gold with some young players (i'll join the "Doe?!?" brigade), but this is a team that mostly has a "win now" mentality, so it's not realistic to expect them to see the future so crystal clearly that they would expect Emilio's skill to drop so precipitously. Moreno had one of his best scoring seasons at age 31 in 2005 (as just 1 example) so it's not like guys turn 30 and automatically start sucking.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | January 8, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

I love Emilio, but let's be honest, he is what he is. He flamed out in Europe, flamed out in Mexico 2nd Division. His only success has come in Honduras and MLS. There is a reason he is w/a second division Brazilian team on loan.

Posted by: cr10 | January 8, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Which rounds does DCU have picks in for this year's draft? I am under the impression it only the 1st and fourth rounds.

Posted by: no_recess | January 8, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

According to "Climbing the Ladder" DCU has 1st (#7), 3rd (#39) and 4th (#55) round picks. One neat little bonus -- A while back DCU traded a pick in the "Supplemental draft" to Houston for Craig Thomson. That draft no longer exists. Very savvy.

Posted by: fischy | January 8, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

christopher_a_metzler:

I thought Doe was on the senior minimum, which would mean he actually did about what you'd expect. He was surely not the answer as a starter, but as was discussed a couple of days ago, he got better results than N'Silu for less money.

fischy:

I'm guessing DC wants to use the DP slot on a playmaker. That's the tradition here, after all. I believe those reports of our front office being one of the group pushing for more DPs to be accurate, so it stands to reason that means we would want to use those slots. We might not be able to line up the big name until the summer window, but I'm guessing we're looking for someone right now as well.

DCUMD:

I've got Pontius getting 10 goals if he stays fit. I also think his mobility, energy, and athleticism will open up the attack, which means more goals for other players. I think we can cover losing Emilio by spreading out the blow; if our midfielders can contribute just one or two more goals each, we'll be just fine in that department.

***

Why do we have to have 2 extremes here (that is, either "Good riddance, he sucked!" or "Emilio was brilliant and we will be awful without him")?

Emilio scored frequently, and playing ahead of a dominant midfield he was having the time of his life. It will be very difficult to find someone with his ability to finish and his ability to evade marking. The goals in the late Chicago comeback (particularly the 2nd one, which may be the only goal he entirely manufactured for himself while here), the volley against TFC, and a few other moments will always stand out.

However, he was always streaky, would quickly become surly when not scoring, struggled to impact games outside of the box (even in 2007), and made a huge contribution to our slow attack last year. For this team, which needs to speed up in both action and thought, Emilio is the wrong guy to rely on this season.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | January 8, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Doe was what our other strikers aren't. Strong and fast.

If I put together a squad I look for players with certains styles, and it helps to have different styles/abilities from which to choose for a given situation. And, for that, he was valuable.

Instead we had a lot of the same. Technically gifted strikers, but not exceptionally quick or fast (and let's face it, Pontius was a mid last year)

Posted by: delantero | January 8, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Pretty much all of his Chicago games had quality work. Something about the Fire seemed to pump him up a bit.

So question for all...how many think Emilio and Roy Lassiter will be thought of in much the same way when we look back 15 years from now? I've got to say, they both had verve, both painfully bad with posession at times and both could poach goals with the best of them--oh, and could both of them make me mutter for an hour after the match about some of the bizarre choices/runs they would make.

Posted by: jnel | January 8, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

78 days until United's first 2010 league match!

Posted by: Curious99 | January 8, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

favorite moment? kicking the water bottles after getting subbed.

Posted by: owendylan | January 8, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the goals, Emilio, and good luck going forward.

Posted by: Curious99 | January 8, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Good luck Luci. You wore the red and black with pride and we'll miss ya.

Posted by: dsheon1 | January 9, 2010 12:43 AM | Report abuse

Chest: re playmaker, not to harp, but . . . I think Fred is who's on KP/CO's mind.

Posted by: dccal | January 9, 2010 2:27 AM | Report abuse

My favorite EL moment? The boatload of sitters he failed to tap in the net last year. I just loved watching the wind go right out of the sails of the team every time he butchered a goal scoring opportunity. How would you like to be a 23-year old American forward making $20,000 a year somewhere in MLS watching an overpaid, disgruntled, and unproductive "designated player" make 40 times your salary screw up week after week? To borrow a turn of phrase from baseball, EL is finally the kind of "designated" player he should be -"designated for assignment." Bottom line: if you take the big bucks and don't produce you are just another Gallardo-clone. The abysmal track record of the front office with the concept of designated players should lead DCU not to repeat this fiasco again. In fact, with few exceptions, DPs have not worked in the league. Raise the salary cap and let teams spend the money the way they see fit. Raise the quality of the league by raising player salaries oveall. If we are going to have an "exception" to the salary cap rules in MSL, it should be based on the "Larry Bird" rule of basketball, which allows teams to exceed the cap to retain the marquee players. Clubs are losing our best and most promising players to Europe while investing heavily in jokes like Gallardo, Claudio Reyna, and Emilio.

Posted by: rcdwriting | January 9, 2010 7:05 AM | Report abuse

Emillio was a great finisher. I cant pick out a specific moment, but he was good at cleaning up the garbage in front of the net. He did drop off, but hey so did everybody else didnt they? hard to go up when most are going down.

Posted by: g3impreza | January 9, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company