Network News

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

Is D.C. United eyeing Roque Santa Cruz?

D.C. United has many needs, but the position probably requiring the most attention this offseason is striker.

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.

If United's interest in Santa Cruz is genuine, the club would face significant obstacles. He signed a four-year deal with City in 2009 and was nearly sold to Lazio in Italy's Serie A in the most recent transfer window. At age 29, he maintains value in the European market.

For more.....

United would probably have to guarantee salary in excess of $2.5 million with several guaranteed years. (The highest-paid player in DCU history was Argentine midfielder Marcelo Gallardo at $1.9 million in 2008.)

Santa Cruz, 29, spent eight years with Bayern Munich and two with Blackburn Rovers before moving to City for $28 million last season. He has not featured regularly, however, and was left off City's Europa League roster this month.

For Paraguay, he has appeared in all 12 World Cup matches since 2002 and, since debuting at age 17, is the nation's second-leading scorer with 21 goals in 77 appearances.

It's quite early, but let the MLS silly season begin!

By Steve Goff  | September 20, 2010; 10:48 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  | Tags:  D.C. United  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Thierry Henry fined, not suspended for incident
Next: Americans abroad, TV listings (Tuesday edition)

Comments

I'll believe it when he's wearing our 10 shirt.

Posted by: TheJim1 | September 20, 2010 11:11 PM | Report abuse

I'll believe it when he's wearing our 10 shirt.

Posted by: TheJim1 | September 20, 2010 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Bollocks.

Posted by: bigwave | September 20, 2010 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Bollocks.

Posted by: bigwave | September 20, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Yet another attempt by DCU to find a target striker?

Do we have anyone to actually get him the ball? Najar and...

Well, George's Dirty Secret is actually pretty good at dead ball situations. If Q would stop taking our free kicks, he should score a few in the air.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxD4DyN8Tz8

Notice the first few goals he scores in the video were both excellent shots taken with his left foot.

The real question is, would Hernandez (assuming he'll be bought and come back next year) Boscovic (assuming they give him another year) and Santa Cruz be a good attacking trio, or would their styles clash? And how would Pontius fit in to the equation? And are we going to try to have too much style without any workhorse players, something an MLS team needs? They might style themselves right out of contention.

Posted by: mercurysnake77 | September 20, 2010 11:30 PM | Report abuse

I somehow don't see this happening

Posted by: rockotodd | September 20, 2010 11:35 PM | Report abuse

Could you imagine the conversation with Will Chang, though.

"What's a transfer fee? How much do they want!?!?!"

Posted by: mercurysnake77 | September 20, 2010 11:59 PM | Report abuse

I can't imagine MCFC letting him go on a free transfer and I can't imagine MLS paying a large transfer fee. I see this as not happening.

Posted by: MrTuktoyaktuk | September 21, 2010 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Nah, I like the Allsopp, Hernandez, Cristman, and a hamstrung Pontius combo.

They form a lethal goal scoring machine!

Posted by: delantero | September 21, 2010 12:13 AM | Report abuse

My beloved United have sooo many needs. Does it really make sense to sink so much cash into one player when they need to really upgrade across the board? Besides Najar, a healthy Pontius, and Wallace who else really has enough quality to not deserve being replaced?

Posted by: nyjer1 | September 21, 2010 12:40 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and a big stadium announcement next week too. Guaranteed. I heard it from a guy in a suit in Lot 8.

Posted by: benonthehill | September 21, 2010 12:48 AM | Report abuse

Steve,
There's something unusual about this post. You offer no evidence that ties United's interest to him. What leads you to believe there may be interest? At least give us a crumb.
Thanks,
David

Posted by: dsheon1 | September 21, 2010 12:51 AM | Report abuse

Steve - something more than "an Insider Contact." Just about everyone you know qualifies as that. How about "an Insider Contact who works for MLS" or for United, or who works as an agent for teammates of Santa Cruz? Otherwise it just rings incredibly empty.
Thanks,
David

Posted by: dsheon1 | September 21, 2010 12:55 AM | Report abuse

Benonthehill.... You were right about my post from the Henry incident. I had the context wrong, I thought Henry was celebrating a goal by re-kicking it back into the net (hence the debate over who had a right to the ball). I should have checked my facts but I was busy (isn't that what America is about..)

Nevertheless, I still stand by my other question: Would this even be an issue if Hartman didn't get hurt?

Also, Roque Santa Cruz would be sweet. A lot of obstacles though make me skeptical.

Posted by: grubbsbl | September 21, 2010 1:04 AM | Report abuse

He calmly finishes in front of the goal, is DC United allowed to have someone like that?

Posted by: tcbannon | September 21, 2010 1:07 AM | Report abuse

Actually, I stand corrected. I was originally right. After a goal, which team has a right to the ball? Can this only be based on contextual situations? Such as if a team is down two goals and scores, do they have a right to the ball; or in this case does the keeper have the right to the ball because it was just a goal? The only way to settle this is to claim that only the ref is allowed to touch the ball after a goal, and then you would have to conclude that Hartman is just as wrong as Henry. Also, I disagree somewhat that Hartman was trying to put the ball back in play, he wasn't trying to kick it forward, he was only controlling it (some could argue time wasting)

Posted by: grubbsbl | September 21, 2010 1:11 AM | Report abuse

We've go to get away from these one-off fixes for what ails DCU. A total revamping of the technical team has to take place before we can start to look at bringing in players. Once a new trust-worthy management team in place, then the team building can take place, and that process does not have to be based on a high-priced DP.

Look at Real Salt Lake: they gutted most of the team, starting with the GM, the coaches, and team staff. Then they rebuilt the TEAM, not just adding a high-priced DP, but built a TEAM, following a blueprint based on building a strong and lasting chemistry. Does anyone believe that team will not be among the league's 3 or 4 best for several more years?

All of what we are hearing that is in the works for DCU is nothing more than churning, the appearance that progress is being made. This player, that player; that's not going to work. As Bono would say, that's "running to stand still."

Posted by: lgm6986 | September 21, 2010 5:28 AM | Report abuse

Bring back Emilio! ;)

Posted by: DadRyan | September 21, 2010 5:31 AM | Report abuse

There's something unusual about this post. You offer no evidence that ties United's interest to him. What leads you to believe there may be interest? At least give us a crumb.

Posted by: dsheon1
------------------------------------------

If Goff says a source has indicated that DCU is interested in Santa Cruz then his track record of being on top of these things speaks for itself.

Why do you think he needs to offer more "evidence" for you? If he could reveal more about his source why wouldn't he?

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | September 21, 2010 5:46 AM | Report abuse

The real question is how many days will take before the DCU training staff decide to send him to Germany for a sports hernia surgery? Maybe another question is why isn’t this sports hernia surgery place an official DCU sponsor? We already have VW so it makes sense to keep on with the German connection. Maybe we could one day play in Sports Hernia Stadium in Baltimore?

I would say our top priority would be to clean out our training staff and hire people who are actually qualified to be trainers. Until we have healthy players we could spend $100 million on new players and still get nowhere if they are never on the field. Next step would be to buy glasses for Santino so he can actually see the ball and finally we should consider upgrading our roster, although it would be nice to find someone who speaks the language Simms and can communicate with him at defensive mid rather than another striker who will never see the ball on his side of the field.

I have a bad feeling the only thing worse than the 2010 DCU season will be the 2011 DCU season. Can we skip it and just start talking about 2012, isn’t that when RFK is set to be demolished in the Anacostia waterway redevelopment plan?

Posted by: Southeasterner | September 21, 2010 6:09 AM | Report abuse

I have a bad feeling the only thing worse than the 2010 DCU season will be the 2011 DCU season. Can we skip it and just start talking about 2012, isn’t that when RFK is set to be demolished in the Anacostia waterway redevelopment plan?
****************

ach don't even say that, please. I really can't bear the thought of another depressing season, specially since I renewed my tics. Hmm, why did I renew those tics?

Posted by: DCB23 | September 21, 2010 6:17 AM | Report abuse

Rocket wants to be an usher for CSC in the Barra Brava...

Posted by: Barracudas | September 21, 2010 6:56 AM | Report abuse

After a goal, which team has a right to the ball?
Posted by: grubbsbl
==========

The team that scored can't do anything with the ball, and the team that was scored on must wait for the whistle to restart, but the latter should have "possession." At any rate, the Henry-Hartman situation is sufficiently rare that there shouldn't be new legislation enacted for it. That would remind me of my workplace, where every one-in-a-million situation elicits a new policy.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | September 21, 2010 7:17 AM | Report abuse

Remember a game a few years back with the Fire when Jaime scored, attempted to retreive the ball from the goal in order to quicken the restart (I guess DCU was behind at the time), and Zack did him with a slide tackle? I remember Machnik then saying that the ball belongs the team that was scored upon, but Zach was cautioned (should have been a red, it was so vicious).

Similarly, Henry conduct was egregious and I am sure that he wasn't suspended because of the TV game coming up. That's how MLS operates.

Posted by: lgm6986 | September 21, 2010 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Prince - I too agree that Goff credibility is excellent. But newspapers have many rules that govern reporting to further enhance credibility. For instance, Post reporters can no longer say "an unnamed source believes the war in Iraq will take a turn for the worse in 30 days." They must say, "a source who is unnamed because he is not authorized by the Army to be a spokesperson."
While blogs may have different standards, these levels of detail are required to maintain credibility at their highest levels.
Using "source" without any detail whatsoever is a similar issue. It's not that I question whether or not there is a source. I'm sure there is. But it would help the reader to put more appropriate weight into the credibility of the source if we knew if he or she were within MLS management versus, say, a disgruntled employee.

Posted by: dsheon1 | September 21, 2010 8:04 AM | Report abuse

A kick off after a goal is like any other free kick - it's the kicking team's ball. If the team that just scored messes around with the ball, that is a yellow card offense. Ironically, referees are instructed to caution for "delaying a restart" even if the players are just trying to hustle the ball back up to midfield for the kickoff. Why don't we see yellow cards for this all the time? Referees are also instructed not to blow the whistle for "trifling" offenses. So as long as no "trouble" breaks out, it's OK to grab the ball from the back of the net and run to the center circle with it. If the GK or another player from the kicking team has the ball and you try to grab it out of their hands - that's a no-no and deserves a caution (because that is how fights and stuff like the Moreno-Thornton incident get started).

Posted by: Senor_Funk | September 21, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse

1. Of course the chances of this happening are small--that's what's true of most foreign player acquisitions.

2. I don't have a problem with how Goff phased it. I suspect it may be someone like a player agent who, if you categorized, it would give it away. Here's the deal: we want to know more so some people are jumping on Mr. Insider's back and complaining that he didn't give us more details. If he's said "someone in DC United's management team at the highest levels but isn't the owner" some people would be complaining that he didn't just come right out and say "Kevin Payne".

3. I don't see the team saying this is a one-stop fix. What I see is DC United's management recognizing that to compete in MLS, they're dealing with teams like LAG who have Beckham (likely fulltime now--no more sharing with the English NT), Donovan and supposedly Ronaldinho. Or NYRB with Marquez, Angel and Henry. It's not that we need "stars" too. It's that a lot of hard working bargains can only take you so far. This season is actually a brilliant example: I can count on one hand the number of games where I thought the team had quit or wasn't working. Oh, we've played some bad soccer. And we've made some dumb mistakes. But for the most part, the team has worked hard, run, sweated, played hurt, put in effort, even played physically and fouled hard at times. But we've consistently--every game--had an issue with finishing. And we've also had other issues. But in our best moments, we still struggle to finish. So getting a top-notch finisher makes complete sense. It's not a one-stop answer but it's a start. And when that finisher still has major game left, is stylish, has played at the highest levels and has major street cred, and fits into the style that DC United has always been known for playing...well, that's a damn worthy target. And we probably won't get him. But far better to try and fail than set our sights on a bargain basement striker (which is what I believe Allsopp was supposed to be--a finisher who was a bargain yet had played at a high level at times.

Posted by: JoeW1 | September 21, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Just give me Ryan Giggs and Clarence Seedorf as the 2 other DP's and i'll be more than happy!

Posted by: wiz-skins07 | September 21, 2010 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Interesting, I will defer to Goff's track record of rumors coming correct, but this one may not have legs. I really hope it does happen though. The tea leaf reader in me see's this really unlikely scenario unfolding.
1. English media stories about Roque's dissatisfaction at Man City continue to grow. Maybe a story about how he traveled tothe US for a holiday.
2. Rumors build that an additional investor is interested in joining DCU. They are really interested in investing in a team in the region. No one will say who or what they are but they are reported to have "Very deep pockets"
3. New Mayor Grey is quoted as saying "DC needs United, and United needs DC" after a meeting with united ownership, and a conference call with un named development interests. Also... rumor is Roque was looking at a condo in Capitol Hill?
4. DCU is bought by a group led by Ted Leonsis and the Hilton family (not Paris). They anounce that a new stadium will be built at..wait for it..Popler Point including a Hilton hotel and conference center to rival national harbor. Condos, shopping, entertainment all there. Stadium set to open in mid July 2012.
5. Roque Santa Cruz is "loaned" to DCU starting spring of 2011 through Aug 2011. After helping DCU to a playoff push he says "I would love to be here for an entire season to help this team to a cup final. He goes back to MCFC and struggles to find time.
6. After a row with his coach Roque says "this will be my last season in Manchester." It is announced that he will join DCU in the Mid July transfer window just intime to open the new AOL Park at Hilton Point stadium.

I said it was wildly unlikely, but darn if would not be really cool if it happens!
6.

Posted by: jjfooty | September 21, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

No new "legislation" is needed for the Henry fiasco, because rules are already on the books.

Unnecessarily delaying or interfering with a re-start can be considered unsporting in any situation. Either team can retrieve a dead ball, so long as that is not their intention, but generally the team taking the re-start is favored. Jaime's intent was to get the ball back in play. Henry's was not.

Unfortunately the rule is seldom enforced, or most often enforced with a verbal warning, but by rule a card is warranted.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | September 21, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

"What are my chances? Like one in ten?"

"More like one in a million."

"....so your saying there's a chance!!!"

-Lloyd

Posted by: RetiredShark | September 21, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Agree with JoeW1

Posted by: UnitedDemon | September 21, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

When you kick another player in a dead ball situation -- long long after the whistle -- and for no frikkin reason whatsoever -- and hard enough to tear his MCL, how is that not violent conduct?

And Hartman is not the non-entity some posters claim, if you have even a casual acquaintance with "the MLS"

Posted by: OWNTF | September 21, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

jjfooty's "wishful" thinking goes directly to the real issue at the club, which is now entirely financial. Without new investors and a stadium deal (and a new FO)there is no positive future for this club. In fact, we are on the classic "slippery slope to doom;" a bad reputation among players as a place to play, crummy facilities, falling attendance, no stadium revenues and an owner with big financial problems in his core business. Getting Cruz might be a rumor, but it would never happen until what Footy postulates becomes reality.

Posted by: Ruthie1 | September 21, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Using "source" without any detail whatsoever is a similar issue. [...] But it would help the reader to put more appropriate weight into the credibility of the source if we knew if he or she were within MLS management versus, say, a disgruntled employee.
Posted by: dsheon1
==========

With a few exceptions (Christopher Metzler, Joel Lane), you are all anonymous sources and I don't believe anything you write. That goes double for Rand-al-Thor because he has two user names.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | September 21, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

I watched Santa Cruz a lot when he was with Blackburn. Wasn't impressed. Of course, one could argue that the supporting players weren't good enough.

Certainly that wouldn't be the case should he come to United, would it?

Bullocks is correct, and for me on several levels.

Posted by: seahawkdad | September 21, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

No chance. Who's paying for him - Roque Santa Claus?

Posted by: Kev29 | September 21, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

DCU injury list is long enough each year to have Roque Santa Cruz join the team.

Posted by: vmrg1974 | September 21, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Regretfully, DCU has not had much success with a high profile, high priced "he'll save us" player.Seems like they were really good until they got to us!! Save some $$ and upgrade the entire team. What good is a super-striker if the other players cannot give him service? Tino, Bosco and Allsop obviously cannot provide such service.

Posted by: patrick18 | September 21, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Don't care so much about Santa Cruz. Now if we could sign Penelope Cruz...

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | September 21, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

She can't play for the next 6 or so months...

Posted by: Reignking | September 21, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

So she'll fit right in with the rest of the team. And we get an academy player for free.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | September 21, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Anchor baby.

Posted by: Reignking | September 21, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Achtung baby.

Posted by: fallschurch1 | September 21, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Where's Steve with the MLS weekend snark?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | September 21, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

I disagree with Mr. Goff's assessment that striker is DC's most pressing need. I think that would be replacing most of the back line. Then striker. Then the front office.

But when so many needs are pressing, why split hairs, right?

Posted by: JoeS3 | September 21, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

It's interesting, because everything we've heard this year revolves around the proposition that Chang cannot afford to go out of pocket for top talent.

On the other hand-- let's say Santa Cruz could help turn the team around...maybe put an additional 5,000 fannies in seats for each home game. Assuming a low-ball figure of an average of $50 (ticket, parking, concessions). That's $2.25 million right there. Given that MLS would cover $335,000, his contract more than pays for itself...and I'm using conservative numbers for attendance and spending.

Let's say Cruz and a top central defender or a #10 (midfielder!!) can guarantee One home playoff game. 30,000 people, maybe more. Probably bringing in at least $2 million, less costs. That's a bonanza, compared to the desultory figures DCU is probably looking at for this year. and I'd say the reality is the team might even make money off of two DPs...if they are players we've heard of (not Boskovic, Allsopp or Henandez), and the team starts winning.

With DCU's attendance in free-fall, maybe Chang is realizing he can't afford NOT to spend the money it'll take to turn the team around.

On the Penelope Cruz rumor -- I'm studying the MLS rules.. As near as I can tell -- despite her svelte figure, she'd probably have to go into the weighted lottery.....

Posted by: fischy | September 21, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

"George's Dirty Secret"? GDS? Did you mean GBS?

Posted by: fischy | September 21, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Regretfully, DCU has not had much success with a high profile, high priced "he'll save us" player.Seems like they were really good until they got to us!!

Posted by: patrick18 | September 21, 2010 11:00 AM
-----------------------------------------------------------

Exactly who do you have in mind? The only high-profile player I can think of was Marco Etcheverry. He did OK. I suppose you could add Earnie Stewart to the list, though he was hardly high-profile beyond the USMNT. The team paid a lot of money for Gallardo, but he was a part-time player on mid-table French team. Boskovic is a guy who was probably unknown to every DCU fan. Easily the lowest profile DP ever.

If the team can actually bring in the kind of player who fans will respond to - someone people know and admire already -- that would basically be a first. At least, not something they've done since bringing in El Diablo at the beginning. I think it's well worth the effort. I'm not sure Roque is the guy...but the need is there for someone.

Posted by: fischy | September 21, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

"George's Dirty Secret"? GDS? Did you mean GBS?

Posted by: fischy | September 21, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

"George's Dirty Secret = Bosco (sorry, that episode of Seinfeld was on recently).

Posted by: mercurysnake77 | September 21, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

seahawkdad, I gotta join you on this one. I watched him at Blackburn as well. It seemed like he came in on fire, but he quickly fizzled. And I never saw him regain that early form. I'd be worried about bringing him to DCU, another salary cap killer.

Posted by: Matte | September 21, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

I always loved Steven Goff's thoughts since '96! People don't hate! If Roque comes to DCU it would be great! Wishing I had the MAGIC TRIANGLE that we had! Moreno is still here all we need is Diablo and Raul Diaz Arce!!! Can we bring that back to the game...Please! We have a triangle now but not upfront. It Stars with Hamid, Najar......and maybe Pontius or Quaranta, but can we get it up front! I'm stuck in the old days and I have my tickets for next season!! We believe in Benny, VAMOS UNITED!!! I hate all of you putting hate mail here! If you don't like it than we don't need you! Move out, For me I saw a sign.. I will put it out on the opposite side of barra brava! ONCE UNITED FOREVER UNITED!!!

Posted by: bk2erth | September 21, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Steven:

Did you lose a bet where you had to mention Marcello Gallardo, The Million Dollar Donut, in your blog once a day this week?

Thx,

Jay!

Posted by: jayrockers | September 21, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

With a few exceptions (Christopher Metzler, Joel Lane), you are all anonymous sources and I don't believe anything you write. That goes double for Rand-al-Thor because he has two user names.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | September 21, 2010 10:12 AM
=====================================

That you know of...

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | September 21, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

No offense Steven, but I must agree with dsheon1. We need a stronger source, or at least a more definitive description of the source than "an Inside contact," to make any rumor, especially one of this magnitude, credible. I would love to have Roque Santa Cruz heading up DC United's offense, but I think this rumor has a snowball's chance of happening or even being real.
-Dave

Posted by: DMillsInDC | September 21, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

I hope Roque Santa Cruz comes to DC United. Then all the women in the DC metropolitan area can fill RFK!

Posted by: bambidu | September 23, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company