MLS: Year Of The Designated Player Continues

Jul 9, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Mexico midfielder Giovani Dos Santos (10) scores a goal against Cuba in the second half during CONCACAF Gold Cup group play at Soldier Field. Mexico defeats Cuba 6-0. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

2015 has definitely been the year of the Designated Player in MLS, with numerous big name players signing with MLS sides from other top level leagues.

Wednesday, July 16th the year of the DP continued when LA Galaxy signed Giovani Dos Santos from Villarreal in Spain. The Galaxy managed the feat of getting around the 3 Designated Player cap limit by using the new rule MLS unveiled recently called “Targeted Allocation Money”. Basically, Targeted Allocation Money allows teams to use excess Allocation Money to lower one of their other 3 Designated Players salaries under the DP threshold for salary cap purposes, opening up a space on the roster for another Designated Player.

Signing Gio is another great catch by the Galaxy, who are no strangers to stars of course. Dos Santos is a brilliant player, a full Mexican National Team regular with a great pedigree of scoring goals on all levels; he’s the exact kind of player that MLS needs to sign to continue to bring up the reputation and level of play of the league. Dos Santos is in the prime of his career, not a former star on the way out looking for another paycheck (Lookin’ at you, NYCFC).

Another Mexican born star is joining MLS soon as well, however the deal for this player was agreed some time ago. Houston Dynamo’s record signing Erick “Cubo” Torres is finally joining the Dynamo after signing with the club in December before joining Chivas de Guadalajara on loan for the remainder of the Mexican LigaMX season.

We’re extremely excited to have Cubo in market and joining the Dynamo. It’s been several months since we announced the signing and there’s been a lot of anticipation for his arrival. This is the biggest signing in the history of the team. It creates a lot of energy for the club and the fanbase and finally getting to this point is very exciting.” Houston Dynamo President Chris Canetti

Torres was eligible to join the MLS side when the transfer window opened July 8th, but a delay in obtaining a work visa means he will be joining Houston Friday for training ahead of their match against Real Salt Lake Saturday. It’s unlikely, one would think, that he will start against RSL, but it will be interesting to see how the Mexican forward fits in with Houston.

Cubo Torres and Gio Dos Santos join a host of other MLS Designated Players joining their new teams during this window, other players include former Liverpool FC captain Steven Gerrard (who is also joining Los Angeles), Chelsea FC legend Frank Lampard and Italian star Andrea Pirlo joining NYCFC

The remainder of the MLS season should be a fantastic event, I’m certainly looking forward to it!

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