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Orlando City add Honduran international Rochez as Designated Player


Photo by Gary A. Vasquez/USA Today Sports



After taking the experienced route by adding Kaka as the club’s first Designated Player, Orlando City SC have infused a little bit of youth into the team with the team’s second marquee signing.

Orlando City announced Monday that the club has signed Honduran international Bryan Rochez as the club’s second DP. The 19-year-old forward is set to join Orlando City from Real C.D. Espana ahead of the 2015 season. Per club and league policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“We’re extremely delighted that Bryan is joining us for the 2015 season,” said Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath “He’s a player that we’ve had our eyes on for quite some time now, as we believe that he has the ability to contribute to the team straight away.”

Rochez scored 29 goals in 59 games, including eight in 18 matches in 2014, during his time at Real C.D. Espana, who feature in the Honduras Primera division.

In addition, Rochez made his senior international debut for Honduras’ national team in September’s Copa Centroamericana while making six total international appearances.

Per the 2014 MLS roster rules, Designated Players 20-years old or younger only count for $150,000 towards the team’s salary cap number. It’s unclear whether this designation will remain next season as the players union and league negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement.


What do you think of the signing? How do you see Rochez fitting in with Orlando City?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. MLS needs to raise the cap and make some new DP rules. Keep the 3 DP rules and add a American DP spot, add another under 24 DP spot and maybe a goalkeeper DP spot, which makes 6 dps but in order to make this happen, raise the cap.
    By raising the cap, MLS teams won’t make mediocre players dps.
    We need Beckham dps not delusional dps but that’s why we need a higher salary cap.

    • Many teams don’t take advantage of the current 3 DP slots, because they can’t afford them. How are they supposed to afford 3 more?

    • I enjoyed having Dempsey at Tottenham and Bradley at Roma. If MLS pushes for more American DPs we will have less top Americans in Europe and less prestige. Also until MLS is on the level of BPL or Bundesliga, it doesn’t make sense for our very best to play here.

    • MLS is doing it the best that they can. It will go up, but like FDC said many teams can’t afford to have 3 DP slots.

      I would rather see more competition rather than less.

      For those who don’t think that that talent level of the lower paid Americans is good enough for them….good I don’t wanna sit next to them anyway. 😉

      • It seems more and more, there is room for interpretation regarding the word competition isn’t there? So… here’s mine. As I see it, true competition isn’t about those at the top retarding their growth to accommodate the mean. This is the antithesis of competition- surrendering to average and intrinsically, unavoidably destined for mediocrity. On the contrary, in its ideal manifestation, competition is expressed through everyone testing their limits, seeking their very best potential. This is maximized by those in the middle pursuing the level of those at the top. I definitely do understand and respect the need for measured growth and the league’s approach to this point, however, MLS has set very lofty goals and says seeks to be a top league worldwide within a decade. In order for that to be possible, the general philosophy/standard of the MLS must match its ambition and it’s clubs that of the league.

      • We could do that tomorrow. Just take off the salary cap and let the likes of Seattle and LA buy whoever they want. We’ll wind up with top teams full of foreign players that play Harlem Globetrotters to everyone else’s Washington Generals, and there will be 2-3 teams worth watching while everybody else plays in front of deserted stadiums because nobody will pay money to go see a team that has no chance at ever winning a title.

        That’s what the old NASL was, and while the Cosmos were playing in front of 70,000+, everybody else lost money hand over fist and couldn’t sustain itself.

        The salary cap and DP rules try to enact a balance between MLS’s ability to retain parity while still bringing in big-name players. MLS has – wisely – lived within its means, kept as much parity as possible, and invested in infrastructure.

        I do not want MLS to become the Scottish Premier League or La Liga. MLS’s path is slow…but it will produce a vastly more watchable, deeper, more entertaining league that is forced to grow much of its own talent. It’ll just take time. Give it another 10 or 15 years and most of the Euro leagues will be peering enviously over at America wondering why THEY didn’t set things up that way themselves….

      • An addendum to an already long post:

        If MLS seeks to “compete”, it is a certainty that La Liga, EPL, Bundesliga, Serie A won’t compromise their level in the name of this new oxymoron: competition through parity.

      • Thanks for the thoughtful response quozzel:

        I definitely get what you are saying and like I said previously, I respect the MLS approach and by no means am I proposing that MLS completely abandon it for unregulated anarchy. The league definitely has some momentum and a window of opportunity that needs to be taken advantage of if it truly wants to reach its stated goal. Excellence DOES require some risk taking. All I am saying is….in its approach to intelligent, sustainable growth, the emphasis needs favor pushing those at the bottom to step up their game to reach the level of those at the top rather than accommodating mediocrity. One approach emphasizes survival, the other, constantly striving to improve. Playing to win vs playing not to lose, if you get my drift. It’s not an all or nothing proposition… I think through hard intelligent work, MLS has earned/put itself in a position that it needs to start thinking more in terms of playing to win.

      • What is the most successful league in the United States – the NFL. Do teams spend more than they make? No. Do they share revenue? Yes. Do they schedule to bring as much balance as possible? Yes. Isn’t it a lot more exciting seeing many different teams with a chance to win the title than it is watching a league with only 2 or 3 with a chance?

        If MLS wants to be one of the biggest leagues in the world, it needs butts in seats and eyes glued to the TV. Watching a league of 3 powerhouses and 17 also rans won’t do that. And, unfortunately, that means a slower development, and curtailing their ambitions. Getting $100 million for an expansion franchise is nice, but the fact is one team just folded, and if all this expansion is done too quickly, and the billionaires get to stomp all over the millionaires, it will damage the league as a whole. It is still a business, and it will succeed, or fail, as a business.

      • While considering and learning from some of the concepts the NFL implements is smart business, attempting to duplicate them is misguided as MLS is operating in a business environment that is much different. It is a sport that is already woven into the cultural fabric of the nation. The NFL operates within a closed market bubble within the U.S. and has a complete monopoly on professional football… there is no other entity which the NFL has to compete with for players and consumers/viewers. That said, they have a salary cap much less restrictive that also possesses a floor with a minimum spending requirement on salaries of 88% of the cap. They also have a symbiotic relationship in a development league in the NCAA with a steady stream of talent for which they don’t pay a nickel.

        MLS is attempting to promote a league in a sport that is not only trying to compete with other more established, successful sports leagues within the country, but other Soccer more established leagues that provide a much superior product.

        I do not disagree with the notion that clubs need to be playing matches that are closely contested. It is however, every bit as important that the quality of play/skill level displayed is top notch.

        Again, I’ve NOT suggested that MLS abandon caps on spending. I am saying it is imperative and a good time to raise the cap significantly and/or DPs if they wish to reach THIER stated goals… to compete with the top leagues in the world within the decade.

        The only way it’s going to happen is if lower tier teams are asked to step up their game in investing in talent (which may well happen with the CBA), if a huge emphasis is placed on development (which they appear to be implementing).

        Butts in the seats are important, but…modern day sports pays the bills through TV. MLS has had a enormous parity and yet, in spite of this a good % of very fervent supporters of the game choose to not only not go to games, but turn the dial to other leagues. Why do you suppose they do this?

    • I will repeat my idea. Raise the cap and allow a team to have 3 DP’s or use equivalent DP money added to their team salary cap. As I have pointed out before, it may make more sense to have ten players at $500k each, than one at $5 million. Allow teams that flexibility and this will also provide for really creative personnel moves.

    • the last thing we need is multiple DP types. we need to get simpler, not complicate things even more.

      right now $387,500 is about 11% of the total salary cap. teams can sign up to 3 DPs meaning they are spending $1,162,500 of their $3,500,000 cap on DPs; 33%.

      i think the smarter thing to do is raise the DP minimum so there are less players who would qualify as a DP. if, for example, we raise the cap to $10M and the DP minimum contract to $750,000, allow for up to 4 DPs, that is a total cap hit of $3,000,000; 30%.

      this moves players like Zusi, Besler, Valeri, EJ, etc. off the books as DPs. the clubs actually gain 3% in additional cap space to work with so these contracts won’t be detrimental to the overall cap hit with those players full salaries counting. the club, meanwhile, is still paying the same either way.

      this also gives clubs the ability to up their average pay if they want to go with the philosophy of not having one player making $5,000,000 and another 10 making $50,000. it’s totally up to them and they would at least be able to if they wanted. this in the end helps retains players which would hopefully means future transfer fees if a European team wanted to sign them.

      i’m actually not opposed to an “American DP” rule even if that is a bit contradictory to my first remarks. but i don’t think we need to do that. most teams aren’t going to use all 4 slots so I see no need to add a slot specific to Americans or Canadians (would need to go both ways). if anything, like with the young DP rule, the cap hit is just less for American DP players. in other words, if a team uses a DP spot on an American and they make $1,000,000, instead of $750,000 counting against the cap, maybe only $500,000 does. that’s an extra $250,000 in cap space and an incentive for signing returning US players like Dempsey.

      i also really like Gary’s idea of giving teams the option of giving up their DP slots and in turn getting the minimum contract values of those slots (e.g. up to $3,000,000 for all 4) and adding it to their cap. i think teams like RSL could really take advantage of something like that while teams like LA could still have their big name DPs…or some combo of each.

      • Raise the salary cap by the current cap hit for 3 DPs and make it mandatory to come in 90% of the cap to higher at any given time. Then instead of capping a number of DPs a team can sign, instead cap the total amount a team can spend above the salary cap on Designated Players. For example, salary cap is $3.5 million and a team can spend an additional $12 million on DPs that does not count against the salary cap (all in, including transfers). Fictional example 1, Red Bulls hits salary cap, then signs Henry ($5 million), Cahill ($4 million) and BWP ($3 million). Fictional example 2: Seattle doesn’t sign Dempsey for $8 million to go along with Martins, they sign 4 guys at $2 million each. That’s how you deepen the talent pool and keep the lower tier players paid a decent wage without significantly effecting the total dollars spent.

      • not a bad option at all. a cool concept. in the end, it seems like it gets us to the same spot but just going about it another way. lets think about how that would work…

        if they went the route i put out there above (in terms of money), i’d think you would have to make the cap $10,000,000 + the $3,000,000; $13,000,000.

        then, looking at clubs who use all 4 theoretical DP slots on big name players, they are probably spending about $10,000,000-$15,000,000 (avg. of $2,50,000-$3,750,000 per DP level player) total per year on these big players.

        to keep the “magic” 30% number, that would mean allowing clubs spend up to $30,000,000-$45,000,000. which would be an additional $17,000,000-$32,000,000 over the $13,000,000 cap.

        is that an effective way to run the league/clubs? or, is at least as effective as the DP rule?

  2. Very interesting (shrewd) move on both parts. Orlando get a young (exciting and up/coming?) player on the cheap cap books that they can sell for a profit next year. This player gets a bump in salary (i’m assuming) and the visibility of playing with Kaka.. and a better shop window to perform in..

    I’ll hand it to Orlando and NY. These teams will be interesting. Will Atlanta be interesting? I hope so.


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