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MLS Ticker: RSL frees up DP slot for bigger signing; Keane says he will stay Galaxy captain; and more

JavierMoralesRSL1-PortlandTimbers2014 (Getty)


Real Salt Lake fans were under the impression the club’s Designated Player situation was set heading into 2014, but team owner Dell Loy Hansen revealed on Wednesday that the club could now have room to add another one.

“We’ve put more money into this team than any team before,” Loy Hansen told ESPN 700 in Utah on Wednesday. “We’ve kind of cleared possibly a DP spot and I’ve said, ‘We can go hunting.'”

“The obvious thing we have to keep our eye out for is (Javier) Morales’ age. He’s amazing, he anchors such an important part of the team and hopefully (Luis) Gil can accrue to that spot. But you’ve got to keep an eye open that we need to have maybe some real money to put a person into that top of the midfield to feed the forwards.”

Hansen has let team officials know he wants the club to think big in the DP department, though RSL technical director Craig Waibel made it clear the club will be thorough in its search, and won’t just rush to spend big money.

“We are a homework-based club — we aren’t a big-ticket, buy-now club,” Waibel said on Wednesday. “We’ll do our research. Our owner has stated many times that he is interested in bringing in a well-known, world-class designated player. But it’s a matter of continuing to do our homework to be sure that guy fits in.”

RSL currently has Morales, Alvaro Saborio and Sebastian Jaime as designated players, but a number of methods could have freed up one of the three slots. Among the possibilities are a new contract for Morales that gives the playmaker more guaranteed years, but a lower salary that moves him out of the DP range.

Also, the club could have shifted around the transfer fee it spent in acquiring Jaime, who counted as a DP in part  because of the fee RSL paid to acquire him. RSL could have paid down the transfer fee using the funds it secured in the sale of defender Carlos Salcedo to Chivas Guadalajara, which would then remove Jaime’s DP tag for the 2015 season.

Here are some more of Thursday’s MLS news and notes:


Despite rumors that LA Galaxy’s new arrival Steven Gerrard would take the captain’s armband when he joins the club from Liverpool, Robbie Keane has shot down the idea.

The current dual-captain for the Galaxy and the Irish national team said on Thursday that Gerrard is not coming in to take over.

“He is arriving as an addition, not as a replacement as captain,” Keane told reporters in the Dublin. “I have spoken to Steven and he is excited about the challenge of coming to LA Galaxy. He is going to be a great addition to our squad.”

Gerrard, who is set to join the Galaxy in the summer, is still sidelined in Liverpool due to a hamstring injury.


Both D.C. United and Sporting Kansas City have agreed to terms with first-round draft picks, the clubs announced Wednesday.

D.C. United has signed Miguel Aguilar, the 17th overall pick, while Sporting KC has secured the services of Amadou Dia, the 20th overall pick.

Aguilar, a 21-year-old University of San Francisco product, will make his pro debut coming off a college career that saw 15 goals in 72 games. The midfielder has already made an impact in D.C. United’s preseason matches.

Dia, a defender, joins Sporting KC from Clemson, tallying four goals and six assists in 70 appearances. The 21-year-old ranks second in minutes for Sporting KC this preseason.


With their previous sponsor deal turning sour, the Colorado Rapids appear to be on the hunt for a new front-of-the-jersey sponsor.

Up until recently, their sponsor was Ciao Telecom, but now it’s up to courts to decide whose at fault for the failed $8.3 million sponsorship deal. The Rapids are arguing Ciao Telecom failed to make nearly half a million dollars in payments as part of the deal.

The old sponsor has been phased out of the Rapid’s presence and their preseason match jerseys had no logo, which indicates the deal with Ciao Telecom has finally been terminated, but a new sponsor is not in place.

Last month, Rapids president Tim Hinchey said the club was looking at four or five possible jersey sponsors and two have since declined.


The San Jose Earthquakes’ new Avaya Stadium will be used to host the World Rugby Pacific National Cup on July 18. (REPORT)

The Charlotte Independence of USL have signed the Colorado Rapids’ draftee Brandon Fricke, the No. 83 pick overall. (REPORT)


What do you think of these reports? Would you like to see RSL go for a big-name DP? Do you think Keane should hold onto the Galaxy armband?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Sebastian Jaime was only a DP because of the transfer fee – they’ve paid that down with allocation money. But this article fails to mention that RSL acquired the full rights to Joao Plata and signed him to a new deal in late January that makes him a Young DP (again, due to the cost of acquiring his rights). So really the anticipated DP situation for RSL for 2015 was Sabo/Morales/Plata. Presumably Morales’ contract has been renegotiated to get him below DP level and free up that slot.

  2. If rsl would take their stadium to another level since they have the fans and support, it would be an amazing atmosphere and hell crazy to win there.
    Imagine having a real roof cover and full 360 close stadium like red bull or skc would be sweet hme advantage for rsl. That’s what they need and their fans deserve it.

    • Having “a real roof cover” doesn’t make for an amazing atmosphere. Having a winning team creates fan passion and therefor a great atmosphere. RioTinto is a fine stadium.

      I think ownership is saying the right things and trying to improve the team to keep fan passion high. To the fans and management getting better talent to win is the focus.

    • Have you ever even been to a match at the RioT? I doubt it, since if you had, you’d know that the view of the Wasatch Mountains is one of the things that makes that stadium so spectacular – more roof would obstruct that. I’ve been a season ticket holder for years, and trust me, it’s already an amazing atmosphere (they consistently sell out every home match) and RSL has one of the best home-field advantages in the league. It’s nicknamed “The Fortress” for a reason. Quit talking about what RSL fans want when you clearly know nothing about it.

  3. Great news for RSL, but a little late. I was holding out hope that Diskerud would replace Morales. I’m looking forward to who they bring in, though.

  4. So let me get this straight. DC United drafted well? Since when does that happen? Oh wait…always. List of DC United projected starters acquired in the draft:

    Perry Kitchen
    Taylor Kemp
    Nick DeLeon
    Chris Pontius
    Steve Birnbaum

    Has any other team been as successful in the draft as United?

  5. Here’s a fun one to consider…

    Johnny Awesomesauce is drafted by New York Red Bulls in the 2nd round. He decides rather than taking MLS minimum wage in NYC, he’ll take $60k-$70k and sign a USL deal in Rochester — New England Revolution’s USL affiliate. Does MLS stipulate that he cannot play for New England if they work a loan deal with Rochester? Or better yet, does MLS place limitations on players their affiliated USL teams do/don’t have rights to? Can LA Galaxy 2 sign a player that Seattle drafted? Can LA Galaxy 2 hide payroll on the USL roster?


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