2006 and 2007 Supporters’ Shield winner D.C. United has been busy making moves over the last week to ensure it can compete for a third straight trophy in 2008. After having two South American league MVPs in the last two seasons, United appears to be wisely continuing the trend of acquiring South American talent.
The Black and Red’s most interesting pickup is Marcelo Gallardo, a thirty-two year-old attacking midfielder. Gallardo, who played in the 2002 and 2006 World Cups for Argentina, has been signed as MLS’ 6th Designated Player.
Many fans though would question the need for the high-priced Gallardo considering the United already had Christian Gomez, 2006 MVP and three time all-star, playing Gallardo’s position. According to the United front office though, Gomez may be gone soon.
Though the Washington Post reported that United offered Gomez a generous (by MLS standards) two-year deal, rumors have been flying that Gomez is ready to leave the team. Though Colorado has been mentioned as a potential suitor for his talents, no official trade has been announced yet.
Despite Gomez’s considerable talent, the addition of Gallardo actually appears to be an upgrade for United, a fact which likely frightens their opponents. United was already the most potent offensive team in the league, and a playmaker like Gallardo should create even more abundant scoring opportunities for 2007 Golden Boot winner Luciano Emilio.
United has also signed Peruvian goalkeeper Jose Carvallo, Argentine defender Gonzalo Peralta, and Colombian defender Gonzalo Martinez, as well as obtained Argentine forward Franco Niell on a one year loan.
Niell is the most interesting of the group, if for nothing other than his extremely small (5’4″) frame. All five playes should contribute to the Black and Red, though Gallardo will likely have the largest impact.
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