Finally, after an offseason plauged by DP rumors, it's game day. When the Designated Player spot opened up for all MLS teams, it seemed like such a great idea. But let's do a reflection of this.
Bruce Arena becomes head coach of the Red Bulls. Interest spikes that Claudio Reyna will certainly be joining the Red Bulls during the offseason! The Designated Player rule is not in effect.
Claudio Reyna is expected to join the team. All media outlets are reporting it's not for a designated player spot.
The Red Bulls trade away arguable the team's best player, Amado Guevara, for a Designated Player spot.
Claudio Reyna signs. In the hype and excitement, it goes practically unnoticed that he has taken a designated player spot.
With Amado Guevara's replacement, the team is unable to secure any player for the DP spot. Ronaldo, Luis Figo, Zinadine Zidane, Agustin Delgado, Marcelo Salas, Juan Pablo Angel are all rumored to join the team but none ever do.
So, opening day is upon us and we have nothing for Amado Guevara and its pretty well known that Reyna was coming before the DP spots were in effect. That means we could have signed Reyna without a DP spot, kept Amado Guevara and thus had a DP spot to use. Instead we lose Amado Guevara for a DP slot (which can be argued that its for 5 years but we wouldnt have needed it if Reyna was able to be signed on a non DP salary). While Red Bull officials are claiming that they are trying so hard, names in Europe that said they would play with the MetroStars well before the DP rule are suddenly gone. Blanco, who would have made an amazing striker for the Red Bulls, signed with Chicago last week with their DP spot. While only 3 DP spots have been used, one has to wonder where the names that were so interested in playing in New York have disappeared to. The problem before was money. It obviously isn't the case now.
Have RBNY really benefitted from this rule? My guess is that it screwed us. Without the rule, we could still have Reyna and Guevara. With the rule, we have Reyna while Chicago is bolstered with Blanco and LA has brought in Beckham who will make competition tougher. 9 other teams also have a DP spot at their disposal.
So my two cents? Until we sign a player with our other DP spot, we lost Guevara for nothing and we would have still had Reyna regardless.