Sources: Gonzalez DP deal valued at more than $1.5 million per season

Omar Gonzalez, Angel Di Maria

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By IVES GALARCEP

Omar Gonzalez has not only broken new ground as the first pure centerback to ever earn a Designated Player contract in Major League Soccer. He will also be the first pure centerback millionaire in MLS.

Gonzalez’s new DP contract is a three-year guaranteed deal worth more than $4.5 million total, an annual average of more than $1.5 million that dwarfs what the league’s other top centerbacks currently make, sources confirmed to SBI on Thursday.

Gonzalez was able to parlay his standing as a U.S. Men’s National Team regular and relatively young American standout about to become a free agent into the most lucrative deal ever signed by a defender in MLS. Rafa Marquez was a higher-paid DP by the New York Red Bulls, but when he arrived in MLS he was still considered a midfielder who could also play central defense.

To put Gonzalez’ deal into perspective, Vancouver’s Jay DeMerit is the highest-paid defender in MLS for the 2013 season, with Columbus’ Chad Marshall second at $361,250. In fact, Gonzalez’ 2014 salary will be more than what the four-highest paid defenders in MLS in 2013 will make combined.

Gonzalez deal gives the Galaxy two Designated Players under contract for 2013, with Robbie Keane also slated to return. Landon Donovan remains a free agent at the end of the 2013 season.

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What do you think of Gonzalez’s contract? Think the Galaxy made a good deal, or feel Gonzalez is being overpaid?

Share your thoughts below.

 

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159 Responses to Sources: Gonzalez DP deal valued at more than $1.5 million per season

  1. CroCajun1003 says:

    He’s got such great potential. Hope this motivates him to take it to the next level. Congrats Omar.

  2. Tyler says:

    Good for Omar. You’re always worth what someone is willing to pay you. From a national team perspective I hope he is able to continue improving and reach the highest level now that he is staying in MLS. Definitely can clean up his game in a few areas.

    Although I think Donovan is going to thoroughly explore his European options I think one has to like LAs chances in the CONCACAF champions league (assuming they continue to qualify, their homegrowns keep improving, and they keep bringing in talented, well known players from around the world.)

    • JF says:

      MLS teams don’t have the depth to win the CCL. The salary cap prevents teams from fielding squads with depth.

      • Yevgeniy says:

        JF, you have to give it a rest. MLS will always have a salary cap. Most fans would prefer to have salary cap. We just want it to be at a higher level. This is America. People will not follow a league where LA and NY dominate and the 3rd best team has 67-1 odds at the start of the season like La Liga. In general, I will take a reasonable reduction in quality in favor of fairness and a league where a single number if points separates most teams.

  3. gio says:

    wonder what Besler thinks of this

    • Eric says:

      I bet Besler is on the phone with his agent first thing tomorrow morning.

      Granted, we don’t know exactly how much Besler is being paid, since retention funds were reportedly used for his new deal, but it can’t be more than a quarter of what OG4 is being paid now.

      • bryan says:

        we know exactly what Besler is making. the teams still have to pay the salary. the retention fund is just a way for KC to negate a certain % of his salary from the cap in accounting. but KC still pays Besler that money…

        like a DP, only so much of the salary counts towards the cap, then the rest is negated from the cap…but the DP still gets paid.

      • bryan says:

        2012 Besler: $91,751.00 w/ chance to earn up to $103,001.00
        2013 Besler: $180,000 all around

  4. Jon says:

    How did the Galaxy convince MLS they should have a centerback DP? It sure didn’t work when TFC tried to do it.

    • JF says:

      MLS wants the Galaxy to succeed. That’s the difference.

      • Michael says:

        Refs in Dallas on Sunday didn’t get that memo

        • JF says:

          regular season means nothing in the MLS. Over half the league makes playoffs.

          • Kosh says:

            Why do you even follow MLS?

            It’s a developing league that has its flaws and is figuring itself out. The league’s fans know this and can cope. But you have nothing positive to say about MLS or its players, which is your choice I get that, but I am astounded as to how you never let a chance go by to take a shot at the league. I find that strange.

            I hate tofu but you don’t see me wearing a t-shirt announcing it to every stranger I walk past. Strange, indeed.

  5. JR says:

    Angry USMNT fan: MLS is a crappy league. They pay american players so little

    • JF says:

      the disparity of wages between players is ridiculous. Median salary in MLS is less than 100k.Meanwhile most teams have their two guys making millions. No other league on the planet operates like this.

      it’s a farcical wage structure.

    • Kosh says:

      You play this MNT angle here but how many MLS guys are on the team, and for the one’s that are there which superstar Euro based guy are they unfairly stealing a spot from? There are plenty of Euro based players on the team you can follow. JK sees the benefit and what MLS players bring to the team. Face it, you hate MLS.

  6. Jeff V says:

    SKC is going to have problems keeping Zusi and Besler. One could argue that Gonzalez is worth the least of the three Americans.

    • Mike R says:

      +1 and By far

    • AlexH says:

      One could also argue that OG is worth more than anybody else in the league. Where was LA last year with their 3 big DP’s and Omar out with injury? Where did they wind up after he got back? The guy is a difference maker and if he wasn’t LA wouldn’t have ponied up the cash.

  7. JF says:

    this is a bad trend for MLS. First Dempsey and now Omar. MLS should be a feeder league for the top leagues, not a league that spends millions on one player. The opportunity cost of this is that these millions should be going into youth development.

    • John says:

      The problem is if no one is watching MLS they aren’t going to have much money to develop players either. The Sounders and Galaxy probably have the best young talent in the league as well.

    • Kosh says:

      But MLS does not want to be a feeder league – they want to be more than that and are taking the right steps in that direction.

      I know you want to beat your chest at your buddies when watching Euro leagues and claim that guy X or Y is an American, all while crapping on the league that developed them, while MLS simply wants to compete with those leagues instead of make them better. I’m with MLS on this one.

    • slowleftarm says:

      Why should we have as our goal that MLS should be a feeder league. MLS can do better than being a feeder league and that’s what they’re trying to do. Having a strong domestic league helps grow the sport here, which ultimately benefits everyone.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      Bad trend for MLS? How? Their job is to field the best teams possible within the limits of their growth strategy, and FWIW Seattle-Houston is a sellout here. Unless MLS is over-reaching financially, better players and more fans are good things.

      I also think you’re conflating the limits posed by MLS’ roster and cap rules with the notion that we’ve accepted being a “feeder” league as some overall strategy. I think retention funds and allocations and certain things like that are actually being dedicated to retaining players. Mind you, there are definite limits, and some players may just want Europe. But MLS has not relegated itself to being a feeder.

      You must mean something like US soccer is at risk. Although it might help at the top end if we had key players getting lots of PT at good teams, I believe diversity of locations is our safest bet, and I can’t believe it hurts US soccer to have their players playing, as opposed to nominally on the books at somewhere like Stoke that may or may not use them.

  8. rigo m says:

    so MLS announces the 4th DP slot is available starting tomorrow.. right? haha…

    • JF says:

      how about this…no DP’s. Let clubs spend their money the way they want to. Just put a cap on how much clubs can spend on foreign players.

      This way, domestic players will get their market value.

      • Northzax says:

        But dps are the only way clubs spend their own money…other contracts are covered by the league. (Which is owned by the clubs/owns the clubs so its still their money, sorta)

      • Kosh says:

        “Market value”?

        Unlike other US sports, which for some odd reason you keep comparing MLS to, MLS is part of a global market and is paying precisely for value. Unlike the NFL, if someone does not like what MLS has to offer they can (well if they are good enough) say “heck no” and go sing and play anywhere else on the planet. So what market are you talking about?

        Here again you use another angle to mask your disdain for MLS. You keep posting and bashing something you clearly hate. That is mind-boggling to me.

        At this point in time, and for a very long time, MLS is what it is and it is making its way to reach its goals. It ain’t perfect but then, speaking of markets, you are free to go and watch something else. It’s not like this is the 80s where you have to go to a movie theater to watch soccer. Go buy yourself a package and watch whatever league you like.

  9. MikeG says:

    How many years? No mention of years. This contract could also benefit MLS in future negotiations and give some leverage with European teams in the future. This deal very much benefits MLS too (at the right time in the future).

  10. Turf_Master says:

    At least he won’t be playing on turf.

  11. fred says:

    Why are so many comments so negative. First everyone complains that the league is horrible because it only pays foreign aging stars. Now they are complaining because they are paying DP money to an up and coming American star!
    This is the beginning of MLS 4.0 and we need to stop being negative and support our league, as that’s the only way it’s going to grow and one day challenge the big European leagues!

    • Mike R says:

      He is not an up and coming star. He’s as up and coming as he is gonna get

    • JF says:

      challenge Euro leagues how? MLS has a salary cap. MLS is the only league that purposely weakens its product all in the same of fairness.

      Challenge the euro leagues? Please.

      • Mueller says:

        Get over yourself. NBA and NFL both have salary caps and generally they are bigger than what most teams in Euro leagues spend on wages. If MLS grows in popularity to something similar to NBA, NFL, or MLB, the money will be there.

        • JF says:

          the NBA and NFL are the only top leagues in their sport. Especially the NFL. It’s the only league and all the best players are in it.

          You can’t compare that to soccer which is a global game with anywhere from a dozen leagues competing for players, relevancy, star power etc.

      • slowleftarm says:

        Once the TV money increases, MLS will raise the salary cap, pay more and bring in even better players. People want to come live in America because it’s awesome so attracting foreign players will be easier than you think. So one way to help increase tv money is to make the league better and keeping good young USMNT players at home certainly helps on that front.

    • krazymunky says:

      MLS 4.0?? when did 3.0 happen!?

  12. Cole says:

    For LA this was a great move, the difference of results with and without him is pretty extraordinary. Not to mention he is young and should only get better.

    • bottlcaps says:

      I think you hit the nail on the head. Even with Beckham, Donovan and Keane playing, the Galaxy floundered when OG was not in the lineup. Not only is he a steady influence on the back line, he passes out of the back very well, has good positioning skills and has learned to read the game, at least at the MLS level, very well. Given more starts with the USMNT to get him some more experience at the international level, he will be a good addition to the team well past the next WC. I think the Galaxy saw his worth last year and you know they had to make this a sweet deal to keep him as the offers from Mexico and Europe were commensurate with what he was being signed for here.

      AS we learned from Gooch, and now Goodson Gonzales and even Brooks, you can’t TEACH height, having fairly quick, skilled and experienced 6’4″ and 6’5″ center backs will really make a difference at the WC.

  13. Mike R says:

    What???????? L.A. got fleeced.

    Omar is worth about 300,000$

    The only one happier than Omar is JAB cause while Omar is resting on his MLS laurels JAB will be passing him up on the depth

    • JF says:

      his global market value is probably somewhere around 700k a season. MLS overpays because of MLS’s wage structure. They can only really pay DP players good money, so they end up overpaying for DP’s

      get rid of the DP system and get rid of the salary cap. Have a foreign player wage cap and have it to domestic players can get their market value.

      Omar is getting way above his. For some players (DP’s) MLS rules work just right for them

      • Yevgeniy says:

        Where do you get $700k from? Tim Ream gets paid GBP 1 million, which is right around $1.5mm. MLS very rarely overpays!

        • Reid says:

          I don’t have a list directly in front of me, but memory alone would argue against your point. I would think that 60% of the DP’s have been overpaid, and maybe even more then that.
          If you are being sarcastic, I apologize.

          • Yevgeniy says:

            No, I am NOT being sarcastic. It’s quite possible that 60% of the DP’s have been overpaid in hind sight, but majority of those didn’t look that way at the time of signing. Even if you look at the biggest DP bust of them all in Marquez, at the time of signing, it didn’t seem unfair. He was unquestionable starter and captain for Mexico. He definitely had offers from the likes of top Serie A teams. He would not have joined for much less and from marketing standpoint, he seemed like a gold mine (which of course eneded up being not true at all). The one I can think of that looked stupid right away was Mista at $1mm. We know Toronto needs help!

    • Drew_OC says:

      Look at what English/BritishIsle players get in the EPL. Same deal here. US national team players are worth more to the league than even a guy like Obafemi Martins. Guys who grew up with a team are worth more to the team than a foreign semi-star.

    • Yevgeniy says:

      Another made up number. Other people resting on MLS laurels are Donovan, Dempsey and Besler. Who is passing them on e depth chart in your twisted story?

  14. Fredo says:

    I’m thrilled Omar is staying with my team. I’m happy he’s getting paid. And, I know he’s committed to getting better. Go Galaxy!

    • Drew_OC says:

      just cuz Omar’s getting a payday doesn’t mean he’s staying with LA. A few good WCQ’s and perhaps a WC and the guy’s heading out on a jet-plane and the Galaxy will have more than enough transfer funds to pay the 2years salary they fronted Euro-TeamX.

  15. Javier says:

    MLS is still a fairly new league that is still growing. It’s going to be a while before salaries in MLS begin to approach salaries in other leagues. The salary cap although it keeps salaries down helps the league to manage wages, keeps teams competitive, and keeps the league in business by limiting runaway wages and controlling debt. The league is making progress. More teams are bringing in DP’s and the league has a fund maintain young players in the league.

    The fact Omar Gonzalez’s is now a DP making so much more than other players shows his importance to the Galaxy. Is Matt Besler a better player, in my opinion, yes (coming from a Galaxy fan). Should he be paid at least as much as Omar Gonzalez, in my opinion, yes. The fact he isn’t speaks what Sporting KC were willing to pay and what his agent was able to negotiate. But at least the league was able these players and Graham Zuzi.

    I think before the big salaries can be paid across the board to MLS players the league is going to need to increase revenue. That’s going to mean increased and sustained attendance figures and more importantly increased broadcast rights. But that is going mean better ratings. And those ratings will come with better play. Keeping players like Gonzalez, Besler, Zuzi, and recruiting players like Dempsey and the many other players that are improving the league should eventually lead to a competitive league that will draw crowds, increase ratings, and lead to higher salaries which will bring in better players. Look at how far MLS has come.

  16. Eric says:

    Love all the euro snobbery filled hate!

  17. markwriter says:

    Here’s a wage structure: 2 DPs per year, DP contracts are 1 year max. 3 “rookie” or “academy” or “U23″ contracts at 50k per year. Rest of the team is governed by the “20 percent” rule: bottom wages have to be at least 20 percent of the top wage.

    Do this for the next 5 years. Then eliminate that structure and switch it to: A salary cap and a 10 percent rule (bottom earners must earn 10 percent of the top contract) for all members of the team. And then release MLS central control including all transfers and may the best team and front office win.

    Fun, no?

    • JF says:

      i’ve never heard a good argument for a salary cap. When you have a salary cap you are saying that you don’t care if the quality gets worse, as long as their is fairness.

      i’d get rid of the salary cap and then just have a cap on how much you could spend on foreign players. This would keep a lot of the American players in MLS who go to some of the lower tier Euro leagues. And it would mean domestic players would get their market value.

      • JF says:

        oh and most importantly it gives clubs more incentives to develop their own homegrown players. Right now MLS restricts the salaries they can offer homegrown players. They are only allowed to have 3 HGP with GA contracts.

        If you allow clubs to give HGP the wages they think they deserve then it gives them to the incentive to put more into youth academies and develop players.

      • OneLegged says:

        The salary cap helps keep the league financially solvent.

  18. John says:

    If he was going to go to Europe he’d really have to do it during this window and the Galaxy need him if they want to win another MLS Cup. So of coarse the Galaxy are going to pay him more because he is more important to them then any other team. If he goes and has a strong World Cup it’ll pay for itself anyway.

  19. AlexH says:

    This is a good deal for both parties. LA is great with him in the line up and awful when he is out of the lineup, so the $1.5M is a fair price. Omar is a marketable guy and will undoubtedly get some added endorsements by staying as he is a standout in the USA, but he would be largely anonymous in Europe. I would have liked to see Omar play in Europe but this deal seems to be too good to pass up.

  20. John says:

    I don’t understand the hate towards Omar win it comes to the national team. We’ve given up 1 goal in the last 5 WCQs and that was an offside set piece. We gave up 6 goals in 6 games the last round of qualifying to much worse teams. People take for granted how much this team has improved in a year and I don’t know why people don’t think Omar has played a part in that.

    • squirtlover says:

      I could say, despite Omar we’ve given up 1 goal in the last 5 WCQ’s….

      Truth is, for the Nats, he looks uncomfortable and unsure of himself for a large period of time. He turns the ball over, is often a step slow, and is often out of position. I hope he continues to improve because he is young and we need him.

      Where do you rate him in our pool? He is a key player, because we haven’t worked everything out yet. In my mind, Besler is #1 with four guys fighting for the next spot. Goodson, Omar, JAB, and Cameron, too. Ultimately, I think JAB is the pairing with Besler but he needs some seasoning and may/may not be ready for Brazil. We will know how JK really feels come September.

  21. Scott e Dio93 says:

    Realistic : Gonzalez failed to carry the Galaxy in CONCACAF, Gonzalez won’t sell more jerseys or tickets, TV, Gonzalez hasn’t proven his worth International stage yet. I don’t blame Gonzalez taking the money, the problem is MLS’s communist system, salary cap is good but MLS doesn’t have enough to complete against MX or International leagues. Also, DP rules and max salary needs changes, DP should start at lowest 650k, salary increase way more for raises some players and increase an extra 700k with DPs exempts, and jersey sponsorship to cover some transfer without a players becoming a DP and part of salary cap or use other player’s transfer to cover this cost.

    • Iggy says:

      The last two mls cups show his value. That’s what the galaxy are paying him for, and it’s tough to argue with those results.

      • Scott e Dio93 says:

        MLS Cup is really nothing, we Cobi, Cienfuegos and Ruiz win for us. Gonzalez hasn’t proven his worth in CONCACAF or International games.

        Eddie Pope, Agoos, Lassister, and Llamosa won alot with DC United and very important International titles, but none of them deserve DP contract. NOTE: Pope and Llamosa shown their worth in the World Cuo 2002.

  22. MLSfan says:

    MLS is so corrupt.
    Toronto FC tried to sign Mellburg in 2012 to a DP contract but MLS blocked it as he is a defender.

    • Yevgeniy says:

      Much more valuable to have Gonzalez than Mellberg. Definitely from marketing and future value standpoint and very likely from pure play on the field standpoint.

      • James says:

        I hear this a lot, but why the hell does that make this ok?!?!? A league can’t pick and choose the teams it decides to make strong. Thats crazy. No other league in the world does it like this. Let teams do what they want.

        The way people can respond like this, and make it sound totally OK blows my mind.

        • Yevgeniy says:

          No other soccer league in the world has to deal with the fact that they represent 6th or 7th most popular sport in that country. Hence, much more care is needed. Toronto fans are pretty happy that the league stopped them from that insane move.

          • slowleftarm says:

            How is soccer the 6th or 7th most popular sport in the US? I think, at a minimum, it’s fourth. MLS may not be more popular than the NHL (although it’s close in attendance and tv ratings), but soccer is surely more popular than hockey.

            And please don’t give me nascar. No one outside of the old confederacy cares about a bunch of hillbillies driving around in a circle for five hundred miles.

            • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

              Not a nascar fan myself, but if you had ever been to a nascar event you wouldn’t think soccer has overtaken it. It has a huge and incredibly passionate following. Its much bigger than you would think. Soccer is still only really popular in a few bubble areas around the nation ie pacific northwest. Most other areas its 4th or 5th choice amongst fans.

            • Yevgeniy says:

              We can debate whether it’s 4th or 6th, but my point was that it’s far from 1st or 2nd, which is vast majority of all countries

            • beachbum says:

              NFL, NBA, MLB, BCS football, NCAA Basketball

              Them there’s NASCAR, PGA, NHL too

              But MLS is building nicely

        • Nate Dollars says:

          the fair response to this is: the league isn’t choosing to make a team strong, necessarily; they’re choosing to have one specific player in this league over another.

          for instance, if the teams were switched, (theoretically) the league would be in favor of toronto signing omar to a DP contract, but would not let LA sign mellberg to a DP contract.

          • Yevgeniy says:

            That’s a good point too! It blows my mind how many randon reasons people come up with to hate on our league as opposed to enjoying the play on the field and intensity in the standings

            • Nate Dollars says:

              well, not to be a hater, but i actually do believe that the league favors its ‘marquee’ teams (and players).

              i just don’t think this is necessarily one of those instances.

              • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

                The league absolutely favors the big market teams. Its worse than the NBA in that regard. That is all part of the game though. If you want soccer to grow and be relevant in the US, you have to allow the marketers and promoters to get it on the national stage. If you want complete fairness for all, be happy with MLS of 6-10 years ago.

        • Josh D says:

          The league can because it’s a dictatorship and not open.

    • whoop-whoop says:

      You reaaalllly believe that is the ONLY reason they stopped that signing? I don’t believe that you believe that.

  23. Ryan says:

    I understand that people feel that for US players to get better they need to go overseas and gain international experience but I’ve always felt that the only way MLS is going to succeed as a league is to have the top domestic playes staying here. It will only help the leauge and the sport grow when causual fans who only follow the big internation tournaments see the national team have success then can easily find top national team players in MLS.

    • Josh D says:

      But he’s not the top CB nor is he famous or skillful with the ball at his feet. He’s a tank. Yes, it’s nice that talent stays in, but I don’t think it helps the league when a CB stays in.

      I think a guy like Dempsey coming back helps the league because he’s a star and has established himself over a decade. Bradley coming back, Howard, these legends get attention.

      Gonzo is not a star and unless he leaves and applies himself in a tougher league or starts in Brazil, he’ll never be a star. The only person really clapping is Brooks because now he sees a relatively straight line to a starting role in Brazil.

      • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

        Lets not get ahead of ourselves on Brooks just yet. He had a solid first outing and has undeniable talent and potential, but he is also a 20 year old CB. I’m sure he has plenty of growing pains ahead (much like we have seen with Gonzo). Right now he still has to get ahead of Goodson, Gonzo, Cameron, and Orozco. Obviously not the scariest competition but there is lots of work to be done for him. Am I the only one who would like to see Besler/Orozco?

        • Josh D says:

          Fiscal was sadly (wrongly) benched in the Gold Cup final so we know he’s behind Goodson. Goodson is a solid CB, but has been caught out too many times under Klinsi. Cameron is at the same level as Brooks in my opinion. And Gonzo has gifted half the teams he’s played against a goal.

          I don’t think Brooks is ready, but I do think he starts next year.

          Brooks-Besler

          • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

            I agree about Goodson but he had a very good Gold Cup and will get his chance to start before Brooks. Same goes for Gonzo. I think Brooks is going to have to rely on mistakes by both players, which isn’t too farfetched, to get his shot at starting. Our entire defense worries me at this point. I don’t have much confidence in them.

  24. Sony says:

    Nobody in Europe is going to pay OG more than 1.5 mill a year.
    He can barely keep up with MLS play, He would get shredded in Europe.
    I still have visions of him standing there getting burned by DeNigris.
    Multiply that by however many weeks the season lasts in an European league.
    He would’ve found his way to the bench almost automatically.

    • biff says:

      Not so sure about your 1.5 million statement, especially with all the increasing hype now surrounding American players in Europe. Do you think Stoke is bringing in all the Yanks only because of what they can do on the field? Or is it possible they want to garner attention in the huge American market and go on summer tours (so Brek Shea can get his knee banged up by a pitiful hack on Philly)?

      if memory serves me correctly, Maurice Edu was making just under a million in Scotland and Tim Ream is pulling down a low 7-figure salary in Bolton. I don’t think any EPL players make less than a million (20k a week) and if Omar has a decent agent I bet he could claim increased shirt sales and get at least a 2m contract. Very disappointed that Omar gave up his dream.

      • Ross says:

        Who said he gave up his dream? I’m sure if he has a good WC them European teams will be more then willing to buy him.

      • beachbum says:

        Gave up his dream? Come on biff

        When this contract up he’ll be in line for an even bigger opportunity and a prime age for a CB

        Gonzo has proven to be irreplaceable on the Galaxy, as indespencible as any other Galaxian and earned this

  25. froboy says:

    Omar’s coming yo! Omar’s coming!

  26. bryan says:

    Overatted! Clap Clap, Clap Clap Clap …..

    • Josh D says:

      Not worth the money or DP status at all. Gonzo can become a very good defender, but unless you’re bringing along a ticket-selling name with your skill-set or a rare talent (creativity, goals), you’re not worth that much money in a salary restricted MLS.

      He’s not even the best CB in the league, nor is he the best US CB in MLS. I appreciate MLS trying to keep talent in the league, but I don’t think this excites anyone, especially as LA is one of the only teams that have the location and money to bring excitement to the league.

      I’d much prefer Gonzo to go abroad and learn his craft in a competitive league, developing his ball skills. I suppose his day or so in Germany scared him off.

      Of course, MLS may be paying half his salary… Let the controversies begin…

      • slowleftarm says:

        Since he’s a DP, the fact the league is “salary restricted” doesn’t really matter. His salary doesn’t impact LA’s cap.

      • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

        I think this is could be a sign that MLS is going to do its best to keep the best American talent at home. A salary cap increase is definitely due which will give teams more flexibility to give guys like Gonzo, Besler, Zusi, EJ bigger contracts to keep them in MLS. Could be the start of a big shift in league policy. Could also be an outlier too I suppose.

      • beachbum says:

        Like Ream? Spector? Lichay? What exactly have those moves produced?

        Not so cut and dried as so many posters here are pretending

        • Josh D says:

          Spector and Lichaj have both played consistently and have played in the EPL. Ream too for that matter.

          We (US fans) have some complex about yanks abroad and some conspiracy. When someone doesn’t pan out, it means they weren’t good enough. But at least they tried. Cooper and EJ come to mind.

          • beachbum says:

            And how have they developed there?

            Each went from being on the USMNT to being out of the equation

            One size does not fit all re. development when someone doesn’t pan out

            • SD says:

              EJ and Cooper were on the USMNT before moving to Europe but what was our pool like then….EJ admittedly is slightly better than before he left, even though it didn’t work out…and because of the skill level in mls he is very good by comparison

              cooper wasn’t that good before he left…didn’t develop any rhythm wherever he played…he came back and hasn’t lit it up…..the only reason why he scored 18 with the red bulls was because of henry’s presence….what is he doing at dallas??

              • beachbum says:

                Yep. And how about Ream? Spector? They are better developed because of their moves over there, better ready now to contribute to the USMNT? Nope

    • Gnarls says:

      Bahaha, “overrated.” You clearly haven’t looked at the stats. LA with Omar is a completely different team than LA without Omar. He’s worth every penny.

    • bryan says:

      this is NOT me.

  27. SD says:

    i don’t like the deal because the areas of his game that need to improve will not happen in mls….there are not enough players thoughout the league at the striker position that will challenge him…

  28. Enos says:

    I wonder what Eddie Pope thinks about all this. “If only I had been born about 17 years later…”

    • Dave says:

      +billion

    • Josh D says:

      He never wanted to leave MLS so yes, I understand what you mean. He’d of retired a millionaire under Garber’s reign. But that’s where comparisons end: Pope is ten times the player Gonzo will ever be.

      As a DC fan, Gonzo can hope to reach Pope’s ability during Pope’s first year in MLS. Pope was offered multiple deals to head abroad and never did. One of the top three US CBs of the last two decades in my opinion.

      • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

        I think you could say he is the best American defender ever. There is an argument to be made for a few other guys but Eddie Pope was a rock for us. He would be a welcome addition to the 2014 squad

      • beachbum says:

        10 times the player he’ll ever be…what’s the stock market going to do next week?

        Love Pope

  29. Todd says:

    I understand the argument about how many feel this is a cop-out by Omar not to go to Europe, however I believe that for the development of MLS and US Soccer a move like this needed to happen. This is a big deal, 1) it tells American players that you do not have to go abroad to be paid well, 2) it also tells American players that you don’t need to be a striker or an attacking midfielder in order to receive a nice salary. 3) If Omar continues his upward trajectory, then a European team will be forced to pay a higher transfer fee, which is good business. In order for MLS to grow, and cultivate American talent, moves like this will need to occur more frequently. I applaud MLS and the LA Galaxy for making this move, and Omar to show faith in a league that continues to grow by leaps and bounds. It has been a big year for MLS.

    • biff says:

      “it tells American players that you do not have to go abroad to be paid well”

      How does one guy getting lucky and hitting the mls lotto jackpot like Omar has done tell them that? Do you think those guys are going to be happier today because of Omar’s good fortune?

      • Matador says:

        It gives them hope !!! Omar’s DP contract is not based on “Luck” but on skills. I couldn’t agree more with Todd.

        Tim Ream left as the next big star but so far his career in the Premier is not going according to plan, here in MLS he would be getting playing time and still have a chance with the National Team. In order to grow, we need not only to attract big talents from abroad but we also need to keep our own good players here. Omar staying in MLS is a win/win for the league, galaxy and fans. (It shows that MLS means business)

      • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

        I think this was touched on during one of the SBI shows, but this will certainly drive up teams’ cost for defenders in general. Every top defender who is up for a new contract is going to want to get paid well now. That’s definitely going to require a salary cap increase by MLS in the near future. Question is by how much?

  30. Anthony says:

    Ok…this is just an aside, but am I the only one who is really bothered by the reverse chronological flow of the comments. I have seen websites who have an option to view it (1) chronological, (2) reverse chronological and (3) by thread.

    Could we have that? Honestly, half the fun is scrolling through the comments. I feel like I loose some of the argumentative flow the way the comments are ordered now.

    • Nate Dollars says:

      anthony, you are not alone.

      i really hate the way it’s set up. it just doesn’t make sense to me to have comments flowing *up* chronologically (especially when the replies to those comments are still flowing *down*).

      if other people like it, that’s cool, i guess. i just would love for ives to make it an option to view comments oldest-to-newest, the way god intended it.

      • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

        The comments section needs a revamp in general. This newest to oldest thing is terrible and moderation needs a lot of work.

    • Josh D says:

      Disqus is the obvious fix. It includes a voting system so the best comments are top and it’s easier to keep track of people who reply to you.

      A blog’s best asset is its community. As much as I enjoy the articles on here, most of the information is found on other sites. What I come back for is to hear what others say and to have good debates with everyone. Debating is tough on this site due to the issues already raised.

      • Nate Dollars says:

        i know people like disqus, but i selfishly hope they don’t get it, because my govt-issued work pc only runs an old-@ss browser that doesn’t support it.

        and probably 90% of my time on this site is while i’m at work.

    • bryan says:

      i hate it. i find it extremely annoying to have to scroll up to read comments in the right order. SBI, please revert back. i wonder how long before SBI decides to say you need to sign in with FB, Gmail, etc. if you want to comment. would certainly solve a lot of these problems…

      that software is very popular. could be expensive though.

  31. DJ says:

    $1.5 million? HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

    Besler’s sitting on just under $200k (not counting retention fund shenanigans). Good God. Vermes and Heineman must be absolute geniuses. I mean… even if Besler and Omar both made $1.5m, Besler is still pretty clearly the best American CB playing today.

    Sporting KC hopefully has a little more to sweeten things for Besler (unless they’ve already done it off the books with retention fund/whatever).

    • Nick in LA says:

      Besler is not even the best CB on his own team. Besler has been getting saved by Omar in every USMNT game they’ve played in together. They are a good combo because Besler is more aggressive and willing to dive into tackles whereas Omar is there to clean up the resulting mess.

      Also, you better believe Besler is going to either get that money or leave when his contract comes around.

      • Dudeinho says:

        I find it interesting that Beasler and Omar were both targets for Club America. Omar could of easily made the same amount of money down south and not counted as an international. not Sure if Beasler would of gotten the same but surely he would of made more than his current contract.

        Would of been interesting to have seen them both play for a team that calls themselves Club America

      • FSegaud says:

        So Galaxy is forcing SKC to step up to the table if they want to keep their talent. Nice by-product of the Omar signing.

  32. Adam M. says:

    Here is how to read this deal: Omar guarantees consistent playing time prior to the World Cup and doesn’t have to trade better money elsewhere for the risk of not playing in the lead up. Both he and LA bet that Omar will be worth more on the transfer market in the second year of his three year deal than he is now. LA gets to hold on to its best defender (relative comparisons regardless) at a modest cost for a DP, it being apparent that LA was unwilling or unable to sign a higher profile DP this window. LA figures that Donovan is probably not coming back, and will have both an open DP slot next year and the resources that a high-profile DP would require that it didn’t have to spend on Omar. Its really a win-win for everyone. The only downside is if you assume Omar would have succeeded if he went to some unknown and presumably better team/league. Thats a huge assumption. So bottom line is everyone should probably be happy about this for all sides.

  33. The Imperative Voice says:

    Let’s see:
    LA is down in 5th right now already implementing what is now a 2 offense 1 defense DP strategy. We’ll see if it works as well as 3 DP attackers like they’ve had for the past 2 cup seasons.

    Some are questioning OG’s value, I was going to be interested how he’d fare abroad but for LAG’s purposes he’ll suffice for the time being. MLS Cup MVP can probably hack MLS. US soccer, another story, mixed bag, gets beat like Cameron being aggressive and out of position.

    OG did get a one day stint abroad before. This wasn’t going to be his first European chance. But recalling what happened last time, it might be wise to stay put, consolidate his gains, and get the club and country trains chugging along. Last time his ambitions plus Tim Chandler scuttled his US hopes for a year.

    Last thought, MLS should not be telling some teams but not others they can sign a defensive DP. That starts wandering over into whether the current approach to allocations, or having the right to sign 3 DPs but not necessarily the wherewithal, etc etc, are disguised LA favoritism. I understand MLS as contracting party keeping an eye on who’s brought in but they need to be sure for fairness of competition purposes that teams are given equal opportunity to sign.

  34. Sean says:

    I have a feeling that this deal is going to make it harder for MLS to continue to keep their salary structure. There less reason to justify it by signing Omar to a DP contract. It was easier to justify it when the signing were coming from the foreign transfer market and MLS had to “compete” or when it was used for a talent like Donovan who was both the best US player ever and an attendance draw and marketing draw.

    You can bet the players union is going to strike next time without some major changes.

    The benefit of the DP rule, and I’ll say this a lot, is that you could bring in a player who played in the best leagues in the world and/or was from places in the world whose soccer culture, IQ, vision, understanding is far more evolved and aged than the US and MLS. Those DP signings brought this wisdom into our league and the league grew because of it. That was the value that justified the disparity of pay. Now, you don’t really have it.

    • broadsthooligan says:

      There is an inherent value in keeping young American players in MLS their entire career though. If the DP rule allows us to keep Zusi, Besler, Gonzalez, etc. in the league for twice as long as they would have stayed otherwise, that does a lot of good for the growth of an American soccer culture along with MLS and the USMNT. I know it’s not Donovan or Beckham level stars, but it’s still better to have Omar here than elsewhere from the leagues point of view.

  35. beachbum says:

    Great for MLS, great for my Galaxy

  36. J.A.B. says:

    Ja!! I mean Yes!!!!

  37. bryan says:

    this is just one of those moves everyone is going to debate and everyone will be able to make a valid argument. obviously, if Omar doesn’t progress, then LA end up realizing it was a bad decision. however, if he does progress (WCQs, MLS, WC14, etc.) and Euro teams want him, LA/MLS will get a nice transfer offer for him. generally, Euro teams just wait until MLS players are no longer under contract. so i like forcing their hand.

    of course, the issue with that is they may never play their hand…

    • AlexH says:

      If OG maintains his club form then the LAG will have gotten their money’s worth because OG has proven himself to be the indispensable player for the team. This is a can’t lose proposition for them. If he gets a big money transfer that is just an added plus. I also think that OG can help sell tickets and does “move the needle” as evidenced by the fact that they have already made his bobble-head.

      • bryan says:

        right, i agree. i’m saying it would only be a bad deal if he did drop off in form (not likely). from an LA stand point, it’s fantastic business.

  38. biff says:

    I try to be open-minded and after reading the comments below I can agree that, yes, there is a chance that Omar will still make the move to Europe. That said, I think it makes more sense to do it sooner rather than later. At the same time, signing the DP contract has financially secured his future.

    I am still skeptical that Omar’s contract will have a trickle down effect on the MLS grunts now earning peanuts. I mean so what if a couple of guys earning 40k per annum will get a massive 25% raise to 50K. Yeah, great for them.

    I do think there are going to be a lot of MLS players who now are earning less than the head janitor or the head grounds-keeper or even the boss’s PA who are going to be very unhappy with Omar’s big payday and are going to start grumbling for a bigger piece of the MLS pie and why waste money on over-the-hill old f@rt euro stars who are no longer wanted in Europe. I think it would make more sense to use that DP money to increase wages across the board. Does anyone really believe that people buy tickets anymore to see Thierry Henry? I don’t. I think that biz model is ancient history and should be dropped.

    • slowleftarm says:

      I agree the salary for average MLS players need to be raised (the salaries of League One players are higher, and MLS attendance dwarfs League One). However, I think you’re underestimating the appeal of “high end” players. Houston has sold out its game with Seattle, which I’m sure has plenty to do with Clint’s return, and I’m sure that’ll continue with Seattle’s away games for a while. And I think some people do buy tickets to see guys like Henry. What we can be sure of is that no one is buying a ticket specifically to see any of the guys making $40k/$50k.

    • whoop-whoop says:

      I wrote the same in another post right after the initial announcement that was cooking in moderation all day yesterday. Initially, I was disappointed, but thought about it and the big picture and came to the conclusion that Omar really had no other viable/rational choice at this point. All conditions considered, I think this is a the best route for him/ his career and his team. Why? Timing, his injury, the WC and the Galaxies dependence on him in the line-up. Essentially, I think his ACL injury which put the kabosh on his loan in Germany kind of made a European move much more difficult, and the fact that LA has found no viable replacement sealed the deal on this.

      No quality Euro club was going to pick him up last year coming off a serious ACL injury, and that would have been the wrong time to go anyway. No way LA was going to let him go this summer as it would pretty much sink them this season. So… that leaves this winter. With WC soon following and the low odds of him making that jump directly into a regular starting position mid-season make that a very tenuous move. All this considered, he is much better off grabbing the money, getting his regular time in the LA line-up, showing well in Brazil and making a move next summer where he will likely have more choices and a preseason to acclimate to a new team. Honestly, this seems by far the most sensible route. Now of course, it’s up to him to work hard and play well enough for it all to pan out.

  39. Good Jeremy says:

    I’m not sure if his play will ever compare to Rafa Marquez or Lothar Matthaus before him, but it’s cute that we think an American defender is worth DP money.

  40. LateNite504FC says:

    This is about the league maturing. LA Galaxy know that bringing in big names will not mean much if the team does not do well. Say what you will about his game, but the past few years have shown that Gonzo makes a big difference on the field in MLS. Sports team should be allocating resources to players that help them win. That is a sign of a mature, competitive league. That LA could and would agree to pay him what he could make in Mexico is another good sign.

    Even more, bringing in another high priced striker would keep some of LA’s promising homegrown talent on the bench. Zardis may never be any better than an adequate MLS striker, but no one will ever know if all he does is ride the bench. Another sign of the league maturing.

  41. dsgntd_polyr says:

    LAG you did it wrong! Didn’t you learn anything from Seattle? They have 4 over age DPs.

    Don’t pay Gonzo $1.5/year. Instead front-load his contract, then take away his DP status after you pay him $4.4M between now and July 2014. Then pay him the league minimum on non-DP contract. You free up cap space AND a DP slot. Hell, do this for Donovan and Keane and you get 3/4 new DPs every year! Hash-tag Super Club!

    Ok, seriously here’s what I’d do:

    1. $3m cap, but let unused money roll over as Allocation money.
    2. League minimum adjusted by local market cost of living.
    3. 2 DPs. DPs are 100% cap exempt.
    4. Every team not in SEA gets $9m in allocation money.
    4a. You pay your own transfers and 100% of DP salaries.
    5. The Exemption: take the percentage of senior MNT matches a player has played for US/CAN, or any top 75 team, over the 24 months prior to signing a non-DP contract, and exempt that percentage of a player’s salary from the cap.
    6. US/CAN players on contracts they signed prior to age 20 are 100% cap exempt.
    7. No drafts, but keep Allocation Order, and apply to every player that’s played in any of the following competitions in the 24 months prior to signing with MLS (applies only to non-DPs): WC/WCQ, Confed Cup, Continental Championship, Olympics, U20 WC, U17 WC, U21 UEFA Cup, U20 Copa America, UEFA Champion’s League Group Stage, Europa League Group Stage, Libertadores Group Stage, Knock-out Stage of other Champion’s Leagues.

    • dsgntd_plyr says:

      More:

      1. Scratch the 2 DPs. There should be 3 “Global” DPs, and 1 “Domestic” DP.
      2. Every team that doesn’t spend the most on DPs gets to add the difference between their DP budget and the biggest DP spender to their Allocation money.
      3. All DP slots are trade-able.
      4. Max of 6 players who are not US/CAN MNT eligible in game day 18. No limit on how many you sign.

  42. Michael F. SBI Mafia Original says:

    No one will ever see this comment as I’m so late here but this is an absolutely great deal for everyone for all the reason listed. Plus, after the WC, when Europe comes calling, he’s get to move abroad and the LAG will get all of their money back and then some. Brilliant actually.