Tuesday, January 29, 2008

DC United gets their own Beckham

He's a great reader of the game, smart with his passes and can kill you on dead balls and he's now part of DC United. Marcelo Gallardo has joined the club as the league's newest Designated Player.

He might not have the hair, fashion or following of Beckham, but Gallardo will be called upon to perform the same basic role of central playmaker. The question now is does he have it in him?

During his recent time with Paris-based club Paris-Saint Germain, he saw limited playing time, but his earlier stint with River Plate (2003-06) showed him to still be a force. Overall, Gallardo should be able to bring some solid technical skills to the team and match up well with Jaime Moreno and Franco Niell.

DC signed Gallardo to a two-year deal for an undisclosed sum (probably around $1.5m a season). This move strongly suggests that Christian Gomez is soon to be playing elsewhere (Gallardo will wear Gomez's old #10), which will surely upset some fans and increase the pressure on Gallardo to perform quickly.

On a different subject all together, is DC looking to be the shortest team in the league. First they go with 5'4" Niell, now they sign 5'6" Gallardo. Must make 6'2" Marc Burch and Zach Wells feel like giants. Also, if this turns out to be a good thing, DC will need to thank none other then the New York Red Bull's Juan Pablo Angel as he encouraged Gallardo to come to MLS. Then again, if it all goes wrong, it is yet another reason to hate the Bulls of New York.

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