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The insignificance of Designated Players

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DPs are special players, but the Loons have been smart in saving their slots

MLS: Minnesota United FC at Colorado Rapids Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

It's always been one of the first questions asked when checking out a MLS roster who are the DP's?

Well for the loons... none currently

This is to be looked upon as a sign that the club want to do the right thing. Building this side into what will one day win a championship!

Having brought over a couple of well-versed NASL players in Cristian Ramirez, Justin Davis and Kevin Venegas, Adrian Heath has assembled a core group of players that moving forward can provide a stable foundation to build upon, and so far there have been positives to take note from. One being the excellent point gained from the notoriously difficult road trip to the Colarado Rapids.

Looking into some of the transfer dealings already made, you can see some chess moving has already taken place. Kevin Molino could well have been assigned a Designated Player slots. However, the front office wisely lowered his contract using their TAM allocation. This enabled the club to have a "higher calibre" player but not assign him a valuable Designated Player slot.

There are many rumours to say it's the front offices way of being cheap as they are footing the bill for the new state of the art Allianz Field setting them back $150 million. So the argument of them being cheap surely won’t be considered given the tonne of money being ploughed into Minnesota United’s very own soccer specific stadium.

Maybe it's just the wise approach of the sit and wait strategy, find the right players for the club as opposed to a player finding a club who is willing to pay them big bucks. I’m sure loons fans would much rather pay someone a huge chunk of change to be “their guy” for the long term and add much needed quality.

Amos Magee, Club Director of Player Personnel, echoed these thoughts when talking to MLS Soccer. “I think we as a technical staff got together and said, ‘OK, do we go out and spend $2 million on a Designated Player, $3 million, when we may have in Danladi, or we may have in Miguel, or Christian or somebody else, we may have a player that can be very, very good in that role already,’” Magee said over the phone from the Loons’ camp in Casa Grande, Ariz. “And so you’ve then taken a relatively young player, a talented player, a player we believe in and sort of relegated them in that role behind a Designated Player, as opposed to saying let’s get a really good core – and TAM players are big piece of that – and then let’s see where the right Designated Player is now going to elevate our core.”

MLS: Minnesota United FC at Colorado Rapids
Abu Danladi fighting for the cause
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

For now getting those guys already on the roster clicking and making sure when the right players are found they come in and can excel to their high standards (as a DP Player) opposed to someone having to dig deep and fight week in week out and cover every blade of grass on the Field for their team, luxury players aren't known to want to do that.

When the time is right, sure enough the red carpet will be rolled out for someone; maybe a John Terry or maybe even Pepe the Portuguese no nonsense centre back who is coming to the end of his contract and may fancy a tough challenge of dragging the loons kicking and screaming to a title.

Who knows?

We can all dream of a big name coming to the Twin Cities and becoming our very own David Villa or maybe even a Diego Valeri type DP.

However, the route the fellow expansion side Atlanta United took of obtaining young, hungry DP's would be served well. (Not only for the Loons, but league wide as a blue print for success.) One that many will agree is the best use for designated players. There tough to keep hold of in the long run but even tougher to find.

The best chance of that can be found in the South American leagues where young hungry players are willing to make the trip north and battle it out in the MLS to show what their worth and then maybe head to Europe. It’s never a good thing to be a stepping stone as a club but for right now it will do to make sure not only the Loons but the league as a whole keeps getting the healthy stream of talent coming through that will raise the profile of the clubs and thus attracting bigger talent’s in the future.

What can be said for certain the roster as it stands now, we all know want what’s best for our club and certainly will give 100% until the time comes extra ingredients’ are added. This club will surely be elevated to the top echelons of this league everything is already being set in motion for this to happen, just patience being key here to not play your cards to early but plot the best course for the club in the long run.

Let’s get into week 4 and make the 3 points a priority for now.

Be sure to comment your thoughts down below. Maybe you know who will be best suited as a DP?