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What the new DP rule means

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By now you are probably familiar with the gist of the new DP rule, in particular you've started dreaming of a Juninho, or a Deco, maybe an Henry. All of the speculation will be about players that are "one namers." Much of this focus will be misplaced, as it operates under the old paradigm when a team only got one bullet and so the shot a team
took had to be perfect.

This mis-analysis isn't limited to fans, but even owners are still looking for perfect rather than looking to just plain improve the team.

"We would love to find a designated player to bring in that fits our criteria, but it’s going to have to be someone who is or has been a world-class player and who also can move the needle in other ways for the league," Kraft said.

This level of caution in American soccer is to be expected, but wrong.

Imagine Olympic events like Half Pipe, or Diving. If contestants were only allowed a single performance on which they were judged would they take the risks and push the envelope, or are they now pushing those limits because they have more than one chance.

Major League Soccer has the opportunity to take the risks. With the ability to sign more than one DP MLS can take some risks. DPs don't need to be the next Beckham, but instead can be solid, good players who contribute on the pitch.

With 3 DPs, a Generation Addidas player and a few solid players within the standard salary structure a passing game can develop and succeed. The beautiful game in America can be beautiful, it can be a mid-major, rather than minor league.

So as Andrew Winner writes for MLSsoccer.com looking at icons

Seattle: Alessandro Nesta. The Milan icon’s experience and guile alongside Jhon Kennedy Hurtado would likely create the best defensive partnership in MLS history. How about Arjen Robben? A do-everything midfielder like the flying Dutchman on the right side would leave acres of space for Steve Zakuani on the left. Maybe bring Michael Bradley back to MLS. A two-way midfielder would free Freddie Ljungberg and Fredy Montero from their defensive duties. -- Andrew Winner

It may be better to just look at good players who fit a team's needs. In the old era there were only 16 DPs possible in 2010, now there are up to 48. That math should change the type of DP, not just the number. It shouldn't matter if they are a 2M$ player, or just a 750k$. If they make the team better, that is key. Let the General Managers, and Sporting Directors, pick players based on skill. Let the marketers than market the talent.

Just one last reminder, though no MLS team with a DP has won the MLS Cup, let's remember that a team with a DP was more likely to make the Playoffs than one without a DP.