Degrees of Greatness
Lest I become a complete cheerleader for all things Kasper and Payne, let me suggest that the idea of Gallardo becoming a Designated Player selection, as hinted in this morning's writings from the Goffather, strikes me as a bit troubling.
... it is uncertain whether Gallardo will participate right away or wait until camp moves to Bradenton, Fla., on Wednesday. It also is unclear whether United is acquiring him through MLS's year-old designated player rule, which allows clubs to sign high-profile players, such as David Beckham, outside normal salary guidelines.
That we would let Christian Gomez go because we didn't want to use our Designated Player slot on Gomez is understandable, but only if you have a decent list of impact choices that you would want to use that slot on. But to turn around and use that option on Gomez's replacement, well, that strikes me as a misstep (and one that I hope to see soon isn't being taken.) Let me put it this way - Let's stipulate for a moment that Gallardo will be a better playmaker than Gomez. But Gomez was, I think we can all agree, one of the better playmakers compared to the rest of MLS. So in essence we're banking that Gallardo will give us more improvement as a playmaker than we could reasonable expect to see then if we brought in a playmaker in any other position (say, a winger, or wingback, or center back). Even certain neutrals agree that right now our defense is a bit suspect (even if I disagree with said neutrals on the efficacy of signing Mr. Vanney to fill that hole.) And that's an argument I don't buy, not for a moment, even stipulating that Gallardo is all we want. Is this really worth giving Gallardo what we could have given Christian Gomez (who's about the same age, and we don't have any questions as to whether Christian would be disinterested on the pitch), and not ruffled all these feathers as a result? I doubt it.
So, right now, I'm willing to welcome Gallardo to DC, but a Designated Player acquisition would be a price too high.
UPDATE: I forgot the reason I titled this post what I did in the first place. Yes, to talk about the incremental differences between Gallardo and Gomez, but also to discuss my statement that "Gomez is not a legend" at United. I stand by that statement (for now, though my thinking can change.) He certainly was a great player while he was here, but a Legend to me is someone who fundamentally shapes the entire franchise and its history, and I'm not quite sure he's at the iconic level of an Etcheverry or Moreno. One Anonymous commenter makes a case for Pope, which is good, especially since he scored the single most important goal in defining United for a decade to come, so I can see that. Dave Lifton makes the case for Gomez here.
Oh, and there's a ton to talk about right now, isn't there?