Will D.C. United be the next team to receive a "league designated player"?

Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

After the news dropped a few weeks ago that Maximiliano Urruti was a "league designated player," will D.C. United be next in line to receive one?

The story of Maximiliano Urruti's trade to the Portland Timbers was mostly straightforward: a player brought in by one leader, Kevin Payne, was not valued in the same way by the next leader, Tim Leiweicke. His trade for Bright Dike could have been the end of the situation, outside of Portland and Toronto. However, new Toronto FC general manager Tim Bezbatchenko has shed more light on the subject and has suggested that D.C. United could be the next subject of the league's largesse.

While Ryan Nelsen continues to refer to the situation as a "league designated player," Bezbatchenko (a former MLS staffer) says that the league has various funds "that help teams with resources to acquire players, including DPs." Rather than MLS identifying, signing, and then assigning a player to a team, Bezbatchenko seems to be saying that the league helped TFC acquire the player and gave additional subsidies to help smooth over the deal. Put another way, "the fund helps select MLS clubs get their man, with the league throwing its weight behind the hunt." One of its purposes is to help improve the success rate of designated players, which is mixed at best.

What does this have to do with D.C. United? Bezbatchenko, who used to work at the Major League Soccer headquarters, said that D.C. United is likely the next in line to receive help from the headquarters and this fund in identifying and signing a designated player. United's track record with identifying and signing designated players has been admittedly poor, so any help they can get in this area would be a boon to the team. And, for once, it would be nice to have the league's secret rules work in D.C. United's favor.

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