It's somewhat ironic, or at least coincidental, that on the same day that we raise the question of how D.C. United would have fared this season without Branko Boskovic, another MLS team is in the process of signing a player who may have been on United's short list to replace him early in the year. Reports have surfaced out of Honduras that midfielder Arnold Peralta will be joining Toronto FC this week.
If Peralta's name sounds familiar to you, it may be because Peralta was linked to United back in April. For whatever reason, the team didn't wind up signing him. Maybe it was because his current club CD Vida wanted too high of a transfer fee, or that United only wanted Peralta on a loan and Vida was looking for better offers. Maybe D.C. was too close to the salary cap to add another international player. Or maybe United just didn't really want him that badly. Maybe Ben Olsen decided in the end that Peralta wasn't going to be a good fit for the team's system.
The reason that United didn't acquire Peralta doesn't really matter though. What matters here is the newly formed connection between the two clubs - United and TFC. Would this signing have happened without Kevin Payne's involvement? Probably not.
Peralta's signing is an indication that Payne brought his international connections with him to Toronto. All the scouting reports, all the knowledge, all the work that took place inside RFK Stadium is now being shared with another Eastern Conference foe. It's concerning that this may place United at just the slightest disadvantage.
On the other hand though, Payne's recent record of international signings with United wasn't really spectacular. Our last excellent foreign signing happened in 2009 with Dejan Jakovic, a Canadian nonetheless. If Peralta is more Gonzalo than Dejan, then perhaps we don't have much to worry about after all.