A week and a half ago Robb Heineman did another one of his Q&A sessions as he flew down to Tucson for part of Sporting KC's preseason. While Heineman was candid, answering many questions that fans had. Looking back on it in the time since though it seems like some of the answers have been combined into something that I don't think is actually happen. Specifically regarding Kansas City going after a young DP.
MLS actually has three designated player levels, each with a different cap hit. Designated players over the age of 23 have a cap hit of $436,250, ones between the ages of 21 and 23 cost $200,000 against the cap while those 20 or younger cost only $150,000.
During the Q&A, Heineman was asked if the team was "looking for international talent, unclaimed talent, or another homegrown for the roster?" Heineman responded that he "would like a young foreign DP."
Earlier Heineman had said that the team was looking for another #9 to back up Dom Dwyer and that the club was negotiating a contract at the time. Late in the Q&A he said that the team was in talks with several DPs and that they were looking to use that DP slot on a forward.
All of that combined to lead some fans to believe that Kansas City was on the verge of a young foreign DP joining Kansas City. And this has led to more questions from fans over the past week and a half what was going on with the young DP. Asking what the hold up is, if the player was still coming, and comments that his silence speaks volumes.
While you could connect some dots to see where they could be coming from, based on my experience in the past with Heineman's Q&As I'm just not buying that the player that the team was negotiating the contract with as a #9 to back up Dwyer and the young, foreign DP are the same player. Heineman's response to what type of talent the team was looking for comes off more as wishful thinking that they can get a young, foreign DP, not that they were on the verge of signing one. While I'm certain that at least a few of the "several" DPs that KC is currently talking to would be classified as young DPs, that doesn't mean any are close to being done.
In MLS today if you're not actively looking at multiple designated players as potential targets then you are not a competent front office. With three designated player spots for each team and Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) available to help pay down other players that would be DPs, you better be looking to exploit those mechanisms or you're leaving funds on the table that could help your team compete. So while I don't doubt that Heineman and KC are talking with potential designated players, those talks could be at any stage of negotiations right now, it doesn't mean that one is close to happening at all.
So while it may be exciting to get your hopes up about a potential "young, foreign DP" joining Kansas City in the near future, I would probably ease back on that excitement or else you're likely to be disappointed when the "young, foreign DP" turns out to not be young, or foreign, or possibly even a DP. The way the whole Q&A went with Heineman I just didn't connect the "young, foreign DP to the contract negotiations currently on going. That said, if it does happen, I'll certainly be excited.
And through it all you also need to remember my one rule with Heineman Q&As, take it all with a grain of salt.