MLS DPs: A roundup of the league's elite players
Is your head spinning with all the Designated Player action that's come to the fore this week? The league added three more DPs to club rosters over the past few days, and more could soon follow. Need a recap of who's in and who's out? MLSsoccer.com has got you covered. Check out our handy summary of the current slate of DPs in MLS.
Juan Pablo Angel (New York Red Bulls)
In his fourth MLS season, Ángel has become one of the most prolific goal-scorers in the league. This season, Ángel has started all 15 games for the Red Bulls, notching nine goals and two assists. The Colombian currently holds the club's record of regular-season scoring with 54 goals. He was a 2007 MLS Most Valuable Player finalist and was named team MVP in each of his previous three seasons.
David Beckham (LA Galaxy)
One of the most popular athletes in the world, Beckham has certainly made an impact since joining the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2007. In 2009, Beckham helped lead the Galaxy to the MLS Cup final, converting his penalty kick in the ensuing shootout. Beckham was captain of the English National Team from 2000 through 2006, and he holds the record for most appearances by field player.
Branko Boskovic (D.C. United)
Boskovic joins D.C. United from some of the most successful teams in Europe. The Montenegrin international made 104 appearances from 2007-10 for Austrian side Rapid Vienna. His career includes stops at Serbia's Red Star Belgrade and French side Paris Saint-Germain. Boskovic made his international debut for Yugoslavia, appearing a total of 12 times and scoring once. With the formation of Montenegro, Boskovic has joined the national side and currently serves as captain.
Julian de Guzman (Toronto FC)
Canadian international de Guzman is in his first full season for his hometown club. He hasn’t scored, but his presence in the TFC midfield has turned the Reds into one of the league’s top defensive sides this year. Prior to joining MLS, de Guzman spent time in France, Germany and Spain.
Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy)
This season, Donovan has tallied 10 assists to help the Galaxy to a league-best record of 11-2-3, earning him a 10th straight All-Star nomination. He was named the Volkswagen MLS MVP in 2009 as he scored a team-best 12 goals and added six assists, helping the Galaxy reach the MLS Cup final. In 2008, Donovan’s 20 goals won him the Budweiser Golden Boot award. The all-time leader in goals for the US National Team, Donovan started every game of the 2002, 2006 and 2010 World Cups.
Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls)
MLS’ newest DP, Henry joins the Red Bulls after scoring 49 goals and winning the 2009 Champions League title with FC Barcelona. Prior to joining Barça, he starred at Arsenal, where he became the club's all-time leading scorer with a total of 226 goals. A 1998 World Cup champion, Henry represented France in four World Cups and is Les Bleus’ all-time highest scorer with 51 goals.
Freddie Ljungberg (Seattle Sounders FC)
Ljungberg made an immediate impact on the Sounders upon his arrival in 2009. In his first season, he was named to the MLS Best XI. A member of Arsenal FC for nine years, during which he won two EPL and three FA Cup titles, he was a longtime member of the Swedish National Team. Ljungberg was twice named Sweden's Player of the Year in 2002 and 2006.
Mista (Toronto FC)
Mista joins Toronto after spending his entire professional career in Spain. Most recently with Deportivo La Coruña, Mista was a member of Valencia’s heyday from 2001-06, when he made 142 appearances, scored 40 goals, won two Liga titles and lifted the 2004 UEFA Cup. He scored the second goal in a 2-0 victory in the final. Mista has two caps for the Spanish National Team.
Blaise Nkufo (Seattle Sounders FC)
The Swiss international joins the Sounders from FC Twente in the Netherlands, where he spent six years as their leading scorer. In 260 appearances, Nkufo scored 129 goals and was recently honored with a life-sized statue in front of De Grolsch Veste stadium. Nkufo made his international debut in 2002 and most recently represented Switzerland in the 2010 World Cup.