CARSON, Calif. – On the day the summer transfer window opened, three new Designated Players made their entrance into Major League Soccer.
The Los Angeles Galaxy, however, were not involved with any of them.
On Thursday, the New York Red Bulls presented Thierry Henry in a press conference. Later in the day, Branko Boskovic made his debut for D.C. United while Seattle Sounders’ latest acquisition, Blaise Nkufo, watched the game — a 1-0 Sounders win — from the bench.
“It’s great,” Arena said of Henry joining MLS. “I hope he’s a good player in the league and he brings quality both on and off the field, and if he does that, he’s a fabulous signing.”
Though other clubs are grabbing the DP spotlight now, that does not mean the Galaxy are not pursuing a marquee player of their.
“It’s something we always discuss, obviously, " Arena said. "Right now we only have one [available] DP, and that’s Landon."
The club's other DP, David Beckham, is unavailable for selection after he ruptured his Achilles tendon in March. Though no date has been set, it's possible he'll return toward the end of the season.
"There’s always talk about adding another if it’s the right fit for our team if we can do it at the right time," Arena continued. "We’re constantly exploring those possibilities. It’s something that could happen this year or next year.”
The Galaxy have been linked to numerous potential DPs, most of them Europe-based World Cup and international stars. While Arena did not go into specifics, he said there would be little on-the-field risk involved by adding a high-profile player to the team in the middle of the season, despite the Galaxy’s cohesion.
“If it’s a high-profile or quality player, I don’t know why that would be a risk,” Arena said. “That’s the reason you bring in a player, because you believe he’s going to make you better.”
The Galaxy sit atop the league with an 11-2-3 record. Their 36 points are six more than the closest competitor in Real Salt Lake. If the Galaxy continue their play from the first half of the season, the club could break several MLS records, claim their second regular-season Western Conference title and make another run at MLS Cup.
If the Galaxy do take the plunge and use their available DP slot, Arena would expect immediate returns on the club’s investment.
“If we’re bringing in a player, it would be pretty foolish to bring in a player that’s high-salaried that can’t produce,” he said. “That doesn’t seem to make sense to me. He would have to be a player who can help your team. It may not happen in Game One but he would have to help your team in 2010 if you are going to bring him in mid-year, or else it makes no sense.”