Quakes Get a Brazilian

Tuesday, August 17, 2010 | View Comments
Football - Hull City v Liverpool Barclays Premier League - The Kingston Communications Stadium - 25/4/09..Hull's Geovanni Photo via Newscom

The San Jose Earthquakes are taking a bit of a gamble with 30-year old Geovanni, late of Hull City; talented but coming off of a rough season, the Brazilian could be a massive creative presence. Or he could land in California, treat the whole experience as a vacation, and find himself going the route of Denilson.

Not that I want to rain on the San Jose parade, I just feel the need to mention the possibility.

And I'll admit that I'm mildly uncomfortable with the idea of Geovanni as a DP; I'm sure his wage demands dictate he must be one, but that doesn't mean I'm sold he's worth it. The Quakes need for a playmaker is pressing, and Geovanni brings the skill set to get the job done.

Geovanni, despite the cool name, isn't a player that is going to drive ticket and jersey sales all by himself. He's a guy brought in to help the Quakes get to the playoffs, pure and simple. In addition to Boskovic in DC (though it's more likely fans will have heard of Geovanni than Boskovic before their respective arrivals), the Brazilian is a pragmatic choice on the low end of the DP scale. The range of players filling these spots across the league, from 30+ stars with marquee names down to younger less-known players like Fernandez in Seattle with Geovanni smack in the middle, is interesting. In each case, the nature of the DP says something about the character of the club, their aspirations, and whether they view the DP rule as an opportunity to market the team or just as a way to make themselves better on the field.

Frankly, if San Jose can't keep their tiny venue filled on a regular basis, they have more problems than a name DP can fix anyway. Lower cost, even with the risk of a disinterested Geovanni, is certainly the way to go for the Quakes.

With the Quakes becoming members of the DP club, eight clubs now have at least one (though Omar Bravo won't arrive in Kansas City until next season). FC Dallas and Houston are making noise about signing a DP for next season, so it may be awhile before the next one joins the league. The new rules haven't drastically increased the number of teams with DPs, but it has enticed a few teams to sign more than one.

Here's a truly important question...does Geovanni immediately become the best one-name player in the league?

Back with more shortly.

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