Why I fear the Allsopp signing won’t go well

So, DC United has gone out and signed MLS’ first ever Australian, forward Danny Allsopp from Qatar’s Al-Rayyan club.

Earlier, I tweeted that I hated the move. Maybe that was a bit harsh. Let me restate it this way instead. I am hugely worried about this move. Here’s why.

First off, I don’t know what his salary is yet, so this is just speculation on my part. That said, I suspect he’s going to be overpaid. Why? Because that’s why a player goes to Qatar and the other Gulf states – to be overpaid. I suspect DC has either matched his Qatari salary or given him a small raise which means he is probably greatly overvalued. We’ll see just how overvalued he is.

Secondly, he hasn’t played in a league equal to or better than MLS-quality since his time at Hull City in England’s third tier back in 2005. That worries me. Since then, he’s played in Asia where, as any occasional viewer of Football Asia can tell you, talented defenders and goalkeepers are practically nonexistant. I think the caliber of defenders and goalkeepers in MLS might surprise him.

Thirdly, I think the A-League might be worse than people who see its flashy FSC highlights show might realize. Let’s take a look at its Golden Boot winners since 2006, when Allsopp won it in Melbourne.

In 07, Newcastle’s Joel Griffiths won the honor. Before returning home to Australia, he failed at Neuchatel in Switzerland (4g, 72 app) and at Leeds United (only 2 app). Now he plies his trade at Beijing Guoan. That’s the same Beijing Guoan that last year failed to get out of the Asian Champions League group phase and lost to the might of Thailand’s Krung Thai Bank club.

In 2008, Kiwi international Shane Smeltz led the A-League. He arrived at the A-League after stints at English third tier club Mansfield Town, non-league AFC Wimbledon, and non-league club Halifax Town, which ceased to exist one season after Smeltz departed.

Does that kind of company lead you believe that his goals in the A-League will lead to goals in MLS? Nope, it does exactly the opposite.

Finally, there’s the ambition question. Could we be looking at a smaller-scale Mattheus situation here? Sure, he’s only in his early 30’s, but that move to Qatar troubles me. No one with ambition goes to Qatar. Look at the Qatari league’s alumni. Not a lot foreign guys went on to anything other than TV careers after their vacations, I mean time in Qatar.

Of course, I hope, as a DC fan, that he does well. It’s just that this signing raised a lot of warning flags.


13 thoughts on “Why I fear the Allsopp signing won’t go well

  1. D.C. has brought in a couple of players and cut a couple of players yet the head coach has seen no practices and has had no hand in the new signings. it’s clear there is no room for the coach’s opinions regarding personnel.

    they keep renovating the squad. why is the D.C. brass so afraid of the rebuilding phase when they need a new core?

    trying to win now with players in, players out on a yearly basis is no way to foster long term success.

  2. That’s always hard for me to judge. England’s third tier is certainly closer to MLS’ higher caliber than the A-League or Qatari League is. Maybe I stated that unclearly.

  3. The second I heard about the signing, I said to myself “That guy’s gonna flop”.

    You don’t go to Qatar to buy overpriced talent, not unless you want another Denilson on your hands.

    Now on the cheap, maybe that’s different. Maicon Santos to Chivas USA on loan was a good little piece of business.

  4. DC was (and is) in desperate need of forwards. To get one that has a good strike rate and supposedly works hard was important, regardless of where he played recently. He may not work out, but assuming he has legs he can’t possibly move any less or be any slower than Jaime and Emilio last season.

  5. he was arguably a better player than fred in the australian league, so maybe he can do okay along pontius…..i was hoping for somebody else aswell, but they could have done much worse, lets be honest….
    Castillo,Perkins, and Ngalula will prove to be good ones so far

    people will be surprised by Ngalula’s talent

  6. All depends on what he’s being paid, yes, because it looks like to me what you’re getting here is a guy who will almost certainly won’t completely crash and burn (from all I’ve heard you can count on him for at least 90 minutes of good effort), but almost certainly won’t be making the league’s best 11.

    He actually was quite prolific in Australia–remember when looking at his goals totals there, their season is only 21 games. He could score at effectively only a little over half the rate here and still be getting up around double digits. And he’s been a decent goalscorer everywhere he’s been for the last 10 years.

    That, and 31 is not all that old if you’re body isn’t that worn down (and the Australian schedule could be a help in that regard).

  7. He’s not the first Aussie, Colorado had that keeper who was an Aussie that ended up in the MLS Pool. His name was Chris Sharpe as I recall.

    I’ve seen plenty of Allsop, he’s not a great player, but at the right price ($175k or lower) he would be a decent option to vie for a starting spot in MLS. He’s fairly powerful, and should match up well physically. His technique is average, but so is much in MLS.

    In terms of Qatar – perhaps he wanted one little pay day before his time passed, MLS wont be that pay day, so now cash-in-hand, he comes to play the game he loves in a better league. That’s the optimistic side of me talking.

    I think if he plays fairly regularly this season he should be good for about 8-11 goals. If he can get service, more like 13. It’s a transitional period for DC, so that could aversely affect him, but he’s probably got 2 decent seasons in him. Hopefully he’s cheap enough that DC can continue to build around him and above him.

  8. try not to worry too much. Danny Alsopp is OK, in the MLS he can chip in now and then. Start him twenty five times over the course of a year and he would score between five and ten goals.

  9. Danny is only UK League 2 quality now as he has lost pace and reflexes over recent years. I am from Hull originally and have followed Hull City since I was 8 years old in 1946.
    I migrated to Australia in 1967 where I reside to this day and continue to follow Hull City as well as Melbourne Victory.
    Danny played for Hull and made an impact in the lower leagues where he scored 26 goals in one season I believe. However, he realized his limitations and returned home to Melbourne where he became a ‘big fish in a small pool’ by signing for The Victory. He won the ‘Golden Boot’ scoring 11 goals from 21 starts I believe. He did manage two or three games for the Australian National Side (The Socceroo’s) but the current coach, Pim Verbeek, described Danny’s performance as “Absolutely Hopeless”!!
    Danny has a wife and family and the financial lure from Qatar was sufficient to seal a great deal of his and their future so, like any one of us, he took the opportunity. One doesn’t look a gift horse in the mouth so to speak. However, different conditions and different type of football, Danny found that there was nobody to play off or play to like his cohort at Melbourne, the talented Archie Thompson – now THERE’S a player you should be looking at!
    Danny won’t let you down through effort but he’ll need a partner up front to be successful for you. He is also a very very nice bloke and will get on well with everyone.
    Just as a footnote: We have at Hull City a much revered (but a little overrated imo) American player in one Jozy Altidore. Jozy had a blinder for Hull against the much vaunted Manchester City a couple of games ago where he managed to score his first goal in 19 attempts. Turning 20 late last year, Jozy has yet to reach full potential and has found it hard in the English Premier League but is nevertheless winning a few hearts amongst our fans. We have an option to buy the lad for some 6.5 million pounds (much too much) but I doubt our cash-strapped club could pay that at the end of this season. He has stated that he would like to stay in the EPL but we could well be relegated so his future is up in the air at the moment.
    Good luck to you DC fans next season and I hope Danny gets a few for you.

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