It's Official: Gomez to Rapids for DP Spot

The long-awaited trade sending Christian Gomez from D.C. United to the Colorado Rapids has been finalized, with the former MLS MVP introduced by club officials earlier today. He reportedly signed a two-year deal, with an option for a third, worth about $400,000 per season, which will keep him just under the league maximum for a non-DP player. In exchange, D.C. will receive Colorado's first-round pick in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft and "future considerations" from the club.
Steven Goff is reporting that those "future considerations" may include Colorado's Designated Player slot for the next two years.

Gomez sounded an optimistic tone during Friday's press conference, promising to lift the team above what was a disappointing 2007 season.

"I feel like I can make a difference here and take it to another level," said Gomez through an interpreter. "I welcome a new period for the Colorado Rapids, where we're going to reach new heights and levels."

Head coach Fernando Clavijo couldn't be more pleased with the signing, perhaps hoping that Gomez will lead the team into contention and get Clavijo off of the hot-seat.

"Having a player of this caliber coming to the lineup is going to make us all better," said Clavijo. "He's going to be able to link with everybody else that we have up front. He's going to be able to find the back of the net. He's going to help us win games, and that's exactly what he's here for. He's a proven commodity in our league and we're really excited to have him."

The addition of Gomez should provide a badly-needed shot in the arm to the Rapids, with an offense that struggled mightily last season. Colorado found the back of the net just 29 times in 30 games last season, ahead of only the woeful Toronto FC offense (25).

"This is a great place with a beautiful stadium where I've come to play before," Gomez said. "You'll see me running, fighting for the ball until the very last minute. I'm going to leave it all on the field. I'm a dedicated soccer player. We have great players, we have a great base to build on this year. We're going to fight until the very end."

Team captain Pablo Mastroeni, rumored to be on his way out of Colorado this off-season, also expressed excitement over the signing.

"I think it's phenomenal," he said of the addition of Gomez. "It shows the commitment of the club to get results, to get a guy of his caliber that's proven himself year after year."

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