MLS 2012: 10 Superstars Who Could Become Designated Players

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MLS 2012: 10 Superstars Who Could Become Designated Players
Toby Canham/Getty Images

Despite continuing growth, soccer-specific stadiums and a fantastic MLS Cup final last weekend, Major League Soccer still faces some significant questions.

For one, how did the MLS Cup final, chock full of superstars in Landon Donovan, David Beckham and Robbie Keane get beat in the ratings by a rerun of the Chelsea-Liverpool game?

Another question is how will MLS keep the quality of play, already in question by many soccer fans, from dropping as it continues to expand?

And perhaps most importantly, how will a post-Beckham era MLS raise its profile while losing its most famous player?

The quickest, and easiest, answer is to bring in more superstars under the league’s designated player rule. But DP’s can be a double-edged sword especially if the high profile players a team brings in lack the quality they once had or become destructive to team chemistry. Both of these issues have recently been faced by the New York Red Bulls.

The trick, of course, is to bring in players who still have the quality to bring a team to another level without becoming disruptive to the framework a team has already built. And finally, to enhance attendance and interest, the player must have some level of name recognition. Here are 10 Superstars who fit the bill.

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