Should MLS take a chance on Ronaldo?


From the earliest days of Major League Soccer there have been plenty of names of superstar players who were believed to be possibilities to join MLS one day. Roberto Baggio, George Weah and none other than Ronaldo.

MLS never did get a chance to sign Baggio or Weah, but the possibility seems very strong that an MLS team could sign Ronaldo if it wanted to. Ronaldo is currently in Brazil, out of contract and working his way back from a horrific knee injury suffered last spring. His future is unclear as more and more teams in Europe seas Ronaldo as a risk rather than a valuable commodity.

The question for MLS is this. Is Ronaldo worth signing?

With the Designated Player rule making it possible for teams to pay someone of Ronaldo’s stature the type of salary he might receive in Europe, the option will be there in 2009. Now the question is whether someone should take a chance on the oft-injured striker.

The New York Red Bulls were strongly linked to Ronaldo two years ago, but nothing materialized. Might the Red Bulls still be interested in a player who could help sell out Red Bull Park and stir up considerable interest from the large Brazilian community near the site of Red Bull Park?

Whether it’s New York or D.C. or New England, you have to wonder if MLS teams would be willing to take the risk on a 32-year old with knees as bad as Ronaldo’s. Yes, he would certainly help sell tickets if he were healthy, but considering the number of catastrophic knee injuries he has endured, the risk would be extremely high.

I ask you, SBI readers, for your opinion. Do you think MLS should take a chance on Ronaldo?

What do you think? Would you want your team to spend the money on Ronaldo? Do you think he would be great for MLS, or would he be another DP mistake?

Share your thoughts below.

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123 Responses to Should MLS take a chance on Ronaldo?

  1. Matt says:

    no, no, no, no, no, and NO

  2. Richard says:

    I think MLS should take a chance on Ronaldo. I think he has a lot to prove to the media and fans alike and I feel he would be a positive influence on the league like Blanco. And not a disappointment like beckham, lothar matheus, xaiver, etc…

  3. jmac says:

    Seems like high risk of injury with (likely) large salary demands. How many goals would you want for that risk + price? 15+ at least, right?

  4. Eric K says:

    It all depends on how much he’ll cost. If he’s willing to play for near max non-DP money ($350k-400k), and have clauses that give him a big chunk of potential endorsements, it might work. That would give him compensation for his notoriety but keep him from totally killing the roster (taking up too much cap space, compared to on-field play). I really wonder how well he would do though, in a league so dependent on pace. If anyone tries it, it would probably be only a one year deal to see how it goes.

  5. brett says:

    to continue matt’s post: no, no, no, no, no and NO

    quite simply the worst idea… how long before the guy crumbles having to play on crap-turf surfaces that plague the MLS??? we do not need another overpaid injury proned player in the league….

  6. Colm says:

    Nothing says ‘recipe for disaster’ like a player with a history of knee injuries on artificial turf.

  7. PCFC says:


  8. sean says:

    I have to believe that MLS should take a chance on Ronaldo. His goal scoring record is second to none (professional record of 557 games with 387 goals). If MLS thought DB7 was good for the league, imagine what a 3 time FIFA world player of the year, 3 time European player of the year, World Cup, Copa America, Intercontinental Cup, UEFA Cup Final MVP, 2 time World Cup winner…..

    You get the idea. This guy is one of the greatest footballers of all time. If I were a higher up in MLS, I would look past all the recent drama, and sign him ASAP.

  9. Angel says:

    Yes I think he will be much better than some other player that had come to play in the mls in the past. I would like to see him play along beckham again. I think Galaxy should try to bring him in just in case Donovan leave. Look lets be honest the MLS is a fast and physical pace but having a Ronaldo skill don’t need to be all that physical. He still can control the ball and still have that killer instict, So I say YES Come to LA be our Second DP. Like or not Galaxy still the team that can affort that luxury..

  10. Gino says:

    I agree 100% with Eric K. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

  11. ajr says:

    what he said

  12. Brant says:

    I wouldn’t sign him to any team that plays on turf. I also wouldn’t sign him to a DP contract. If he’s willing to take a $250k base + a ton of incentives based on staying healthy and playing in games, and he’s willing to take the money to live in the US and play his last serious games, then yes, I’d take the chance.

    I think he could play somwhere like Chivas or Houston or somewhere else where he’s on grass, and play an incentive-laden contract while living a decent lifestyle, and if he’s in LA or Chicago or DC, he’s got a world-class city to play in.

    But no way, no how do I sink a DP slot on him, and if I’m Toronto or New York, there’s no way I sign him to play on turf. He gets a Schelotto-level deal, at best, with a lot of appearance bonuses to motivate him to stay healthy.

  13. sean says:

    Oh yea, I forgot that he is the all time leading goalscorer in the World Cup as well, and he only won the European player of the year twice. Don’t forget he was elected to 2 world cup all star teams.

  14. Ginto says:

    Are you kidding me? He showed some, I repeat some, flashes with AC Milan before shredding his knee.

    It would be a step backward and would further cement the mindset that MLS is a place for old stars to cash that one last paycheck before retiring. What are we Qatar? (no offense to those that follow that league but c’mon)

    The cycle MLS is in now is that it’s a feeder league for other top leagues (EPL, League 1, EPL, SPL, Serie A). Which I guess is ok for the time being. The focus needs to be on finding young talent and developing that talent…

    not to mention if we’re going to sign older stars I’d much prefer they were players who showed a desire to bust their hump… Ronaldo? not so much.

  15. RK says:

    What US city has the highest percentage of trannies? (surprised it took so long)

    There’s nothing to gain by signing Ronaldo except ridicule for both the league and him. He would be better off playing in Brazil.

  16. Angel says:

    Brant and Erick K.

    I hear you guys and you are right. All I want to say that I think he still has it and like Sean said, “He was one of the best player in the world and I think he still be in the MLS” I can’t wait to see him here and bring Therry Henry too.

  17. michael says:

    he’s not worth DP money. give him a developmental contract or hire him to the official MLS circus, both are great fits

  18. randall says:

    for reasonable money, absolutely yes.

    his talent is as great as beckhams fame. so hes on the old (soccer-wise) side, injury prone…if he werent theres no chances in hell hed be considering mls.

    marco etcheverry dominated the league for years- and never ran. at all. you dont think ronaldo- RONALDO- can come in and put 20 goals in? seriously?

    if hes even modestly healthy, youve got a grass pitch, and can get him under say $8 mil a year you sign him. yesterday.

  19. BlueWhiteLion says:

    first instinct: NO (nonononononononono)

    Eric K has a potentially reasoned idea. He is NOT worth a DP, but he could bring in people, and MAYBE he will get back in shape and actually play in the MLS. But a fat, lazy, disinterested player is not what the MLS needs.

  20. Alex says:

    What good is a DP player, if he’s unable to play?

  21. Mighty says:

    Dude I’m a Red Bull Fan I’m tired of my team trying is luck on players!!!!! Please just get some good solid players, like Houston has, New England or other good Teams!!!!! Enough experimenting

  22. Juan-John says:

    I’m with the sign-him-to-a-non-DP-contract-but-laden-with-incentives-if -he-remains-healthy group.

  23. Bill says:

    With 2 DPs, sure. As the only DP – no way!

  24. Gregg says:

    Donovan out – Ronaldo in

    That’s the way the Galaxy will think…remember that. They will attempt to use the Donovan exception to sign another player.

    Geriatric Galacticos

    What a disaster this will be…

  25. Dan Roudebush says:


    Ives you wrote about a subject where the money should go. MLS youth academies and getting US youth into a teams reserve structure.

    Done right home grown talent will put more butts into seats on a long term basis, versus curio attendance.

  26. Beckster says:

    Let DC have him. He couldn’t play less than Gallardo which would be a big improvement!

  27. jspot says:

    Ching is 30 this dude is 32 and even worse… BENCH THE 30+ dude… let him go play soccer toy for an oil baron in the middle east.

  28. kpugs says:

    MLS should take a chance on him, for the “Beckham factor” he would provide. Having said that I wouldn’t want him on my team.

  29. alticooper says:

    I wouldnt want to have my team taking the risk on him… but i would def like to see him in the mls and would probably go to that game when his team was playing mine

  30. kco says:

    Decent signing, sure. But not as a DP. He isn’t worth that kind of money.

  31. Mario in SJ says:

    Signing a DP in MLS is a crap shoot. If they stay healthy and if they are interested in playing then there is somewhat of a return on the field. If the DP is hurt you wind up with a lousy team since you didn’t have enough cap space to sign AVERAGE players. DC United, LA and NY come to mind. (Schellotto is not a DP)A second DP is an absolute suicide, see LA again.

    On the other hand the star power of getting fans in the seats has been proven with Blanco, Becks and to a lesser extent Angel. Bottom line, Blanco’s are few and far between. However, if the DP did not count against the cap then I would say take a chance, even with Ronaldo. You all know attendance would increase while the team has an extra $400K to sign some average players the way Houston and NE operate. If the DP is a bust the team can still be competitive.

  32. Alex Trebeck says:

    didn’t move at all during 06 world cup or with milan. what was he known for when he was at his best? he could run and dribble past any defender, the marco etchverry point might have some validity to it but II think it would be a complete waste of time, his knee is to big of a long term risk.

  33. Homey says:

    Ok, so he’s fat and lazy for major European clubs… and then he’s going to come to MLS and suddenly train hard and perform well? Yeah right.

    I know some people are mentioning all his past history… But that’s just it – it’s history. Why not bring Maradona out of retirement, if we’re talking about guys with history of scoring goals?

    I’m not opposed to bringing in aging guys with big names, but let’s make sure they have good character and aren’t going to make a joke out of the league.

  34. Fuegofan says:

    I’d love it if the Red Bulls signed him. I might get to see him play again, but it would likely continue the Red Bull futility. The upside is huge for Red Bull and the league. The downside is only down for Red Bull.

  35. Landis says:

    I think I’d do it if it were with a team that plays on grass. Sign him to a relatively low salary, $1m, with performance based incentives for games played and goals scored that would get him up in the $3m range if you performs.

    I just think he’s going to be out of MLS’s price range and someone in Europe or the Middle East will take a chance on him for a year at a salary we can’t afford.

  36. Coach says:

    Whoever thinks he’d sign for anything but DP money is on crack.

    A one-year DP contract makes a lot of sense from a business standpoint. A lot of merchandise and tickets would be sold before he even has a chance to blow out his knee. And as long as he doesn’t get *seriously* hurt, he’ll generate a lot of buzz for the league and the team he signs for, if not on-field results.

    Most MLS teams are equally mediocre and have a shot at the playoffs anyway, even with a bust DP.

  37. MetroStars Fan now in Seattle says:

    Red Bulls should sign him. They signed Reyna with all his injuries, so they wouldn’t be doing any worse than that stupid signing. My buddies and I used to have a pool on how many minutes Reyna would last in a game if he played. Ronaldo could be the same scenario…except goals scored could be an upside with Ronaldo.

  38. Aljarov says:

    He can sign a reaosnable DP contract with incentives/pay-as-you-play to make it more. He’s hardly played in 2 years and that could help him int he longer term….either that or he’s just plain knackered.

    I’d sign him to Reyna’s $1m but with a ton of incentives (games, goals, wins, playoffs, championships)

  39. eric says:

    I would LOVE for the Red Bulls to take a chance on Ronaldo – lots of exposure for the league, he’s got something to prove, and when healthy, I’d love to watch him play.

    Of course, I’m not a RB’s fan…

  40. This Guy says:

    I am much more excited to watch young American players (18-22) than broken Brazilian players. He would be a DP. I would rather see the money used to bring a Yank-Abroad back.

  41. TK says:

    Can he still do all of the “little things”?

    If so, I say shower him with a guaranteed 2 years.

  42. AndyinSeattle says:

    I’d love for Ronaldo to play in the MLS…

    … on any other team but mine.

  43. Dominghosa says:

    Two years ago, yes. Now? Not a chance. Go after Henry or Anelka.

  44. Brokenbil says:

    It’s not worth it if Ronaldo isn’t fit to play. DP dollars should go to sure starter. It was almost a nightmare for MLS when Beckham first arrived in LA only to sit on the sidelines while recovering from injuries.

    I’d rather see more international players like Darren Huckerby, lesser known perhaps, but healthy, talented, and capable of making an immediate impact on the league.

  45. Jonathan says:

    Anyone who says “NO” is an idiot. He’s a former Fifa player of the year… he’s almost a decade younger than Brett Favre, and he’s one of maybe 20 people in the world who everyone knows they’re name. Did people tell Jordan not to come back and play for the wizards? Yes some did, and he didn’t listen. And I still remember him putting up 45pts in one of his first games back. Ronaldo just like Jordan on the field is pure class. Who can forget the Ronnie of old? I say pay the man for a year.. Someone will pay him, some league will benefit, whether it’s the J-league, a league in Dubai or quatar, or the Australian league. A league will get him. Even if it’s merely done to add to the profile of soccer in America, we should def sign him.

  46. Angel says:

    Hey Ives,

    I read this in Yahoo sport about Vedad Ibisevic, I didn’t know he play high school and St.Luis College.

    Question: Your family came to the States when you were still a teenager. How did that come about?

    Ibisevic: Well, after the war, jobs were scarce for my parents and the economy was bad. We moved to Switzerland and then we were offered the opportunity to come to the United States and we took it. My family still lives in the St. Louis area and I come back as often as I can. The U.S. has been very good to me and my family.

    Question: What were your first impressions of soccer in the United States?

    Ibisevic: Well, where were the soccer fields? All I saw was baseball and football fields. I was disappointed that soccer wasn’t a big sport in the United States. It didn’t change my plans on wanting to be professional soccer player. I just had to work harder.

    Question: What do you remember about your time in high school and later at St. Louis University?

    Ibisevic: It was great. I really enjoyed playing high school soccer and for the Busch team. The Busch team prepared me for the college game. The transition wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. The experience at St. Louis was great. We had a good team.

    Question: Have you had any thoughts about playing in the MLS?

    Ibisevic: No, not really. I certainly haven’t been approached by any team from the MLS. I am still young and who knows? For right now, my future is here in Germany and Europe.

    Question: Did you ever think of playing for the United States?

    Ibisevic: Well, yes and no. I have a green card but not a U.S. passport. But really, I wasn’t approached at the right time. Mike Sorber (then an assistant coach at St. Louis University and currently the U.S. national team assistant coach) was encouraging me, but the timing wasn’t right.

    very interesting article WOW we get all this player in our own soil and we let them go same as Subotic and Rossi.

  47. danj says:

    I said no, but a one-year deal at $1.5 million or less would be worth a flier. I think Red Bulls or the Revs would be the best options. I think the Beckham and Blanco experiments have succeeded and there’s no reason to shy away on Ronaldo.

  48. Nic D "The Texas 2 Stepper" says:


    The benefits outweigh the disadvantages!

    Incentive laden contract!

    Three year contract with the third year as an option. With a games played, assist, goals bonus!

    Of course throw in the normal goodies (Shirts, ticket sales, etc.)

  49. Raghu says:

    Yeah – put him in NY or LA and watch him blow up – and I don’t mean on the pitch. The guy will party his ass off. Not sure if MLS needs the exposure for what they’d have to spend to get him. J

    onathan – he’s 10 years younger than Favre – but I’d take the soccer Favre comparison anyday of the week. When was the last time Favre didn’t suit up or not give his team a chance to win?

    The DP slot has to be used on a player who will increase market share, but, THAT PLAYER NEEDS TO MAKE HIS TEAM BETTER!

    Unfortunately, as much as I’d love to see ronaldo play when he would come to DC – I’m not sure the guy is any good anymore.

    See Claudio Reyna – who I’m a huge fan of. Look at what NY fans did to him when he couldn’t stay healthy. How much worse would it be with Ronaldo – who they’d have to pay even more money to go get.

  50. Modibo says:

    Yeah, RBNY NEEDS Ronaldo… they really need him… really. Bring him to NY, shovel some cash in his pocket, and for God’s sake don’t tell him that Times Square ain’t what it used to be until he’s signed on the dotted line.

  51. ivanov says:

    I’d like to see him in the MLS, just not on my team.

  52. Binks says:

    No. The MLS is not a retirement community.

  53. With the right contract, yes, I would take a chance.

    Hell, when he did finally play for AC Milan, he scored goals for them.

    I agree that he needs to play on grass.

  54. mike from linden says:

    in my mind, he could be like a blanco.

    but twice as good.

    ye he’s selfish, always injured

    there is alot more up than down, especially if he comes to MLS.

    he holds the record for most goals scored in the world cup and lifted every trophy a player can lift.

  55. cbr says:

    PPL here are over reacting. Ronaldo is a High Risk/ High Reward player. Thats why any team that signs him should do so for only a 1 year deal.

    No guts no glory

  56. Jeff says:

    Of course you take the risk!

    But at your price, not his. Otherwise you pass.

  57. peter says:

    Knee problems? Ronaldo would score 20 goals a season in the mls in a wheelchair. talk about a world class player and a legend. i would go to ny just to see him play. Strike while the iron is hot and take a chance on one of the best soccer players and athletes the world has ever seen.

  58. Casey says:

    yes, some team should take a chance on him. Just please God, not the Crew.

  59. Angel says:

    Please name one player in this Stupid league that is better than Ronaldo, Please tell me?

  60. Angel says:

    ohh yeah Brian Ching(30), Brian McBride(32), Huckebarry (32), Blanco (34), Kenny Cooper (25), Cunningham (30), Man!! even if had two bad knee he can still better that most of the players we have here in the MLS and tell me who would like to see phenon or play next to a big star like Ronaldo… COme on u people.

  61. Ryan says:

    FWIW, Brazil has incredible conditioning and rehab coaches for their national team (and bigger clubs) and Ronaldo has reportedly done an excellent job getting himself back into condition to play.

    If MLS has a chance to bring him, they should do it without hesitation. He provides instant media coverage and comes with far more credibility as a player than Beckham could dream of.

    Ronaldo, w\bad knees, is still better than every other striker in the league, and with the limited number of quality defenders, Ronaldo could easily put up some big scoring numbers. Hell, Edson frickin Buddle is putting up huge numbers.

  62. jloome says:

    The entire idea is idiotic. if his ego had grown so large they couldn’t get effort out of him at Real Madrid, before his second major knee reconstruction, I somehow doubt he’s going to be running much in MLS.

    This would be a craptastic waste of time, and harken back to the NASL “retirement league” days. In fact, the concept of him even coming back, 40 pounds overweight, not having played in close to a year, knee shot three times, no second gear…fans in other nations would fall out of their chairs laughing at American soccer if they pulled this one.

  63. Ceez says:

    Listen, he is definitely just a shadow of his old self. HOWEVER, he is still a big name and I’m pretty sure he can still compete. With the Beckham BRAND here already, and with talks of Henry coming over and Anelka WANTING to play here, a name as big as Ronaldo’s can only help the popularity of the sport. Don’t get me wrong, I want to see quality here in the U.S. but let’s face reality. Soccer is growing but is still not as popular as one (I) would like. This could definitely help put people into seats and I think that at this point, that should be our main concern.

    Yes, it’s paramount that Ronaldo remain healthy but I think this is something MLS should definitely risk. The rewards could be colossal!

  64. brett says:

    roberto – he is different in every way… check out Bigsoccer, under the US mens threads…. they talk about it in detail… Subotic played for the US and now is up in the air… Rossi never had intention on playing for the US…

    this kid was NEVER a US citizen… how did he in fact slip through our hands??

  65. Tom P says:

    Why not if you structure so the contract pays according to minutes played. If he can’t come back- no harm. If he comes back big you sell him for major bucks.

  66. peter says:


    Ronaldo is one of two men in the world to win the Fifa World Player of the Year not 1, not 2, but 3 times (along with a little known player named Zidane)…He has been on two World Cup winning squads…And he is the highest goal scorer in the history of the World Cup (15). I’m sure he will be really upset to see that you think he has an ego problem.

    El Fenomeno will be back to prove himself yet again and I seriously hope he does it in the MLS. One of the greatest players of all time.

  67. brett says:

    im sorry, but we thought the same with Renya… we thought he’d come in and do very well… and what happened… a series of nagging injuries… and that is VERY likely to happen with Ronaldo… sorry, this would be a VERY bad investment…

    not to mention it would bring over the wrong type of fans… lets stop with the signing of aging stars and focus on upgrading our talent permanently on the field…. sign some promising youth players… bring up some academy players… look abroad to s.american youth and african youth….

  68. Ceez says:

    P.S. He needs to shave that head. It’ll make him more aerodynamic.

  69. Tom P says:

    Anelka is a cancer and should never be allowed to sign with the MLS.

    As one english pundit said about him;”he is the only guy in football you could leave alone in the locker room who would get in a fist fight with himself.”

  70. Ethan Helm says:

    I don’t understand why people fall into believing the lie that Ronaldo can no longer play. In 2006 he was the second leading scorer in the world cup and from 2007-2008 he scored 9 goals in 20 games for AC Milan. He is not the best player in the world any more, but he is still better than David Beckham.

  71. Ceez says:


    Please stop right there. Let’s make sure we don’t get ridiculous with our statements. Reyna is no Ronaldo. PERIOD. I don’t disagree with the fact that Ronaldo is injury-prone but you can’t compare the two. Ronaldo is a WORLD legend. Reyna is a US legend, if that. There will most definitely be a lot more pro’s with Ronaldo than there were with Reyna in MLS.

  72. brett says:

    Tom P and everyone who thinks he’d sign a weak contract determined by the minutes/goals/etc.. for income-

    he wont sign that ever… he’d more likely go back to brazil and play rather then hope he stays healthy to get a paycheck..

    anyhow, if the MLS sign him it will merely be for the weather fan fake fans he’d bring in… again id rather focus around building better teams then bringing in aging broken stars

  73. brett says:

    Ceez – you took my comparison TOO LITERALLY… renya was expected to come in and run the field with MLS talent… i am not comparing him to ronaldo in talent wise… i am simply saying they are both aging injury proned stars who will/did break in the MLS… sorry but hearing the constant b*tching about Renya, i wouldnt be able to stand Ronaldo’s lot :-/

    again, not comparing the two talently, compareing them physically…

  74. allegre says:

    I love the old Ronaldo and want to remember him the way he was. Turf will kill him in MLS. There are a lot of players in Brasilian leagues who can make MLS a better league. Go for them, no Ronaldo!

  75. sidenetting says:

    An obvious no. Ives is just trolling for hits on this one

  76. KingSnake says:

    Sure, if they can do so for no money down. Oh, and if they do, not to force him up the ass of some team that would really rather not have him around. Or invent any rules, or “player categories” to do so.

  77. huricano says:

    I think they should, but only if he agrees to a contract with a fitness/weight based clause. Fitness is a prerequisite to high level performance. However, it has always been Ronaldo’s weakness. He gets fat and starts to go out party, eat, and womanize. MLS should be able to take a risk on his knees, and protect themselves contractually from his overeating.

  78. John says:

    No. Here’s the reality of MLS right now. If you’re a good team, you’ll play 55-60 matches in a tight season with a small roster with 3/4ths of the players making 25k or less. So if you’re a Reyna, an Angel, a Gallardo, a Beckham, it means it’s critical that you plan in 45 of those matches. What Ronaldo needs is a situation where he can play once a week (if that). Look at the schedules that NE and DC had at various points, averaging a game every 3 days for 40-45 days. So you say, but what if it’s a team that isn’t in Superliga or Champions League? Oh, you mean like the LAG? Sign a really big name (like Beckham, Zidane, Henry, Ronaldo) and expect that team to start doing stuff like. oh, I don’t know…the Pan-Pacific Cup? World Series of Soccer? Tour of Australia?

  79. LJ says:

    I think it makes sense for Chivas USA, can’t be injured anymore than Razov and Gallindo!

    Seriously though, it could be very good. It could also be awful. I hope it happens and I hope it works out.

    He’s not one of the greatest players of a certain time. He’s one of the greatest players of ALL time. You have to admit it’s a little tantalizing to know it could be done. Even if it’s for only 1/3 of what he was in his prime.

  80. Mig says:

    Brett: Hell, I almost always agree with you on substantive questions but in this case, I’ll go the other way. I say yes.

    Lots of really, really good points here about where he should play, possible contract setups, concerns…all of it. Obviously, it’s a topic that MLS fans think about (older stars and the risk/reward nature of bringing them in).

    I just think the guy is not that old, he would be by far…by oh so far…the best player ever to grace a roster in MLS. And I think Beckham is a stud so that’s saying something.

    Yeah, he probably will break down with some injuries. But if he does want to play the game, he’ll be something beautiful to behold vs. MLS defenses.

    I’m a bit biased because he is the greatest striker I’ve ever seen and after watching the game for 26 years, I’ve seen a few great ones. NO forward has even been close to what he was/is. So…there’s my two cents.

  81. Chris says:

    Theres soooooo many strikers in MLS better and who can sell more tickets than Ronaldo. No reason to sign him at all!

  82. JH says:

    HECK NO. A lot of great soccer players, especially from Brazil, are narcisistic flakes, Kaka exlcuded. But Ronaldo makes Ronandinho look humble. Ronaldo is the biggest egomaniac to hit the pitch in the last 20 years. MLS should take a pass. He’s overweight, slow, with plenty of knee operations. Do you think he’ll suddenly be motivated as a player on the pitch when the Red Bulls take on the Wizards? Wow, the history of the matchup!!!

  83. No. Or maybe yes.

    We have to pretend the MLS is a real soccer league and that players, no matter their name, have to earn their way in.

    Lets look at it this way: Man Utd _sold_ Beckham and Ruud Van Nistleroy.

    So I would say: sure, Ronaldo should come play for the SJ Earthquakes, but for standard wages on a short span contract – to sweeten the deal give him free lease on a nice local house and a car. Then if he proves himself to be consistently fit and back to 1st team shape, we should offer him the kind of very lucrative contract his amazing attacking play deserves.

    And of course then the world would want him back, some Euro team would steal him away for some enormous sum (fine! the pleasure was ours)

    Of course to make it here he would have to have his fitness, his knees would have to hold up, and he’d have to keep any recreational forays within a reasonable check despite the proximity to San Francisco!

    C’mon, Ronaldo, San Jose could be your 2nd home, and this town is sick for attacking football. We appreciate you. We will never forget you, even before you’re here.

  84. Heffe says:

    When I first read Ronaldo was ready to go and out of contract, I wondered…would Ronaldo be worth money to come to the US? Take RSL for example. We are missing a forward who can regularly score for the team. Ronaldo could possibly be that answer, but his knee problems scare me. It is a toss up. As long as he stayed healthy, it would probably be worth it.

  85. Al17 says:

    This shouldn’t be a topic of discussion. Hell, if he came to the Fire, I’d meet him at the airport. He has more skill than any current or former MLS player. He’s hungry again and that’s even better. Problem is that MLS isn’t competitive enough for him to develop as a player. MLS defenders – like most in the world, couldn’t handle him.

  86. Joel says:

    I can’t believe there are people saying, “I wouldn’t want him on my team.” If midlevel players like Juan Pablo Angel and Huckerbee can come to MLS and make big impacts, imagine what a former world player of the year could do!

    Plain and simple: Ronaldo, even with his injury history, would be the most talented player ever to play in MLS were he to come to the league.

  87. DemonJuice says:

    You can’t help but be skeptical with how DPs have worked out so far.

    To wildly generalize them, if I may, they have absolutely nothing to prove and it shows.

    Maybe Ronaldo would be different, I don’t know. It seems like he might have a little motivation.

  88. KC says:

    If he can pass both an extensive medical exam and a fitness test why on Earth wouldn’t anyone want him in MLS? He has an ego? What truly great soccer player doesn’t–besides is it ego or confidence? He’s arrogant? Blanco anyone?

    He’d instantly elevate any team that signed him…put him on the worst team in MLS and they are instant MLS Cup contenders, not winners but contenders.

    We had no problem bringing back McBride at his age after his serious knee injury and Ronaldo is light years ahead of the player McBride is(and younger BTW).

  89. Ceez says:


    Just out of curiosity: how much more development as a player do you think Ronaldo actually needs?

  90. Q says:

    He will fit right in here with DC. Between him and Gallardo we will have the oldest, most geriatric team in the league!!!

    Seriously though, I’m worried about the loss of speed. Even if he can play, how fast can he possibly still be?

  91. Jonathan says:

    SOME of you are either INSANE OR are really TROLLS!!!

    Expecting Ronaldo to take a garbage contract is like expecting world peace to begin next week. WHY should HE sign with MLS? Uzbek teams would have no trouble signing him up to play with Rivaldo and be coaches by Zico.

    You guys lick the #ss of Beckham while huffing and puffing about signing another “has been”. I can’t take some of you seriously that you value Beckham and his BRAND over a REAL footballer.

    What does it tell about a league and its where a fake footballer (Beckham) is valued over the genuine one?

  92. justsayin' says:

    i say yes but with reservations. but put lots of caveat in the contract. meaning lots of incentives and milestones for him to reach.

    If he comes back, i see MLS augmenting their status in the world at least to get players back on their game. or simply put, a starter league.

    if that does not work, or Ronaldo cannot come back, the team and MLS will minimize the impact on their bottom line.

    Personally i would like to see him go to LA Galaxy playing on top with Donovan. I think with the team already traveling the world in the off-season and with Beckham, you would have another trick and pony to attract the audience.

    But i would cringe just at the thought of Ronaldo playing on artificial turf like in Toronto. These fields will definitely preempt his comeback.

  93. justsayin' says:

    Artificial turf are killers on the knee. They would make his comeback a short-lived one.

  94. Mike Kurowski says:

    Ronaldo is one of the greatest soccer players. Imagine being in his position, having won everything and being the best. Where do you go from there, what more can you achieve, how does your outlook change? It would be amazing to see him playing in the States. I wish he could find a new balance and enjoyment playing in the MLS.

  95. Sandro says:

    As much as I like Ronaldo for the way he played, I just think his time has past. If he would have been in much better shape then probably but given the injuries he’s had, I just don’t think it would be a wise investment. Yes people may come to see him because he was a great player at one time, but not for his current play abilities.n Plus for MLS prices, he would be requesting way too much money for an overage, overweight, injury prone player. Too bad he didn’t come a few years ago when RBNY was interested in bringing him here. But now it is just too late.

  96. brett says:

    noone is doubting his ability, but rather his capabilities….

    the MLS is not a fenese league… it is a very physical and hacky league… alot of us feel he would simply get injured through the course of practice and games especially with some game on turf, and practice depending on the team….

    the guy has accomplished alot, but he’d be a more talented version of wanchope or reyna… again, im not comparing their talent, but rather the nagging knee injury preventing him from being his former self…

  97. Ossington Mental Youth says:

    dude is far past it, playing on all that turf regardless of where he is will bring back injuries

  98. AH says:

    AndyinSeattle said it perfectly. He’s got a great upside if he’s healthy, so I’d love to watch him in the league. I just don’t want my team to be the one taking the risk on him.

  99. Robert says:

    See Gallardo at D.C. – No where near the quality of Ronaldo, but still hurt the team more than helped. See Reyna, same thing… Spending a lot of money on a player that is going to play half of the games each season is not worth it.

  100. brett says:

    see NE, see Columbus, see Houston… top teams currently in the league and they have ZERO DP’s… they build a quality team with quality talent… rather then bank on 1 person…. that is the format every MLS side should strive for….

  101. Larry says:

    There is only one question that matters: could he improve the overall quality of play? If not, he should not be hired. If he can, then yes, but be paid a small base salary and then given a per-game additional rate.

  102. Larry Y says:

    Not for a guaranteed contract. And for a pay-for-performance clause (some reasonable combination of goals score and games played).

  103. Scott C says:

    I’d like too see him in the league; he would be the best player to ever play in MLS. But, of course, he’d be a huge risk, and with the hit on the salary cap, that is a really bad risk for any team to take. Still he’d be a major draw and a headline grabber. MLS needs to tweak the DP rule to make it easier for teams to sign players like this. Let’s face, great players in their prime are NOT going to come to MLS.

  104. Paul says:

    Forget the fact the the top leagues won’t touch him. Even mid- and lower-tier European leagues aren’t interested. Too often injured, out of shape, out of contract, likely to demand too much money, and likely to pull attention and resources from players and projects that can help MLS over the long term. Other than that, it’s a great idea . . .

  105. brett says:

    larry and larry y- a per game clause will NEVER go through…. Ronaldo wouldnt dare to be that dumb…. he will demand a lump sum and you’ll get what you’ll get…. again im AGAINST this…. perhaps prior to his injury he could have survived the MLS, but after he’d be warming up the bench for the rest of the players… and depositing his fat check

  106. brett says:

    Scott C- “Let’s face, great players in their prime are NOT going to come to MLS. ”

    and yet another reason we should look more to our home-grown talent, if not younger talent from abroad… africa and s.america (even c.america) are loaded with young prospects….

  107. heio! says:

    I know this will seem unfounded and all and unrelated to ronaldo perhaps, but Sounders FC will make their DP announcement this month.

    mark this post.

  108. Oranje Mike says:

    If Ronaldo is willing to earn his paycheck by staying fit and showing he is healthy then I think an MLS side should give him a shot. If he’s seeking tons of cash for a roll of the dice then all clubs should stay away.

  109. Brian O'Masta says:

    There is no way that Ronaldo could be worse than Denilson. Also he would create the same amount, if not more, hype then David Beckham. I think that it is definitely worth it. Start him out with a one year contract then go from there.

  110. Paul says:

    I know that some people say that “there’s no such thing as bad publicity,” but I’m not so sure. Fans and media from around the world would be interested to see how Ronaldo was doing. And American fans and media would surely follow suit, raising the visibility of the league. But then what? Will millions of people look in on his matches, see the rest of the league, and become fans for that reason? I know his skills *might* still be there, and if so, that he’s better than any striker that MLS has, but the whole idea has a “circus” sort of feel to it. I agree with the post that advised to spend the same amount of money on a half-dozen up-and-coming youngsters from Africa, South America or Central America.

  111. Nick says:

    No. For the obvious health reasons and because he would not be motivated to play here. The only team in the world he wants to play for is Flamengo. He would be here just for the money and not for the benefit of the league or US soccer. Don’t waste money on this guy.

  112. Thomas says:

    Well it’s not like the Red Bulls have a pattern of signing past it players with bad knees…oh

  113. Thomas says:

    And no one worth a damn would expect him to create the same amount of hype as Beckham. We saw how pissed the media got when Beckham was injured…imagine how much of a laughing stock we’d be when our new poster boy tore his ACL in his first training.

  114. Amit says:

    I think he should sign with a USL team that wants to get into MLS. That would seal the expansion deal.

  115. John says:

    He’s a good fit with NY.. they need another striker and another draw for their new stadium next year. Angel and Ronaldo would sell tickets, merch, draw good TV ratings and create a buzz. Of course NYRB could take a safer path and sign a much lesser know striker who is healthier or they could take a shot with Ronaldo who would be one of the biggest draws in the league and when healthy, one of the leagues best strikers.

    It’s a no brainer, big market teams need big name players.

    Henry isn’t happening, NY should sign Ronaldo.

  116. TimN says:

    I think it would be a bad move. He’s going to demand a high salary, so whoever would sign him would then have salary cap issues and a player that is questionable to perform at expectations. As well, someone above mentioned that the MLS has several fields with turf surfaces…what a disaster waiting to happen for a guy with bad knees.

    MLS should also shy away from guys like this because I think it would help them move away from the international image that the MLS is a place “where the has-beens go to retire.”

  117. John says:

    I’d rather MLS be “where the has-beens go to retire.” Than “where third rate players making under $50,000 go.”

  118. Adam M. says:

    Anyone who thinks that MLS couldn’t use Ronaldo is, with all due respect, an idiot. Ronaldo, healthy and in form, as he was for Milan when he went down, is still one of the top twnety strikers is the world, still pretty young, and would be fighting for a spot on Brazil’s national team (given their inconsistent play up front). Not to mention, he is a top five all time legend and marketing dream possibly only second to Beckham. Put him on a grass field and thousands of billboards and print money and tally the goals. The honest question is not whether MLS needs him, but whether he would come here. That I doubt, particularly if he can go play with Robinho at Man City, or for that matter, live off his giant wealth and play for his boyhood team Flamengo. If Ronaldo thinks he has any shot at the 2010 World Cup, he won’t come here, period.

  119. brett says:

    John – well if the MLS turns into a “where the has-beens go to retire.” league then we wont have to worry about it being a “where third rate players making under $50,000 go.” league b/c we wouldnt be able to afford even that quality….

    id rather the league develop on its own rather then dive into the pool of aging stars, and some of those seem to be broken… instead of dropping millions on a guy, perhaps we should drop a couple hundred thousand on a guy like Schelotto and then work on producing a quality side for him to play with (like CLB)… id rather us focus on home-grown players and see our league develop that way then play millions for other league’s trash….

  120. brett says:

    Adam M- “Ronaldo, healthy and in form, as he was for Milan when he went down, is still one of the top twnety strikers is the world, still pretty young”

    32 and a nagging knee injury?? sounds awfully familiar… fans of both teams with these types of players (im thinking of two in particular) constantly b*tched and complained about how they couldnt produce on the field and spent more time off the field nursing their injury….

    as for ronaldo having a shot for 2010… HAHAHA no way in hell would he have a shot….his intl career is over, plain n’ simple

  121. Beech says:

    “I learned more in the last 90 minutes against Ronaldo than I have in my entire career.” – Jimmy Conrad

    *in an interview after the MLS Select team played Real Madrid.

    Absolutely bring him in, but only on an incentive laden contract based on starts, production and a percentage of image/merchandising right. No guaranteed contracts other than a nominal base.

  122. Adam M. says:

    Ronaldo is 32, a marketing machine, an All-Time Great, and when healthy, still one of the top twenty strikers in the world (and still very much in the mix for Brazil in 2010 given their inconsistency). With all due respect to the doubters, anyone who wouldn’t want him in MLS is an idiot (yes, he needs the right side and probably needs to play on grass). The reality, of course, is that Ronaldo probably won’t come here prescisely because he is too good and too young (and won’t like the artifical surfaces), and knows he won’t get a shot with Brazil if comes to the US. ManCity or PSG or someone will throw loads of Euros at him and keep him in top flight football for a few more years, or perhaps he will stay home and play for Flamengo (the Brazilian A league is way better than MLS).

  123. Huey Bahr says:

    Can he sell tickets? Can he do interviews? Is he willing to make statements like “MLS is a very competitive league” and “the Seattle Sounders are a very tough team” if so, sign him. I don’t care if all he does is sit on the bench and talk to kids in youth soccer camps. He would be a valuable asset to any city’s soccer community and to any team savvy enough to hire him.