Miguel Almiron and Sebastian Giovinco, two of the most exciting and effective players in Major League Soccer history, both said goodbye to MLS on the same day, each completing transfers during what has been a busy offseason of transfers for the league.
Almiron and Giovinco leave having led their respective teams to MLS Cup titles, and with each living up to the high expectations that arrived with them. They were both high-profile designated player signings, and each dominated the league with their own unique attacking styles.
How do they measure up compared to some of the best DP signings in MLS history? You can definitely make the argument that they are two of the best DP signings ever, if not the very best. Giovinco's MVP season in 2015 was arguably the best individual season in league history, while Almiron's two-year stint with Atlanta United saw him emerge as the Five Stripes' most dangerous player.
Measuring the impact of designated player signings goes beyond wins and losses and trophies. There have been players who secured trophies, but also made a major impact in terms of marketing and boosting the visibility of teams in certain markets, as well as visibility internationally.
For the purposes of this list of top designated players, we will focus solely on players who arrived in MLS as DP signings, and excluding all players who began their MLS careers on non-DP contracts. That leaves out the likes of Landon Donovan and Bradley Wright-Phillips, among others. We are also focusing on players with multiple MLS seasons under their belts, so Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Wayne Rooney will have to wait to work their way onto this list.
Here are the top 10 best DP signings in MLS history: