In the early days of the Designated Player only a select few could afford to splash the cash. You know the names: LA Galaxy, New York Red Bulls, Chicago Fire and Seattle Sounders.
Not any more.
In the seventh season since the adoption of the "David Beckham" rule that today allows each team to sign up to three Designated Players, all 19 MLS clubs have at least one big-money player that earns his paycheck outside of the team salary budget of $2,950,000.
The last domino to fall was the Colorado Rapids, who beat international competition to snatch 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup co-leading scorer Gabriel Torres of Panama.
Currently, there are 33 DPs in the MLS ranks with the latest one coming on Thursday after the LA Galaxy's signed US national team defender Omar Gonzalez to a DP contract. Americans are the second largest group of DPs (4), well behind the contingent from Argentina, where teams have penned eight of these star players.
Here's the full list:
LIST OF MLS DESIGNATED PLAYERS (as of August 15, 2013)
Chicago Fire (2): Juan Anangono (Ecuador), Egidio Arevalo Rios (Uruguay)
Chivas USA (2): Oswaldo Minda (Ecuador), Erick Torres (Mexico)
Columbus Crew (1): Federico Higuain (Argentina)
Colorado Rapids (1): Gabriel Torres (Panama)
FC Dallas (3): Mauro Diaz (Argentina), David Ferreira (Colombia), Fabian Castillo (Colombia)
D.C. United (1): Dwayne De Rosario (Canada)
Houston Dynamo (2): Oscar Boniek Garcia (Honduras), Alex Lopez (Honduras)
LA Galaxy (3): Robbie Keane (Republic of Ireland), Landon Donovan (USA), Omar Gonzalez (USA)
Montreal Impact (2): Hernan Bernardello (Argentina), Marco Di Vaio (Italy)
New England Revolution (1): Jerry Bengtson (Honduras)
New York Red Bulls (2): Tim Cahill (Australia), Thierry Henry (France)
Philadelphia Union (1): Kleberson (Brazil)
Portland Timbers (2): Diego Valeri (Argentina), Diego Chara (Colombia)
Real Salt Lake (2): Javier Morales (Argentina), Alvaro Saborio (Costa Rica)
Seattle Sounders (3): Mauro Rosales (Argentina), Obafemi Martins (Nigeria), Clint Dempsey (USA)
San Jose Earthquakes (1): Chris Wondolowski (USA)
Sporting Kansas City (1): Claudio Bieler (Argentina)
Toronto FC (2): Matias Laba (Argentina), Danny Koevermans (Netherlands)
Vancouver Whitecaps (1): Kenny Miller (Scotland)