Continuing what has become a growing trend in MLS, Sporting Kansas City signed a relatively unknown player to a Designated Player contract on Sunday. Jeferson, a 27-year-old midfielder who most recently played professionally for Brazil's Vasco de Gama, was signed to a loan deal. The release announcing the signing does not say how long the loan is for and seems to indicate it could just be for this year.
"I’ve been preparing physically to be able to come here and make an immediate impact," Jéferson said. "I’m very excited to be here and I come with the goal to help the team fulfill its goal of making the playoffs and ultimately going to the final."
Jeferson has a reputation as an attack-minded midfielder with a penchant for goal-scoring. His breakout year came in 2008 when he scored 13 goals in 22 appearances while helping Guarani earn promotion to Brazil's top flight.
Since the end of the 2010 season, 12 players have been signed to Designated Player contracts. Just three of them had extensive experience in Europe and or were as old as 30. Like the Vancouver Whitecaps, who recently signed young Gambian Mustapha Jarju, Sporting seems more interested in finding a player who can help the team win, not necessarily one who will fill seats or sell jerseys.