The long-rumored signing of Saprissa's Josue Martinez by the Philadelphia Union is now official. The 21-year-old forward has an impressive resume for a player his age, having scored 19 goals in 44 league matches over the past three seasons and scoring five times in 11 Costa Rican national team appearances.
When rumors of his signing first surfaced, Union blog Brotherly Game speculated that Martinez could become the first player signed under the league's new Youth Designated Player Rule, which would allow him to count just $200,000 against the salary cap. Although no such designation was announced, it would stand to reason that a player of his pedigree would require a somewhat substantial transfer fee. Brotherly Game put the potential transfer fee at $500,000.
Even if the Union paid such a large transfer, it's possible they could pay down his cap hit below the DP threshold with allocation dollars, some of which was obtained from last season's transfer of Carlos Ruiz.