MLS Hot Stove: Marmol leaves Fire, Houston waits on Ngwenya and no DP rush for KC “Wondering just how good a deal the Kansas City Wizards made in getting Claudio Lopez to agree to a new, non-DP contract? Try $200000 …”
Kansas City Wizards Re-Sign Forward Claudio “El Piojo” Lopez
(January 12, 2009) – The Kansas City Wizards announced Monday that they have re-signed striker Claudio Lopez for the 2009 season. Lopez, who became the club’s first-ever Designated Player prior to last season, has signed a new deal that will not require the Wizards to use the Designated Player tag on him in 2009. Per League and club policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“Re-signing Claudio Lopez was a priority of ours heading into the off-season,” Technical Director Peter Vermes said. “Claudio’s international experience is invaluable to our team, and having a year of experience in Major League Soccer and his understanding of how our League works will be a huge benefit for him in 2009.”
Lopez joined the Wizards prior to the 2008 season after playing for several of the most prestigious teams in international football. He began his career with Racing in Argentina’s first division before playing at world powers such as Valencia (Spain), Lazio (Italy) and Club America (Mexico). Lopez, 34, has 58 career appearances and 10 goals for Argentina’s national team and appeared in both the 1998 and 2002 World Cups.
Last season, Lopez scored six goals and added seven assists in MLS play. Including Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup matches and the MLS Cup Playoffs, Lopez scored seven goals and recorded 10 assists. He played in 28 regular-season games (25 starts) and was selected MLS Player of the Week in Round 30 after a one-goal, two-assist performance led the Wizards to a vital 3-2 win over the San Jose Earthquakes that helped the team qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs. Lopez then assisted on Davy Arnaud’s goal in the 1-1 home draw with the eventual champions Columbus Crew in Game 1 of the first-round playoff series. He now has 129 league goals in his storied career.