As Drew wrote earlier, FCD made their first signing of the 2012-2013 offseason, adding French midfielder Peter Luccin to the squad. Luccin's long-term history is rather impressive having played in the Champions League, UEFA Cup, La Liga and Ligue 1 as basically an everyday starter from 2001-2007.
I think there's maybe some mis-information out there and maybe a few misconceptions about this signing so I wanted to get a quick little post up to include my thoughts on the signing and maybe a little bit of perspective.
A classy pedigree As we saw with Julian de Guzman, a defensive midfielder that is used to a possession-style attack that doesn't turn the ball over in bad areas can really thrive here even if he's limited a bit in mobility and attacking ability. Having actually seen Luccin play when he was on trial here, you could see a clear class to his game. Luccin's strength lies in his passing game and he certainly has a bite to his game that can be a plus and a minus.
No way he's costing much It didn't make it into my 2012 season review Q&A for MLSsoccer.com posted earlier today, so I want to include this quote from Fernando Clavijo:
If you’re looking for money only, this is not the place to come. If you’re looking for security, a way of life, a great and incredible up and coming league, this is it. This is it and some people need to make a commitment if they really believe in themselves they need to sometimes give up some money right now for the future. Many people are willing to and other people just turn around because they’re only considering how much money they’ll make. I’m not interested in those people even if they’re good. I want a guy who has the desire to come to the United States who is willing to sacrifice a bit. I have players who say "I make $40,000 a month here" and I tell them "No, you’ve been promised to get paid $40,000 a month" but there’s a reason why you’re trying to go somewhere else because you haven’t been paid for eight months.Selling that picture to some of the players is not easy. Some of them, the kind that attract me, say I don’t care [about the money] I want a way of life for my family and my kids. I want safety and security and a different way of life. Those kinds of players, if they can play, are a perfect match for us.
Does that sound like he's talking about Peter Luccin or what?
I don't see this as a signing that is costing the team a whole lot of money up front.
A role model Whatever you want to believe from his Wikipedia page, Luccin seems like a guy that has been around the block and seen about as much as any footballer can see in a career. This signing could be a great role model for a guy like Bobby Warshaw to learn from as he hopefully steps into a bigger role with the team.
There is reason for optimism Looking at his stats, Luccin started at least 29 games for ten years straight. It's not a player that has struggled with injuries in his career. He obviously had the surgery and has been relatively out of the game for 2 or 3 years now, but it can take two years to fully recover from a bad knee surgery. Given that I assume his contract is not huge, this is a guy worth taking a flyer on, IMO, as long as there is a plan for another addition to defensive midfield.
Age Obviously 33 going on 34 in April is not the age of a player you want to add for the long term. I don't like the age more than anyone else and when Fernando Clavijo talks about his four year plan, it's tough to see exactly where Luccin fits into things.
Discipline Rather than judging by the Wikipedia page, I looked through his stats from Soccernet and they don't really offer a lot to be hopeful about. 11 red cards, lots of fouls conceded and yellow cards galore. He'll need to clean that up, but every MLS team needs a hard-nosed guy.
What does he have left? The fact that he has played sparingly in the past couple years could be a blessing and it could be a curse. Like any signing that is a relative unknown, we just have to wait and see what the guy has in pre-season.