However Lagerwey said establishing the club's newest signing as a DP is more of an accounting mechanism to lower the overall impact of the signing for the club. The club will have a large acquisition fee, but that also allows RSL to minimize the overall salary cap charge.
"We think this is the beginning of our ascension into becoming a mid-market team," Lagerwey told the Tribune. "There are a number of teams in our league that couldn't have made this deal. This is a sign of how far we've come."
The seven-figure transfer fee for Jaime is slightly more than what the club paid for Saborio in the spring of 2010. Lagerwey said the unique midseason deal was struck largely due to the financial contributions of team owner Dell Loy Hansen and the support of the RSL fan base.
"The fans, at the end of the day, are the ones who signed this player," Lagerwey said.
That player's arrival remains up in the air as the visa process must be approved by the U.S. government. Jaime has been on RSL's radar since 2012, when the club first started scouting him. At the time, Lagerwey explained, the club couldn't have afforded Jaime, but head scout and assistant coach Andy Williams kept his eye on Union Española. Both Lagerwey and RSL coach Jeff Cassar took trips to Santiago last month to watch and speak with Jaime regarding a potential deal. The pair purposely took separate trips to form independent impressions.
"We would not have signed him if not for the long-term [commitment]," Lagerwey said. "We think he's not just a very good player, but a good person. He's one of the best foreign interviews I've ever had … it's critical again that what we're calling a DP signing, one that lowers the cap hit, is fully in continuation of our 'Team Is The Star' mantra. This is not a player coming in believing he's bigger than anyone else."
As Alvaro Saborio remains out until late September or early October with a foot fracture sustained in late May, RSL felt like it could use another option in the attack. Lagerwey describes Jaime as a flexible, fit forward who works hard and can play either alongside Saborio atop RSL's formation or as a target striker himself.
"No one is a hero here," Lagerwey said. "This is not a signing to identify a savior for our season in fact, it's very difficult to come in at the end of the season. It's about 50 degrees right now in Santiago, it's winter down there, so something tells me we're not going to introduce him in 100-degree humidity in Dallas in two weeks … it's not a reasonable expectation he's going to come and blow the doors off the day he sets foot here."
D.C. Unitedat RSL
O At Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy
Kickoff • Saturday, 8 p.m.
TV • Ch. 4
Radio • 700 AM
Records • RSL 9-4-9;DC 11-6-4
Last meeting • D.C. United, 1-0 (U.S. Open Cup final, Oct. 1, 2013)
Position • Forward
Height • 5-foot-9
Weight • 154 pounds
Hometown • La Plata, Argentina
Previous club • Chilean Primera Division club Union Española