The midfielder, who spent nearly four seasons with United and helped the club win the 2004 MLS title, was reacquired in a trade following one season with the Colorado Rapids.
United sent midfielder Ivan Guerrero, its second designated player spot and a 2010 second-round draft pick to Colorado in exchange for Gomez, goalkeeper Mike Graczyk, an international roster spot and salary considerations. Gomez earned $430,000 with the Rapids last season.
“Christian has always been a great fit for the way we play,” United general manager Dave Kasper said. “He was our [team] MVP a little over a year ago, and I don’t think much has changed there.”
Gomez, 34, will take on the playmaking role left vacant after fellow Argentine midfielder Marcelo Gallardo, the club’s first designated player, decided not to return for the 2009 season.
Gomez left United after a falling-out with the team over a new contract following a 10-goal, nine-assist season in 2007. The club replaced him with Gallardo, whose World Cup resume earned him a club record $1.9 million salary. Gallardo played just 15 games in 2008, scoring four league goals.
“You can’t look back,” Kasper said. “We tried to re-sign Christian at the time and it didn’t work, and Gallardo became available and we went with him.”
Kasper said the club had patched things up with Gomez, who has produced 39 goals in 97 games with United and won the league MVP award in 2006.
“[United coach Tom Soehn] and I did have a conversation this past week with Christian to make sure we can all turn the page and move forward,” Kasper said.
Gomez fell out of favor with the coaches in Colorado last season and scored just three goals in 17 starts.
“I am coming into the team to contribute and do everything possible as a member of the team to bring the club back to where it belongs - winning championships,” Gomez said in a statement released by United.
Graczyk, 23, was a second-round draft pick out of the University of New Mexico in 2008 but has not seen any first-team action. United is in need of a backup goalie to replace Zach Wells, who is likely to retire.
Guerrero, 31, is a Honduran international player whom United acquired last season; he scored one goal for the club.