- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On March 3, 2008
- 2 Comments
In what’s been one of the more compelling stories of the MLS off-season, the Chicago Fire and New York Red Bulls are at it again over a player.
Currently both clubs are off in training camps, the Fire in Mexico (go figure) and Red Bulls in Austria (go figure as well..) and both have recently filed a discovery claim for one Paraguayan midfielder/defender Lider Marmol.
The fun part of course is that Marmol is in Red Bull camp right now in Austria and the Fire were able to put a discovery claim on the player before the Red Bulls even left the country for Austria. After what has gone down this off-season between the two clubs over head coach Juan Carlos Osorio and more recently over defender Wilham Conde, it makes many wonder if the Fire will even offer the 22-year-old a deal or simply piss the New York club off and stand in their way of getting a deal done.
Of course this is going to frustrate any New York fan and for good reason.
From the pages of some of the MLS rules according to the league’s website:
“If a player was unable to come to terms during the season, the team that first filed the discovery retains the right of first refusal in the event the player is signed.”
It’s one of the more confusing rules in the MLS, mainly because it probably always changes with different claims and the teams that are involved in it. From this I gather that New York won’t be able to get this player unless they work out a deal with Chicago. With the way things have gone lately, I don’t see that happening.
This is one of those rules that isn’t very friendly to the league when you really look at it. It hurts the player way more than it hurts the clubs and the league, though I could see how one could argue that it hurts the league more. I could see that but I think it affects a player and future players coming into the league more than just the clubs and the league itself.
I think its bad business really on the part of the league to still have discovery claims anymore. They were useful back when the league was first started to keep clubs from breaking away from one another while the league grew. Still there is a slight need for it now as the league continues to expand but the system that is in place needs tweaking from what it is now. If a player has a claim filed for him but doesn’t pursue that club than he shouldn’t be tied to that claim if he decides to try and play elsewhere in the league.
To allow the league to grow, something like that has to change. I honestly don’t know how good this Marmol kid is but I would say if he has made it this far into Red Bull camp than he is pretty good.
Sad part is Chicago is being a bit of a brat in this since they don’t even want Marmol on their roster. They just want to keep New York from having a player that could help them out. Which I totally get at this point in the off-season, its a nasty business and to get an edge, teams do this. Ask Real Salt Lake right now, they wanted a player from the A-League and Colorado put in the same claim just right before them. At least in that case Colorado is actively looking to sign the A-League player where Chicago isn’t looking to sign Marmol.
It may be time for the league to take the training wheels off and ease off these discovery claims. Its only fair in these kinds of cases where a team files a claim out of spite of another club.