MLS- Sporting Kansas City

MLS Hot Stove: Marmol leaves Fire, Houston waits on Ngwenya and no DP rush for KC

Lider Marmol (ISIphotos.com)  

                                                              Photo by ISIphotos.com

The curious case of Lider Marmol has come to an end in Chicago.

The Paraguayan defender/midfielder has been granted a release from his contract with the Chicago Fire so that he can join a team in his native Paraguay, sources told SBI over the weekend. The move puts an end to saga that began with a tug-of-war between two MLS teams.

Juan Carlos Osorio found Marmol during his time as Chicago head coach and brought him for a trial, only to have then Fire VP John Guppy tell Osorio the club could not sign him. Osorio's subsequent attempt to sign Marmol once he was Red Bulls head coach was thwarted by the Fire, which put in a Discovery claim for him. Marmol spent weeks training with the Red Bulls in anticipation of something being worked out to allow him to join New York, but MLS upheld Chicago's Discovery claim and Marmol reluctantly joined the Fire.

Marmol never settled in with Chicago, struggling to find playing time because of the strength of the Fire's defense and his own injuries. Chicago did plan to bring him back in 2009 before he submitted a request to be allowed to leave.

It is a sad ending to what could have been a promising story. After seeing Marmol for weeks, I can tell you he had considerable talent and might have thrived in New York, but Marmol was also an emotionally fragile individual who never quite settled in with Chicago despite the Fire's best efforts to make him feel welcome in the organization.

Here are some other MLS-related stories making the rounds:

Dynamo wait on Ngwenya

The Houston Dynamo need a forward and forward Joseph Ngwenya needs a job, so it stands to reason that the two should be able to come to an agreement some two years since they joined forces in Houston's 2007 MLS Cup title-winning season.

Think again.

Houston has opened the door to having Ngwenya return, but the Zimbabwean striker has been slow in making a decision on whether he wants to return to MLS or take another run at Europe after a handful of failed attempts to settle across the point. The Dynamo will only wait so long though, and each passing day makes it less likely that Ngwenya has Houston as a fall-back plan.

In other Houston news, sources tell me the Dynamo has expressed strong interest in Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Chris Seitz, but a deal is unlikely because RSL is asking for a very high price for the talented young goalkeeper.

Wizards cut Lopez cap hit in half

Wondering just how good a deal the Kansas City Wizards made in getting Claudio Lopez to agree to a new, non-DP contract?

Try $200,000 good.

That is how much Lopez has re-signed for, sources told SBI this weekend. The $200,000 figure is also what the Wizards will now save on the salary cap by having Lopez slide out of the team's Designated Player slot.

Those of you trying to come up with new DP possibilities might want to hold your horses. My sources tell me that KC will most likely not use the slot on 2009, choosing instead to take the cap room from Lopez's new deal (and the removal of the half of Dave Van Den Bergh's contract they paid in 2008) and using that space to strength the full roster.

  • jddjsjsjdd

    Hmmm Poor Lopez. From He got a 75% pay cut, hopefully that convinces him to push himself to play his best in an attempt for a pay increase.

    KC needs a DP, whether from South America or Europe. They will have their own stadium by summer or fall 2010. They need someone to get the media attention and to have fans. You can only catch a football or baseball game in KC, soccer can’t be too hard for the people there to want to go watch.


  • Felix

    I’m surprised the Fire let him go with the pending departure of Wilman Conde. But if the guy doesn’t want to be here, it’s best to let him go than taking up precious SI spots.


  • Chris

    YES!!! Please let Seitz come to Houston! Him training under Onstad for next season, then taking over with Onstad as the goalkeeping coach? Pure gold.

    I would even be willing to give up a midfielder for him (since it’s about all we have to give). Now, which one…?


  • The Athority


    There is no such thing as SI spots anymore.


    MLS deals are so shady, it may take years to find out what he is really being paid.

    For the past couple of years people were so Wow’d that Columbus could get Guille without using their DP! In actuality, they were paying him DP money. They were just using allocation money to whittle down his cap number to non-DP status.

    Also, it didn’t come out for 2 years that KC was paying a portion of Dave Van Den Bergh’s salary.

    So who really knows what Lopez is getting paid. I take all of this talk with a grain of salt.


  • jejrj4hh2h

    I would hope Red Bulls can get their act straight to keep Van Der Bergh and not let him go to another rival.

    With Cooper/Cunningham up front, looks like Dallas has the best strike duo in MLS


  • Aljarov

    Lopez could well have been signed to a $1m 2 year deal. It’s not bad money for an ageing star and gives them a chance to live and settle in the US. That’s just speculation on my part, but it doens’t seem unreasonable.

    I doubt many teams will be using the DP this season with the economy as it is….shame that, along with the shrinking squads this year could be a step back for MLS.


  • Aljarov

    PS Shame and sad end to the Marmol saga….

    Very more talent bleeds out MLS this offseason. The Fire FO just about killed this kids career. Piss poor.


  • ARNE

    Donovan scored for BM in their friendly for today. If he can keep it up in the next few friendlies he might actually get decent mins in the next few weeks and not just cup matches. Donovan is going to be playing for BM.

    And with Gooch maybe heading to Marseille in the summer, Davies/Kljestan heading out of Sweden and MLS, totally great news for Yanks Abroad.


  • gerald

    @ The Authority – It was known before about KC picking up part of DVB contract. I remember reading about it some time in late 2007/early 2008


  • eric

    Lame by the Fire in the entire handling of Marmol. Fans were the real losers, he should have been playing for Osorio in NY (and I say that as a non-fan of the Pink Cows). I’m sure messes like this scare off other young talent when considering MLS.


  • brett

    Aljarov – the fire did nothing more then sign a player just to see it not pan out…

    Marmol never settled in with the Fire… the Defense was rock solid and Pause was even more reliable…. there clearly wasnt an opening for this guy to play…. Conde and Baky were too true with their ability…

    i feel for marmol and hope he succeeds else where….


  • eric

    Bayern match report: http://www.fcbayern.t-home.de/en/news/matchreport/2009/18288.php?fcb_sid=45150b20e8a6aedbb30eba8822480524

    Looks like highlights will eventually be posted. Some funny translation things, the headline said “Donovan Off the Mark” trying to say he opened his goal scoring account (like a footrace? On your mark, get set, etc?). Not exactly how we’d phrase it. Apparently he also hit the crossbar in the game, and keep an eye on Van Bommel, he injured a knee in the game, the severity of which isn’t known. Donovan’s versatility in the MF could earn him PT.


  • kevin

    as a strong supporter of the chicago fire, the whole marmol case was an odd one. when the fire finally got him he did not play good in his reserve games. i particularly saw him play vs UIC and did horrible. He did show signs of being good, just never got his stuff together at chicago. it was good for him to leave though, just like chad barret he started of on the wrong foot with the fire and hopefully he will flourish elsewhere.


  • VforVictory

    Donovan will be in the starting XI for BM. Just takes some time. But the question is who will be taken out? Not Ribery and certaintly not Schweinstiger. Perhaps Klose. I figure a partnership with Donovan and Toni would be exceptional.


  • jddjsjsjdd

    If only Bradley can get BMG to stay up and Adu get some playing time at Monaco, then we will be fantastic for the World Cup.

    We are an emerging football power.


  • firefan06

    Agreed with the previous poster. Sorry that it didn’t work out for Marmol, but from the times I saw him play with the reserves he didn’t play very well. Never really had to question why he wasn’t playing with the first team. Still, I wish him the best of luck elsewhere.


  • Matt

    brett – that’s just the point. Chicago signed a player they didn’t need because they had their panties in a bunch over the Osorio departure. The guy wasted a year of his career and another player has discovered that MLS is difficult to deal with and perhaps not worth the effort. The league did not do right by this guy. They should have insisted on some kind of agreement for him to play in New York, where at least he would have been given a fair shake.


  • SonicDeathMonkey

    Yes V, Bayern Munich will take Klose out of the starting lineup and replace him with Landycakes. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight. Whatever you are smoking, you need to share with the rest of us.


  • Eric O.

    @ Matt. When we signed him, who was to say he wasn’t needed? We signed him a few weeks after the season started and few people expected Soumare to thrive like he did during his first year playing as a center back. I wouldn’t disagree with the fact that we signed him anger Osorio a bit, but we also wanted the player that Marmol supposedly is/was. I’ll say it right now, he looked like trash the two times i saw him play live. It didn’t pan out… sort of like Frankowksi for us this year too. And you have to be kidding me if you think he wasn’t given a fair shot here in Chicago. You have to earn your spot in the starting XI, Marmol obviously never did that. /rant


  • John

    1. Too bad about Marmol on a couple of levels–MLS could use the talent.

    2. I don’t get the talk about how KC has to use the DP slot but who would want to play in KC? Frankly, KC is probably better not using the DP slot. Other than Angel, it’s hard to find a lot of sterling examples of DP players who elevated their teams consistently. As good as Blanco was, I personally thought Chicago played faster and more complete when he was off the pitch. And as JCO has pointed out, one DP (let alone two) involves a major cap hit–you suffer in terms of depth.

    3. Chris Seitz has a great rep. But he’s continued to fail to beat out Nick Rimando.


  • CommonSense

    Classy Chicago, real freaking classy.

    Those childish tantrums of last year seemed well worth it now that Marmol is gone and Conde will be soon.

    Well played, clowns.


  • RedLine55

    he may well have thrived in New York… but we won’t know anytime soon. He can have a great time in Paraguay – i hear the weather’s beautiful in January.

    highlights of the BM match today are on http://www.101greatgoals.com/
    LANDY scored in injury time.


  • Tim

    I think you’ll see BB.com and Jarjar Ngwenya both back in Houston for ’09. The Dom will push for these guys that he knows in spite of the FO’s desire for a latino striker.


  • Eazy

    The Marmol situation was a sad one. As a Chicago fan this outcome is disappointing after all the hoopla. If I were a New York fan I’d be more upset at Osario than the fire. Say what you will about the fire’s FO(and there’s plenty to say), but im of the opinion that had Osario not left the way that he did, Chicago’s FO probably wouldve taken a whole different approach all dealing with the Red Bulls. To me, it seemed like he wanted to bring everything he worked toward for the Fire with him to New York. For better or worse, It doesn’t work like that in MLS. I wouldn’t be surprised if wanted to bring the office copy machine with him too.

    I cant believe that Osario wasnt aware of how MLS discovery claims work. I also cant believe that Osario thought Chicago would part with Conde for anything less than a pound of flesh, especially after the way Osario left. Now do I think that Chicago’s FO has been a little childish in its handling of any deal w/Osario? Sure. But I also think that the nature of Osario’s unprofessional exit gave the fire FO every right to act they way they did. The main “victims” here are Marmol and Conde, as it appears Osario led them believe the league bend over for him and New York. If you ask me Chicago acted their own best interest, they used everything they could to prevent a conference rival from taking players Chicago had a righteous claim to. Hopefully, all parties can be amicable with each other going forward, and maybe Osario has learned a little bit about karma and how MLS works. I wish Marmol the best of luck and I hope he finds success.


  • firefan2001

    CommonSence: FIRE wanted him to return for 2009, Marmol wanted out, if it’s anybody’s fault it’s our dumbass coach, for not playing him.


  • Heffe

    There has been a lot of interest in Seitz, but RSL would be ridiculous to let him go!! He is the future keeper of the club!


  • CommonSense

    No, it’s Chicago Fire’s FO.

    They pretty much pursued Marmol out of spite. He could’ve been a very solid player for NYRB, who clearly needed a player like Marmol. Chicago, on the other hand, was pretty well set at defensive mid and at the back.

    It’s quite obvious the only reason the Fire were interested was due to NY/Osorio’s interest. If that were not true, they wouldn’t have refused Osorio’s attempts to bring him in a year earlier.

    I’m a neutral MLS fan until Portland gets a club, and as a neutral I think Chicago’s reaction to the Osorio situation has been nothing short of childish and petulant. That is not how you run a business, you got compensation for Osorio.

    Now a (possibly) quality MLS player is headed out the door for no good reason. I disagree with previous poster, from the little I’ve seen of Marmol he looked a decent MLS player. Chicago were simply stacked at his position(s).


  • dolan


    How would you feel if Osorio pulled a stunt like he did as the coach of Portland? Let’s say he left Portland to coach Seattle. Believe me, if you call yourself a fan, you would have no problem with the way Chicago and their front office handled the situation. The Fire felt they were slighted, so they claimed discovery on Marmol. If they did it out of spite, so be it. Chicago was unhappy with Osorio’s b.s. excuse about his wife wanting to live in New York and how he handled the whole situation. They acted on it. That’s life and that’s business too, whether you like it or not. Losing Marmol to Paraguay is not a big deal at all.


  • Bruce

    If Marmol really was a talent that just didn’t get the real playing time, perhaps spending preseason training with the team that held his discover rights would have allowed him to earn that playing time? Perhaps NY’s inaccurate assurances to him that they’d force CHI to give him up was the biggest disservice to him? Perhaps players’ agents should respect the rules (such as they are?!) and not assume they can bully the league to accept their terms.

    Perhaps CHI were “petulant” but I think Chi got what it needed: potential help that, in the end, it didn’t work out just like Frankowski. And the prevented a rival from strengthening themselves at their expense.


  • Daniel

    Well taken goal from Landon… sweet 1st touch to get himself in position to shoot after shielding the ball from the defender… simple, quick, well-placed shot to finish… nicely done by (still) our best player…


  • Chris

    Marmol never did anything to make me think he was going to be able to start.

    I saw him play in a few of the games when the Fire were playing mostly subs, and he didn’t impress at all.

    But I hope this means we aren’t dropping Conde, b/c if we do, Marmol might be needed.


  • brett

    CommonSense- he had every chance to crack the starting XI or at least get some PT… from reports of people who attended the reserves game he truly didnt stand out… should we have given someone PT if they didnt earn it??

    would he have thrived with the RBNJ?? perhaps… perhaps he would have settled in with them, or perhaps he would have flopped just as much as the rest of JCO’s pickups this past season…

    did the fire sign him out of spite?? perhaps, but the Fire wanted him originally with JCO as coach, but couldnt spare the cap if memory serves me correct.. either way, the fire were still in the right to sign him if they wanted to… they also wanted him back, but he requested a release to go home, and they obliged….



    “”In other Houston news, sources tell me the Dynamo has expressed strong interest in Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Chris Seitz, but a deal is unlikely because RSL is asking for a very high price for the talented young goalkeeper.””

    I laugh at you Ives. Really? RSL would be more likely to trade Rimando.


  • inkedAG

    To all the jacka$$ Fire Fans who can only blurt out “OSORIO JUDAS!!” “KARMA’S A BITCH” etc., it looks like you chewed up and spat out two players that did nothing for your team. HAHAHAHAHA


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