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One day could cost Red Bulls Marmol

If the Red Bulls wind up missing out on Paraguayan midfielder/defender Lider Marmol, it will be because they were a day late.

According to a league source, the Chicago Fire put in its discovery claim on Marmol on Dec. 11, one day after the new window for discovery options for 2008 opened. The Red Bulls submitted their claim on Dec. 12.

Now, if both teams had submitted their claim on the same day, the Red Bulls would have had its claim honored because the tie-breaker for discovery claims is the previous year’s record, inlcuding playoff performance. With Chicago having reached the East final, and the Red Bulls losing in the first round of the East playoffs, the Red Bulls would have had the rights to Marmol.

Does Chicago have to actually make Marmol an offer, or could the Fire lose its claim if it does not? League officials don’t have an answer to that one (that sound you hear is another page being added to the MLS rulebook to cover this case).


  1. JCO told the New York Times that Chicago is just doing this to spite him. But could it be that the Fire could not sign Marmol last year but can and will now because they have since cleared so much cap space (Armas, Curtin, JCO man crush Wanchope, Pickens, etc) and got cash from NYRB for JCO’s departure? My guess is they said no to Marmol last season bc they had already spent a lot of money on JCO signings Conde and Wanchope.

    Marmol trialed with the Fire, the coach they were paying at the time evaluated him for them and they eventually put in the claim — that’s what the rule is designed to let you do. Now it is up to the Fire if they want to take advantage of this and sign him. According to the league, the Fire does want him to sign now.

    JCO can whine about it or he can go scout other players for his new (but certainly temporary) paymasters.

  2. Ives,

    Perhaps the rules need to change. What’s wrong with a competitive bid situation if every team has the same cap. The question is do they?

    There is nothing wrong with players earning more if they win or place very high in a sanctioned tournament (e.g., Superliga, CONCACAF Champions League) but this money-under-the-table that I hear more about is clearly circumventing the cap and should be looked into (e.g., LA players getting paid more just to play in tours). Do Houston and DC get to pay their players more just for playing in the soccer tournaments they participate in? If so, the cap is basically a joke.

    Also, the allocation amounts and how they factor into what players earn each year should be looked into as well. Perhaps this results in greater than 15% difference in the amount players are actually paid.

    Another rule that should change relates to discovery claims. If a team has a discovery claim on a player they should have to exercise that claim or pass. Just to have a claim, but not use it except to block another team from signing a player, seems to me non-sensical.

  3. Nice comeback…….

    I fully understand the difference between the two situations. Apparently some people do not. The Fire was well within their rights to excercise a discovery claim, in the same fashion that NJ excercised their claim on Mendoza. It’s not real complicated. Perfectly within the rules as set up by the league (no matter how silly the rule).

    There didn’t seem to be a big outcry when Mendoza was claimed.

    I’m also amused that my post was not worth a comment, but yet… commented.

    And for the record, the original post was in reference to fans whining about the two situations.

  4. and this is the BIG reason why this league will not inprove in to a good league… because the league tells players where to go….

  5. guillermo, your inability to understand the differences between the two situations is not worth a comment. go back to chicago

  6. “This is how single entity works all players sign with the LEAGUE not a team.”-dwbpnm

    Cue up the “get rid of single entity” band.

  7. It’s this stupid crap……discovery claims, college drafts, and stuff like that, that make me hate this league. I regret renewing my season tix.

    To be honest….who wants a player that got a 1-day trail from Reading, and then was released. Has anyone seen Reading play this year – got to be awful to not make that squad (or its reserves)on a free. Keep him C-Town, I can see Angel going through him ‘like butter’ now (that is …if I use my season ticket.)

  8. Fred there is now way it would violate a labor law because it is an internal policy of ONE company there is no collusion between multiple companies(in the case of pro soccer an example would be MLS and a USL team) preventing the player from signing elsewhere. Despite the increasing appearance that teams are separate entities you have to remember that they are still just divisions within a single company. Think of this as two divisions within wherever you work which have similar job openings competing for a single potential new hire. Often one of the divisions will defer to the other(possibly in exchange for some sort of favor) and this may or may not involve the potential hire’s input.

  9. I can’t figure out what the hell Garber is doing these days. MLS has the most Byzantine rules in the sports world.

    After already being able to trade draft picks, allocations, allocation money(huh?), he gets the bright ideas to be able to trade exempt players.

    Now we’re jerking around with discoveries. The intent was to keep teams on a limited budget from bidding up the price for the same players. That’s fine to an extent.

    But now teams are just doing this to block other teams from getting certain players. This is truly stupid.

    Apparantly all this wheeling and dealing makes the league more “exciting” and “flexible”.

  10. Chicago is within their right to file a claim on a prospect per the rules. And I can see why a single entity would not want different divisions bidding against each other for a player not under contract.

    But for the league to be able to do this without the player agreeing, and for that to last all year seems like it should validate some labor laws. If the claim was good for a reasonable period of time to allow the team to come to contract – if that was there intent – say 2 months, then the player should be free after that. The only shitty thing on the part of Fire is if they have no intent to sign, they are just screwing NY at this guys expense.
    Unfortunately this is all academic. I think the rules are what they are and there is no chance he ends up w rbny.

    And yabqui – I think that sort of thing happens all the time in the “real world”.

  11. WAAHHHHH!!!!!!

    The rules don’t work in our favor so NOW we’re gonna whine, but it is perfectly okay to weasel away employees under contract.


  12. The work Osorio did for the Fire, while under contract to them, belongs to the Fire. They were well within their rights to take the results of his scouting of Marmol for them and put it to use by filing the discovery claim on the player.

    That Osorio scouted the player for the Fire and now is trying to bring him to NY … it doesn’t take Ralph Nader to find that highly unethical.

    In the real world, only a total scumbag would research a company while in one investment firm’s employ and then try to bid for that company just a day after switching jobs to another investment firm. That is why when people switch jobs in that field, their former employer escorts them out of the building immediately — without letting them take their computers or paper files.

    Osorio seems to have no ethical limits.

  13. Ives, love the site. My question is: Can a team file a discovery without the knowledge/desire of the player? Your earlier reports suggested that was case with the Revs and Angulo. If that is so, am I the only one who thinks that’s crazy and bad for the league (and fans).

  14. this is spy gate… they put that discovery shiz on him because the fire knew…. Osorio wanted him and RBNY has the money to do so…. they want to screw RBNY… and thats no fair…. mls should really change this discovery rule in which it is fair for all teams and not trying to screw the team who really wants him and the player that wants to play for a certain team

  15. as an outsider, I am enjoying the CHI/NY fight….however as a rule follower….Chicago has the better hand right now for his rights.

  16. If Chicago wants to sign Mendoza, perhaps they could ‘trade’ discovery options – first dibs on Mendoza for Marmol. An option?

  17. The question is did Marmol and Chicago actually have any contact prior to Chicago filing the claim. My guess is Osorio (while still a member of the Fire) and possibly other members of the Fire front office had contact with Marmol and/or his agents before Dec 11. Therefore just like Conde is stuck with a contract tying him to the Fire not Osorio the Fire have every right to file a discovery claim. Now Marmol may decide he doesn’t want to play in MLS unless he can play for Osorio just like Conde has but unlike Conde he is free to go elsewhere. This is how single entity works all players sign with the LEAGUE not a team. Therefore you need some sort of process of allocating players and the league devised the current system. The only tweak I can evision which would clear up this situation would be the following:
    1) a discovery claim must be filed to sign any player
    2) for a claim to be valid it must be signed by the player/agent giving that club the MLS rights to said player for a period of time(say 6 months)
    3) once step 2 is fulfilled only then can contract negotiations proceed

    This would ensure that all potential players enter talks knowing the full implications of their discussions with club X and avoid nasty fights between clubs(which I’m guessing is coming down the line regarding Marmol). All this said, for all we know Marmol would be perfectly happy playing for Chicago in which case NY/Osorio will merely be punished for being a little slow(as they should be).

  18. i hope this is addressed when the unions contract is up. This is nonsense and scares players away from signing with the league.
    I say this as a Toronto FC supporter.

  19. If guys like Noonan or Jaqua can find opportunities outside MLS, this kid could too. I think if he doesn’t sign with NJ or Chi, he’ll still be fine. And Chicago shouldn’t do NJ any favors, NJ certainly hasn’t done any for them.

  20. the sack: Does anyone else find it disturbing that a team could effectivly thwart a players livelihood and career out of spite here by making an obsene lowball offer just to prevent him from seeking gainful employment?

    I’m confused as to when MLS became gainful employment…haha….i don’t think a sign and trade is so unreasonable here given the intra-conference status (and i’m not gonna go crazy here- i’m sure the price would be quite low; a six pack would suffice i think)

  21. Yeah, I think the Fire should give up their claim on Marmol too…right after I’m-so-osorry-o publicly admits he doesn’t own a pair and used his family as an excuse to weasel his way out of his contract with Chicago.

  22. I think the Fire should give up their claim on Marmol. In order to fit Marmol into the roster the Fire would have to dump an international (Telesford or Menezes) or forego signing Marlet.

    I’d rather turn the page than continue with any plan to “get even” with RBNJ.

  23. Of course league sources don’t have an answer, because they are complete idiots. The rule is a joke. Some players can pick their destinations while others have to quit the league thanks to “discovery claims.”

    It is extremely frustrating that my favorite sports team on earth plays in a league I have nothing but contempt for because of their idiocy.

  24. Why are we talking about trades????…. the guy didnt sign with mls yet…. so how can a team have his rights????…. if the player doesnt want to play for chicago then why make him…. this is how it should work…. a team gives out a contract and if the player says no then the claim is over… and in rbny’s case there next then they off him a contract and they get it….

  25. December 11 is the very day the headlines about Juan Quisling Osorio abandoning the Fire (and his boy Conde) hit. Im really feeling the hate and I like it. However, if the Fire dont have a genuine interest in the player they should let him go. If he doesnt want to sign, then do all the formal niceties and force a trade. The Fire should treat the Red Bulls the same way Manolete treated bulls in general.

  26. Here we go again! I think Marc de Grandpre and John Guppy should just have an old fashioned duel and get all this crap over with.

  27. Does anyone else find it disturbing that a team could effectivly thwart a players livelihood and career out of spite here by making an obsene lowball offer just to prevent him from seeking gainful employment?

    I am all for Fire fans feeling a need to get even or whatever, but fucking up an innocent players career seems pretty low.


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