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).