The MLS 'Discovery' process explained

The MLS 'Discovery' process explained

Major League Soccer

The MLS 'Discovery' process explained


If you are an MLS fan you have sure heard about the discovery process at some point. The discovery process is used to determine which teams get new players coming in to MLS. If a team has a claim on a player and the league signs the player, then the team gets the player. Simple enough? Definitely.

So how did this mysterious process get to the point where stories were circulating about teams using it to stop other teams from signing players? MLS deputy commissioner Ivan Gazidis basically called suggestions that teams could block other team’s bids for players a fairy tale because a team putting in a claim must either sign the player or move out of the way.

This might sound like a completely new approach to the process, but Gazidis insists that this has been the case all along.

So what does this mean for the long-running Lider Marmol saga? Well, MLS will reach a contract agreement with Marmol on a set salary the two sides can agree on. The Chicago Fire, being first in line in the discovery process, will have the chance to sign him at that salary. If the Fire can’t or won’t, then the next team in the discovery order (the Red Bulls) get its chance.

What should be noted is that teams do have some input in the salary discussions. The teams do NOT determine the salaries. That being said, MLS isn’t going to sign a player to a salary that no team in the league will pay, so there is obviously some input from the team(s) interested in the player.

What does this all mean? It means Chicago can have Marmol if agrees to the salary MLS offers him. Is this likely? Considering Marmol is a safe bet to be seeking north of $120K a year, Chicago will need to decide if he is worth the cap it. If the Fire passes you can rest assured the Red Bulls will pay the price.

Sound simple enough? Okay, so maybe it isn’t.

What do you think of the discovery process? Share your thoughts below.

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