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Prelude to a McBride to Chicago deal?

Toronto FC just traded first-round draft pick Pat Phelan to the New England Revolution for an international roster spot through 2010.

Could this deal be a prelude to Toronto FC receiving a player from the Chicago Fire for the allocation slot the Fire can use to sign Brian McBride? It is entirely possible. What player might that be? Toronto had strong interest in Justin Mapp, while Wilman Conde would also be a good addition for Toronto.

In the meantime, New England makes out by acquiring a versatile and highly-regarded rookie in Phelan, who can provide cover both in the back and in defensive midfield.

It will be interesting to see what trader Mo Johnston has under his sleeve and just what the Fire will give up for the chance to add McBride to an already loaded team.

Share your thoughts on this deal, and what you think it means, below.



    agreed, and oddly enough we have seem to have gotten our wires crossed at some point as i see to hold the same opinions as you do for the most part. Regardless im looking forward to the outcome (and assuming you are as well)

  2. OMY – The single entity piece and structure is the difference between the other teams you mention. The fact is that the agreement that MLSE entered into with MLS ceded a lot of control that a sports franchise typically has, just like every other MLS team, that power rests in Garber’s hands who looks after the collective ownership interest.

    My argument is that basically neither the Fire nor TFC hold most of the cards here. They’re held by the league and McBride.

    You’re right on many of your points about not having to accept mediocrity but that doesn’t mean you will get ‘fair’ open amrket value either. This would be a better argument over a pint in a pub than here on the boards but for all the bluster we’ll both ahve to wait and see.

  3. Chicago will end up with McBride, he’ll disappoint, the Fire’s chemistry will get ruined and they’ll have a 2nd half nosedive. Write it down.

  4. Not to belabour an argument (although thats whats going to happen), the NHL is not a good example to use as look at the ‘success’ of the phoenix coyotes or Atlanta Thrashers. Please dont tell me those teams are making money. They were put their by mismanagement which ideally the MLS is now past (certainly looks that way as they show increasing interest in bringing teams to the likes of St Louis and Montreal, two good soccer cities).

  5. For the rights to McBride, Toronto should settle for nothing less than Conde, Marmol, Mapp and Rolfe. Otherwise, they should sign McBride themselves.

  6. PS we wouldnt look any bigger than any of the other MLS teams in the CCL. Even if we didnt have the Canadian cup we’d still qualify at this point in time;)

  7. Oddly enough Steve, i was saying something similar to that in this thread and other threads. That to me (and i would assume most people) would be a fair trade.

    As for the rest of your theory, cant say i agree with it. Its been said time and time again as MLSE owns the maple leafs a heavily supported team that hasnt won anything in 40 some odd years, that however is turning around as MLSE is serious about the sports business. Theyve turned the Raptors into a relatively winning team and TFC has invested in Academys and coaches, neither of which it is obligated to do so in any extensive manner. The fact of the matter is that TFC fans (much like any other serious soccer fans) will not stand for mediocrity when it comes to their team.

    TFC supporters are not afraid to voice their opinions (like other supporters) and will defend their team to the end (including protests against even the possibility or mention of the Argonauts sharing a stadium with TFC). Just to reiterate supporters are a boring topic. Obviously we are all supporters otherwise we wouldnt be reading this blog int he first place.

    As you said we are getting something for nothing but so it will be a win win but lets be honest, some wins are bigger than others…

    Why wouldnt we trade the rights away to the likes of RSL who could then use them in anyway they wanted (to trade or attempt to sign McBride themselves)? Its in the rulebook… Sure it swings in favor of chicago but noone is stopping chicago from doing business with RSL to get McBride…

  8. Granted this is going to seem very disingenuous considering I was just making lame attempts at cracks against Canadians. But…

    … if Mo and MLSE cry foul they will only do so to appease their fan base. The success of all leagues in North America is dependent on American TV money. If you don’t believe me look south to Detroit where you national sport (and the greatest trophy in sports) was decided by 2 american teams again tonight. Why? Because 80% of the league is in the US. Not because hockey is that popular but because their are more of us and hence more dollars to be spent.

    Its a numbers and dollars game. Especially with the single entity structure of MLS. Brian McBride will sell a few more tickets and turn on a few more tellies in the US so the LEAGUE not Chicago wants him. Chicago already has their money maker in Blanco. Not to mention a good team without McBride. MLS would love to have Blanco in their final and they’d love to have McBride in their final because it will draw ratings. MLS Cup ratings = bigger tv contract = more revenue for all 14 (16) teams.

    I agree you won’t be ‘screwed’ because all you’re giving up is an allocation earned by being shite last year. But if anything your loyal fan base will hurt you because the league knows you’ll sell out regardless of what you get for this allocation. There would be greater concern if you were a city without a loyal allegiance and without a SSS.

    But bottom line this is a business decision for the league. So one player plus draft choices and $.

  9. Steve, you rule.

    Gyan was a sub near the end of the game. Played for a whopping 6 minutes. Hes a canadian U-20, you guys have that in america right? The game we won 2-0. Against LA. The one where we played with 6 of our starters missing. Didja catch that game at all? or were you dodging gunfire or repomen. ‘Spose it could have been both.


    I guess i should have really stressed my belief in Mo as opposed to the supposed clarity of the league. Dude has done well enough for us thus far, i dont know why he would stop now. Once again, no hard feelings (i do agree with you the TFC backpatting has to stop) and i dont think we are getting screwed on this one.

  10. Yeah, TFC’s so deep they had some 19 year old kid (Nana Attakora Gyan) in their back line last week.

    They couldn’t possibly use a proven MLS centerback…..

    Granted that’ll probably fly in the lame-o CONCACAF qualifying playoffs versus the USL but seriously.

    Summer must not have arrived up north to defrost their brains yet.

  11. PS

    LA has the highest attendance, that doesnt necessarily mean largest supporters group or that anyone that even goes to the games care about the sport… Anyone can buy a ticket/season ticket…

  12. Papa Bear,

    Just because im not an ‘old head’ doesnt mean i dont know the history. I honestly dont believe we are going to get screwed on this one. You may have been bitten in the past but we havent and as a result we have no reason to believe we will. I highly doubt we are going to see a trade that pathetic, not that we will walk away with a monstrous win but that we the supporters will be satisfied.

    I know it sounds ridiculous but we’ve obviously been getting attention, more so then alot of clubs (which in all cases have been around longer). For the record it is a tiresome overfocused topic but it is an angle/element that does need to be recognized. For some reason or another we are being regarded as a good model to base the start of a club from, why screw that up? To appease Chicago? You truly think that McBride is going to change the way this league is viewed for one and half seasons at the age of 36? Hes a good player with a good history but those have limits. This isnt Fernando Torres we are talking about here, its Brian McBride. Thats not to mention the fact that the league has been openly attempting for clarity in its operations. You dont think Mo/MLSE will cry fowl and be heard?

  13. brett – Nyarko is named because he is GA. The team is deep right now and picking someone to drop from the senior roster is actually difficult (the same could not be said last season). By picking up Nyarko or Soumare, TFC would be adding to the team without being forced to dump anyone.

  14. Fire cant give up Mapp, thou hes maddengly inconsistent when hes on he take pressure of Blanco. Plus there are no other good options on the left side.

    Send Conde to Toronto and send Mcbride and the MLS trophy to Chicago.

  15. Mo asked for Mapp twice because we needed a left-sided midfielder. we signed robert, and both ricketts and smith can play on both sides, so we dont need one anymore. THat’s why.

  16. @Posted by: Ossington Mental Youth | June 04, 2008 at 05:01 PM

    is the irony of you telling someone to stop being self obsessed and self important not lost on you when you talk about being the biggest baddest supported club (not true, LA is) club in the league that should not be pissed off?

    You obviously haven’t followed the league very long to know that they do this crap all the time.

    If McBride was returning and said he wanted to play for Real Salt Lake, trust me he’d be in Salt Lake on 7/15 with very little given up by RSL in return.

    TFC isn’t getting anymore than ONE player or a $80-100K allocation for their spot.

  17. @Posted by: MLS Fan | June 04, 2008 at 02:36 PM

    LA is by FAR the most profitable team in MLS. I’d be willing to bet Chicago is quite a bit more profitable as well given the money Best Buy is paying and the Blanco shirt sales. (I see tons of Fire shirts in LA)

    Also, Mo can want all the top players he wants, but he’s not in a great position. McBride will simply retire if he can’t play for Chicago and Chicago isn’t exactly desperate for him. The card he’s holding isn’t exactly big as it might be if it was a 27 year old McBride looking to play for whoever bids first.

  18. What’s this league business. Teams will agree to terms and this conspiracy theory about favoritism is ridiculous. And the hosers and eh’s comments….come on. Does an SCTV skit really have that amount of mileage? Does that mean everyone in the US works for CSI? Grow up

  19. Some insight:

    There’s an 18 year old defender released from New Caslte at TFC that could take up a development spot with an international designation. The DP will be a striker, but in order to afford that, TFC will have to have allocation and trade away Cunningham. That leaves 2-3 real strikers (not wingers) on the roster. Chicago is probably the deepest in the league at forward. Keep in mind TFC will gun for O’Brian White next year with San Jose’s pick (2nd overall the way things are going). The deal will be for draft picks and allocation or possibly Nyarko. My guess is Chicago don’t want to give up money.

  20. Uh, sorry Krolpolski, not swallowing that.

    Sounds like alot of selfcentred selfconfident nonsense to me. Mo is a well known bargainer and has already voiced that McBride will not be going cheaply. Also I would imagine that the league wouldnt want to pissoff one of the biggest/more well known/newer support bases in the league.

    I think itll be a fair trade in which everyone will walk away happy. I do not see TFC losing anything in this.

  21. The Fire will not give up anyone of importance. MLS wants this deal done and they will tell Tonto: “Hey, hosers. Here’s the deal, eh?” And that’s it.

    The Fire is not giving up Conde. Or Mapp or anyone else Tonto is lusting for.

    They will get a Carr, a Herron, a draft pick and some cash, a shake of the hand and that’s it.

    For years the league has tried to improve LA and NY with its shennanigans. While they have failed with NY, LA is a couple players away from having a good team.

    And with Blanco doing well, MLS wants to attract more Mexican-American fans and the Fire going to the MLS finals is one way to help make it so.

  22. ok, isn’t this hands down the best trade rumour of the year (so far)? who doesn’t have a theory about who should come, who should go, which club is getting the best deal, how many side trades should be involved. Knowing the MLS there’s probably an obscure rule where you get extra allocation money for generating a good rumour.

  23. Mo and Maple Leaf have no leverage! MLS is still single entity. HQ wants McBride in the league. McBride will only play in Chicago. Leave the logic of the team’s controlling this behind.

    Its going to be draft picks, its going to be allocation money, and it will be Nyarko, Rolfe, Mapp, Thorrington, or Carr.

    And we’ll still be arguing about this a month from now since McBride isn’t eligible to join the Chicago until July 15th.

  24. jloome- i wont say anything about the defenders b/c i truthfully i really only know Marshall, Wynne and James… James has hardly gotten playing time if im correct, let alone be compared to a seasoned CB like Conde… Conde is a valuable commodity and any team would start him… he’s sat the bench at the fire b/c of a slew of injuries and b/c he was grounded at the beginning of the season

    i agree that its probably not an option you’d pick up conde, its just been rumored Mo seemed interested….

    Mapp is your biggest betting chip…Mo seems high on him… Rolfe is not for sale, simple as that… Rolfe is TOOOOOO valuable for the Fire, i doubt any fan of the Fire would forgive if he was traded…

  25. I’m hoping that the Fire trade Frankowski, losing Mapp would be a big blow. IDK though, because Frankowski is a new signing; doesn’t seem that fair to bring him in from overseas and them send him packing after only a couple of months, but I guess that’s business.

  26. MLS Fan- you are saying that TFC will want a top player in exchange, yet you listed Nyarko?? he’s untested, unproven, and still a rookie… he’s played a few reserves game… and the fact you gave up a promising defensive prospect for an intl slot i doubt you’d use it on another promising prospect regardless of if he’s a forward…

    you’ll be looking at Mapp, Conde or Robinson… as many of the TFC fans have claimed, TFC is solid in the defense so perhaps Robinson isnt an option…. you’ve pointed out NY has nothing in return for Conde exchange, and you wouldnt want to trade for an unhappy player who aims to leave at the end of the season… leaving your true options being Mapp… maybe Barrett (but doubtfull, b/c MO can find better options)…

    allocation $$ fixes alot of your up n’ coming problems…. DP and a 2nd quality player to mix with him… as we’ve found out a DP by itself is useless without surround quality…

  27. Tebily is better than Conde in his sleep andhas the resume to support that, James (if he isn’t already) will be better than conde, Velez is playing out of his shoes, Marshall has palyed well all year. You don’t trade for a centre half when you’ve got at least three, maybe four, that could start on any team in the league. It’s just asinine, unless it’s part of a bigger flip.

    And I’m not disagreeing with you rposition it could just be for allocations and drafts — I don’t consider that bending over if we already have an idea what we’re doing with it. It’s the suggestion that we’ll take Conde that just seems ridiculous.

    In fact, I could see Mapp or Rolfe being the only two players Mo would really want from Chicago right now — the former due to his boundless potential and the latter because he can finish, which is our only real issue right now.

    And before someone pipes off on Velez, he’s a better player now than he was in USL, by a country mile.


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