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Chicago and Toronto FC be warned: MLS could step into McBride allocation mess

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The long and drawn-out negotiations between Toronto FC and the Chicago Fire for the rights to Brian McBride have reached a stalemate, and MLS is ready to step into the fray if it has to.

MLS commissioner Don Garber admitted on Wednesday that if the Fire and Toronto can’t come to anagreement on a deal that MLS will step in to help broker a deal. Just what sort of deal remains to be seen.

"The league, at some point, has to determine whether we get involved," Garber said of the McBride allocation situation.

"We’ll manage through it, like everything else with us," Garber said. "They always come down to the wire and we generally have gotten them resolved.

"The league doesn’t want to get involved and our hope is that we won’t get involved," Garber said. "We hope that the market and common sense prevails."

Garber called McBride’s situation a "special situation" and believes that McBride should wind up with Chicago. He was clear to state that he would like to see Chicago and Toronto be reasonable in negotiations.

While it had been believed that MLS might get involved in this situation, Garber’s comments on Wednesday were the first public statements made by the league on the situation.

"Hopefully both (Toronto) and Chicago will realize that it’s in their mutual best interests, and the interest of our fans, to have Brian (McBride) in the league and to have Toronto get some benefit by being in the spot that they were in."

What do you think of this development? Should the league be getting involved? Should MLS stay out of it? What should Chicago give up? What should Toronto accept?

Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. Why are so many people up in arms about this since the players sign with the league, not with the team? Since that is the case, who is going to tell the league what and what not to do with a particular player?

    Also like others have said, Toronto should count themselves lucky that they have a chance to make some ends off this deal, much more stalling and they could end up with zilch.

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  2. the fire excuse of “he’s getting older and we don’t want to fumble with the young core” excuse is wearing thin. look if the fire want him they have no choice but to take there chances… and not only that I could imagine one of the fire players saying they don’t want to play in Toronto. Toronto is going to end up losing out unjustly cause Garber is a tard

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  3. If the league wants to broker the deal for McBride, fine by me. But they should ensure that one of the 3 Chicago players TFC want end up at TFC. It shouldn’t just be Toronto getting screwed to get McBride to Chicago, Chicago should have to pay as well.

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  4. Steve says: “I posted it yesteday if you don’t get the need for allocations and the other stupid rules you’re just simple minded. Without them this league is the NASL all over again so get over it!!!! Or get lost. They’re going to be here for a long time.”

    ———

    Well, then I’m simple-minded. As far as I know, the NASL went belly-up because a few major-market teams (mostly the Cosmos) spent way too much on salaries even though a) the rest of the teams couldn’t do so and b) nobody was spending enough on building the necessary infrastructure (audience, TV contracts, appropriate stadiums, academies, etc.) needed for long-term stability. But the salary cap should take care of that.

    With the salary cap in place, allocations and discoveries are unnecessary for keeping wages down and counterproductive for everything else. Teams that do a better job scouting and recruiting should be rewarded, not punished. And the McBride case is a particularly good example of league rules punishing a team for being both good and lucky in recruitment.

    Unless the Fire was planning to trade another DP slot to bring in McBride, he was taking a big pay cut to come to MLS, which he was willing to do only because he wanted to be close to family in Chicago. So the MLS was getting a player below market value (good for the league) and somebody beloved by US soccer fans (good for the league), but now arcane and outdated allocation rules are threatening to screw that up (bad for the league).

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  5. Steve you are pretty misinformed. Stop the NASL chicken little routine..its stale and shows your very limited education in the matter.

    Second, this idea “all fans should want McBride in the league” is crap. I dont care if he plays here in MLS or not, what is most important to me is league credibility. Stepping in and bending rules or forcing deals damages MLS’s profile more than it helps. MLS owes McBride nothing, McBride owes MLS nothing. Lets just get this silly idea out of people’s heads.

    These “returning USA internationals” are almost always a massive disapointment. I cant remeber the last USA international to return that was any good. (maybe Earnie Stewart).

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  6. The league will step in for anything, just ask Pat Noonan how he feels about the league and them sticking their nose where it doesn’t belong when the Crew and NE had reached an agreement so he could join the Crew after not having the best of luck overseas. The league put a quick halt to that.

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  7. Chicago should give up a combo of Conde/Carr/Barret, Ralston/Carr or Mapp/Carr!

    This is almost Fair!

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  8. Anyone else scratching their heads as to why Chicago didn’t just give up Barrett in the first place?

    Then all of this nonsense wouldn’t even be happening right now.

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  9. This is dissapointing as a new fan!

    I have heard the Mickey Mouse comments before and resisted them with passion

    B U T

    This is a clear sign that rules don’t mean a thing!

    What a poor lesson to teach to children and a great encouragement to anarchist!

    In twenty years MLS honchos will be complaining about those same kid’s lustful and unruly ways (DUI, Gambling, Prostitutes, drugs, etc.)

    How does it start?

    Disrespect, Disdain and DISREGARD for rules!

    G R E A T E X A M P L E *M*L*S*

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  10. The rule needs to be changed.

    Marmol should be a Red Bull, McBride should be a wanker, players who have played for other professional teams in other countries aren’t “discovered” and “discovery claims” make us sound full of ourselves. Allocation money is a joke. The draft is pathetic. The salary cap keeps our clubs from putting together real depth and talent.

    Keep it simple, stupid.

    simplify, simplify.

    The league doesn’t need to be laced in bureaucracy to be successful. We don’t need 1,000 rules.

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  11. Why is it so hard to get rid of Conde and/or Mapp. They’ll both probably be gone within the next 2 or 3 years anyway. If this isn’t the case then their level of play wouldn’t be that great in my opinion.

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  12. TFC holds no cards in this matter, it is all lose/lose for them or they can take the freebie offered…OR good luck getting more next year

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  13. I can see it now…

    The league will orchestrate a 3 way trade where Chicago gets McBride, New York gets Conde and Marmol, and TFC gets a combination of guys from New York, maybe a package including Seth Stammler since Edu is prbably gone by next year.

    Big Brother is watching you!

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  14. The League has rules. As long as they don’t bend them I see no problem in them trying to help get this settled

    ——-

    This is exactly what is going to happen. The league is going to bend the rules in order to get McBride into MLS. Whether the arbitration rule is stupid or not, altering the rules to benefit one team makes this league Mickey Mouse.

    The only thing that surprises me is that the league is going to alter the rules and LA isn’t even involved.

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  15. I guarantee TFCs compensation isn’t going to be much. This is just awful that the league has “special exceptions” to their rules. It’s ridiculous.

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  16. Toronto are right to demand a high price for the allocation. Like it was said above, LA had to give up Ruiz (50 goals in 72 league games) for Donovan. Yes, McBride is much older, but the basic principle is the same. Why Chicago thinks they could make that deal work without Mapp, Rolfe, Conde or Barrett is anyone’s guess. If they don’t want to mortgage their future that bad, then Toronto has no reason to trade.

    The rules are ridiculous, but they are the rules.

    If some deal goes down involving an injured Calen Carr or Brian Plotkin or something, then MLS screwed up.

    The cockiness and stupidity of Toronto FC’s fans annoys the hell out of, but Toronto is doing nothing wrong here. If they don’t want to trade, they don’t have to.

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  17. I don’t blame Toronto for taking the stance they’ve taken, but my prediction is coming true. No matter what, Brian McBride WILL play for Chicago.

    I still don’t have a problem with what Toronto is trying to do here, but at the end of the day they need to get something done.

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  18. A) Donovan coming back to MLS in his early 20s does not equal McBride coming back at this point in his career. So that comparison is just stupid.

    B) This was inevitable for the last 2 months so just because the league has now commented is no time to be indignant.

    C) Every team in the league should want McBride playing as it raise the profile of the league, ESPECIALLY if he plays in the Olympics and the US makes a little run. MLS needs American TV dollars to grow. PERIOD!

    D) I posted it yesteday if you don’t get the need for allocations and the other stupid rules you’re just simple minded. Without them this league is the NASL all over again so get over it!!!! Or get lost. They’re going to be here for a long time.

    E) McBride’s coming to the Fire! McBride’s coming to the Fire!

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  19. @Juan

    “If Toronto doesn’t get at least half of what it wants or 3/4 then please cry foul. I’m not hoping they are asking for the whole Chicago team either. In fact what are they asking and what is Chicago willing to give them?”

    ——-

    From what I’ve HEARD (and keep in mind, this is speculation), Toronto asked for Rolfe, Mapp, or Barrett. And Chicago was unwilling to give up any of them.

    Most Chicago fans cite the fact that McBride won’t be in the league for more than a few years, but you need to keep in mind that he will make them a much better team while he IS around, and Toronto shouldn’t be expected to immediately strengthen a division rival for nothing.

    – Scott

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  20. Full Disclosure: I’m a Fire Fan

    The thing is that Rule Number 1 for the MLS is and has always been to do what it takes to grow the league. In their eyes, adding a player of McB’s prestige and doing what they can to make the situation succeed is a no brainer. See exhibit A: Freddy Adu in DC and exhibit B: The Beckham Rule.

    Unfortunately I can see this ending with one team getting screwed…either TFC ends up getting very little besides a feeling of injustice or the Fire end up giving up too much for a Beijing bound McBride.

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  21. The League has rules. As long as they don’t bend them I see no problem in them trying to help get this settled

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  22. You know what’s even better than the league stepping in?

    Having rules that make sense! that’d be nice. Clean up your act MLS.

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  23. If Toronto doesn’t get at least half of what it wants or 3/4 then please cry foul. I’m not hoping they are asking for the whole Chicago team either. In fact what are they asking and what is Chicago willing to give them?

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  24. I think the rules are a little ridiculous, but I think bending the rules in mid-season is even more ridiculous.

    Want to change the rules? Do it for next season. But you don’t punish a club mid-season for playing by YOUR rules.

    – Scott

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  25. Well said, BFBS. The goal of the allocations etc. is also to help the league stay stable and survive so that it can grow over time. So, those rules are not going away any time soon. But if there is a specific instance where the ultimate goal of league survival will be better served by bending the rules, then so be it. This usually means some league action to place a particular high-profile player where the placement is necessary in order to get the player ot agree to be in the league at all. (e.g., Beckham, Donovan, etc.) This may be one of those situations.

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  26. I think discoveries are the dumbest thing on earth, same with allocations.

    But if they are in place, they should be followed. The league should always adhere to the rules, regardless of if its unfair.

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  27. “The league is getting better all the time, but some of the mickey mouse rules that overly promote parity need to change.”

    That quote from Dontpanic sums it up for me.

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  28. What drives me nuts about this situation: MLS will step in on this and may bend the rules a little for a special occasion. They have rules for a reason. I agree with Randomher0723, MLS needs to get rid of these ridiculous rules to begin with. If they won’t get rid of these rules, then don’t intervene…it just means somebody will catch the short end of the stick, and I doubt it will be TFC on this one.

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  29. I suspect all of these “bendings” of the rules have more in common with MLS wanting to avoid the ongoing precipice of being a single -entity and what qualifies as anti-trust with respect to the free passage of trade among players. We don’t have a “bosman” ruling in North America, I imagine because of existing regional trade pacts, but players will start suing all over the place if there’s an unreasonable restraint of trade for uncontracted players.

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  30. The primary goal of the league is adding to the ranks of American and Canadian supporters (and, relatedly, to stay solvent). If stepping in by the league to help McBride to Chicago furthers this goal so be it, even if this arbitrarily interferes with the competitive balance.

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  31. Chicago should not expect to be able to sign McBride without giving up a major value. LA, in order to get Donovan, had to give up Carlos Ruiz, who was one of the best strikers in the league at the time.

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  32. For the record i think its a retarded rule that should be done away with but its a rule thats in place and ANY other team with any other player would have had to follow it.

    I also would prefer that McBride does not play and we get nothing over being forced to take a draft and an allocation simply because the league has no right to force trades. If it does have the right then it should do so all the time. I really hope at very least the rule is revised (itll force a cap increase as well amongst other things).

    As someone said, if youre going to be a stickler for the rules, be a stickler for all the rules, all the time.

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  33. McBride wants to be in Chicago right? TFC wants Rolfe or Mapp for him and that better not happen. I love McBride as much as the next american soccer fan but he is getting old, just getting back from a bad knee injury and hasnt really played in a year or so. He might turn out to be the next Reyna. So if we get rid of Barrett for him then by all means but never Rolfe or Mapp. I wish we wouldnt have fought with NJ over Marmol. He looked slow and clumsy in the only appearence he made against the Crew. So maybe TFC wants Marmol.

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  34. MLS is justified in getting involved!

    I’m sure BRIAN left his Fulham Captaincy only because he would end up back home in Chicago .. ..

    Every effort should be made to get him > CHI with reasonable compensation for TFC .. ..

    MLS should make it happen – They owe that much to an MLS original and for what he has done for the league & USSF!!

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  35. Dontpanic- I totally agree with you. MLS needs to get away from these stupid rules. I can see for players you developed having a year or so to negotiate a contract with them, but not for anything else. If some other team wants a certain player and will pay that certain player more $$ than the other team who has a discover option on them it only ends up hurting the player.

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  36. “He should winde up in Chicago? Whatever. But Lidier Marmol who wanted to play for Osario shouldnt?”

    Nothing will change until we get rid of drafts, discovery signings, allocations, etc. All these rules don’t let players go to the teams they want. Draftees don’t really want to play for the teams they have drafted by. But they are just content that they have a chance to make or break. Everything in the MLS is version of a draft.

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  37. Yes, TFC loses top allocation spot to Seattle after this season. They get nothing if they let this happen. Nothing is a lot worse than draft picks and cash, and it’s not the Fire’s fault no-one wants to play for their shitty team.

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  38. Someone please feel free to correct me if I am wrong on this one, but isn’t Toronto’s claim on McBride lost after this year if they do not make an offer to him? Also, with the Olympics coming up how many games will McBride miss? It does take time for players to gel with teammates but in this case I do not think it would take too long.

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  39. I hope Chicago loses at least two good players to Toronto. But knowing the league and all, Chicago will have to probably part with a few draft picks and some stupid amount of allocation money.

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  40. another reason why MLS needs to change things to be taken seriously. Allocations and discoveries? c’mon I’m from Toronto and think that McBride should have been a free agent. Can you imagine Ronaldhino wanting to play in Italy and being told his rights go to Messina or Lecce because they finished last and then they would have to deal with AC Milan becuase that;s where he wants to play? The league is getting better all the time, but some of the mickey mouse rules that overly promote parity need to change.

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  41. He should winde up in Chicago? Whatever. But Lidier Marmol who wanted to play for Osario shouldnt?

    If you are going to be a stickler on rules, shut and be a stickler on rules Garber.

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  42. How about we just get rid of all these allocation and discovery claim rules. A player like McBride should be able to choose the team he wants to go too and not be forced to go to a team that has the next allocation claim or whatever the ridiculous rule is.

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  43. Surprised it took this long to happen.

    I bet they step in on Chicagos behalf which is retarded (please spare me the ‘HES AN AMERICAN LEGEND, YOU OWE HIM’, ‘CANADIANS DONT DESERVE TO PLAY IN THIS LEAGUE” nonsense). Oh well, life goes on. Itd be beautiful to see MLS side with TFC tho simply because they wrote the rules and we are trying to play by them… Bitter but true…

    Reply

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