By FRANCO PANIZO
A temporary solution has reportedly been found for the bizarre Andre Lewis situation.
The New York Cosmos told ESPNFC.com on Tuesday that they will allow Lewis to join the Vancouver Whitecaps for preseason preparations and will loan him to the MLS club for the upcoming season if he does enough to warrant a roster spot. Lewis, an Under-20 Jamaica midfielder, was taken by the Whitecaps with the seventh overall pick in last week’s MLS SuperDraft without the team knowing that he had signed a contract with NASL’s Cosmos.
With Lewis under contract with the Cosmos, Vancouver faced the real possibility of wasting a high draft pick on a player that would wind up playing elsewhere. Cosmos chief operating officer Erik Stover, however, has said the two clubs have reached a deal that will satisfy both sides, at least for now.
“We’ve reached an agreement for MLS to send Andre Lewis to Vancouver,” Stover told ESPNFC.com. “If the Whitecaps want to keep him after March 1, then we will finalize the arrangement as a loan with MLS.”
It seems likely that Lewis makes Vancouver’s roster given his talent and how highly he was drafted by the club. Still, playing time is not guaranteed and the Whitecaps will probably need to pay a transfer fee in the future if they wish to keep the young player that they initially thought was one of their own.
For the Cosmos, the astute move frees up an international roster spot while still keeping Lewis’ rights. NASL only allows its clubs to have seven internationals.
What do you think of this whole ordeal? Happy to hear that Lewis will be in Vancouver this season? Do you think the Whitecaps will be willing to pay a transfer fee for him in the future?
Share your thoughts below.
Love my Cosmos, what an off season gift. MLS’ers heads are rolling.
NASL has great promises. W/ solid owners & stable stadium situations, they can create something that is greatly advantageous to players & fans w/ competition for talent.
Hope to see more NASL team make this move especially w/ players MLS will be paying 30-40 grand/
MLS may be force to increase salary cap
Like some of us said before, and saw this coming a mile away – MLS needs to get rid of that stupid draft. It’s just free advertising for lower division clubs to poach talent. There is no longer a place for it.
Minor League Soccer is now taking players on loan from the Cosmos. Ha! I guess we better get used to it.
Love ’em or hate ’em, the Cosmos are forcing people to notice them. Have to tip your cap.
+1 doing what they need to survive in this promotionless world.
Also props to Lewis and his agent for securing the best job stability anyone outside of GA players get. The league does so much to remove players’ rights good to see one win everyonce and a while.
caps looking like a bunch if amateurs this offseason.
Calm down, Walter.
Why do you keep reporting that MLS and Caps didn’t know about the situation? Haven’t you read/heard the comments from Coach Robinson and MLS? They clearly state they knew about this situation. This is such a non-issue. If the Caps like him, they’ll bring him in. If they don’t he’ll go to the Cosmos.
not sure I believe them TBH, its all just too bizarre.
Yeah, it’s a conspiracy up there with aliens and bigfoot.
They call it the “silly season” for a reason.
Some cracks showing in the MLS administration,first to the Mexican league and now the Nasl,and who’s fault are they the league’s or the clubs.?
it’s time for single entity and the draft to go
Single entity must go? That’s the business model that has produced the huge success story we’re all witnessing right now! Without that, no possible way!
Superdraft, on the other hand, I agree. Now that teams are producing and signing home grown players, it’s akin to using a typewriter in the age of Microsoft Word.
or it’s akin to having an iPhone, an iPad, and an iMac rather than just having one way of doing something.
in other words, different tools/procedures to perform similar tasks, which is in this case player acquisition.
How come no one has yet complimented the Cosmos with signing him? They performed due diligence on him already and he went with them on their trip to Spain to play Villareal.
Don’t get frustrated that a competent organization did their homework, and MLS did not. Where were MLS scouts in identifying him and signing him? How long has MLS been around?
MLS was out waiting on a stupid draft to allocate him somewhere LOL. Get rid of the SuperDraft and allow the Cosmos to develop this kid. Then you pay the Cosmos after he’s shown something on the pitch.
Letting the Cosmos poach him just before he’s drafted in MLS, then thinking that you now ABSOLUTELY HAVE to bring him in on loan or purchase him outright from Cosmos just because you spent a “draft pick” on him is ludicrous.
Wow. It seems to show that neither the league nor the club did any due diligence re contract status prior to the draft. If this draft is so important, a heck of a lot more investigation should have been done. This is mickey mouse level.
In a single-entity league, all Vancouver can do is take the word of league officials about a player. I can’t see Vancouver being nearly as much to blame as MLS officials are. Not even close.
I thought he didn’t sign until after the combine and before the draft. Can’t really blame MLS or Vancouver tracking a player’s every action in a 2-day span.
* Can’t really blame MLS or Vancouver for NOT tracking a player’s every action in a 2-day span.
Poor Vancouver. They need a second division club to loan them players. Then again it is the NASL Champion Cosmos who will probably win the US Open Cup this year.
Probably? What are you basing that prediction on? Not going to happen. Cosmos’ open cup run is going to end when they run into an MLS team (I don’t count Chivas USA here) not playing reserves.
I’m looking forward to finding out 🙂
Same here. I hope they win it just to stir stuff up. Plus, I want to see how they’d do in the CCL…
Speaking of the absurd, what’s the latest on Freddy?
He was watching reruns of “Gilligan’s Island” this morning. Then his mom made him breakfast & after using the bathroom, went back to bed.
That’s a pretty kick-ass morning if you ask me.
how in the world does a 3rd division club loan a player to a first division club>
do the Cosmos actually have a team? I thought they had a reserve squad working on fielding players in the 3rd division. SO CONFUSED AM I
They started play in NASL (2nd division, not 3rd) in August, won the fall season, and then won the league title.
but still. how does Vancouver lose a player to a 2nd division club and then accept him being loaned to them
even crazier than when Kevin Prince Boateng was bought by Genoa but loaned to AC MILAN.
From what I have heard this was a stroke of brilliance by his agent (Damani Ralph). Lewis really wants to play in MLS but he wouldn’t have the job security due to his status (a non-college international player; he’d basically be able to be cut at any time). So they worked out a deal with the Cosmos that he would sign for them (and get the security of a guaranteed contract) but he could go on loan to MLS if a team picked him. According to Stover the contract was likely done prior to the combine: “We agreed to a deal in principle with the player a while ago, and he’s under contract with us now pending approval from U.S. Soccer,” Stover told Goal USA. “We haven’t made an official announcement yet since we’re in the process of finalizing the terms of the developmental agreement with his club in Jamaica.” His participation in the combine would have had to have been approved by the Cosmos if he was under contract (most contracts state you can’t participate in events that would cause injury without club’s approval). So Vancouver (and really, MLS) knew going in what the deal with him was, so they didn’t lose out (they are taking a low risk shot on him being worth a potential transfer fee).
And on your second point: Grant Holt, Adel Taarbat, and Loic Remy are all playing in the EPL on loan from a Championship side. Roger Johnson is on loan from a League 1 side to an EPL side. Also, last year’s Golden Boot winner in the SPL was on loan from a side that got relegated from the English Championship. Plenty of clubs around the world take players from lower divisions on loan.
Loic Remy left QPR when they were relegated.
Holt plays in the Championship I believe
but it doesn’t happen often that a 2nd division club loans a player (great player) to a 1st division club
I see it all the time.. not sure what you mean… especially players that are Premier League quality but their teams were relegated the season before… the second division club feels they might bounce straight back and they just loan until it happens… rather than sell an asset…
Vancouver lost him because MLS dropped the ball and told teams Lewis was under contract when he wasn’t. I’ve covered all this in recent articles and the SBi Show. It’s not really a mystery at this point. Vancouver has to accept a loan because that’s what the Cosmos are willing to do right now. They don’t really have a choice.
From an uninformed distance, I was pretty baffled by VAN and the events w/ Camilo and now Lewis, but seems they’ve been somewhat hard done. With Camilo I’d argue that they ought to have been a bit more proactive w/ their top player in compensating/making him happy… at least been more in touch, but for certain they have to be pretty bent with MLS. How in the world does that happen?
I’d say in some ways these events are a bit of a wake up call… w/ greater success they are now a bit of a target and need to rethink some of the ways they do business.
FO is not smart. That’s the root cause.
THANK YOU Ives for that bit of clarification. I really didn’t understand how this could have happened with Vancouver’s post statements about him being under contract and then the controversy that he had potentially signed 2 contacts. Will MLS learn from this (the biggest learning point is probably that convoluted contracting and roster rules will come back to bite you)? I doubt it.
The best team in the second division loaning a player to a mid-table team in the first division that has a vested interested in said player because they drafted him is that confusing? Really? No, not really.
i have spent a lot of time explaining why the lewis situation makes complete sense. the confusion was over whether or not he had signed two contracts.
i do not, however, understand how someone would think that mls will feel threatened by this. it is a bit of a wake up call to gms around the league, but that is a good thing, if you ask me.
anyhow, a bit of an ironic conclusion here: the cosmos are keeping mls honest when it comes to player acquisition and development by holding them accountable for the use of this player.
Who are they, Traffic?
Probably after this stunt.
I don’t understand your comment.
I hate this situation. So awkward. Good for the player I suppose as he basically has a job while getting to take a crack at a better one.
I love it. Great to see an NASL club sticking it to MLS.