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Whitecaps sell Camilo for “multi-million dollar” fee

CamiloSanvezzoWhitecaps2012 (CanadianPress)


Camilo Sanvezzo’s bizarre transfer saga has finally come to an end.

The Vancouver Whitecaps made the news official on Friday, selling their leading goalscorer Camilo to Liga MX club Querétaro for a “multi-million dollar transfer fee,” with numerous reports claiming the final fee is $1.5 million. The Whitecaps will receive two-thirds of the total transfer fee to put towards their search for a new forward ahead of the 2014 MLS season.

“We have made the decision to part ways with Camilo Sanvezzo. In doing so, we were able to negotiate a club record transfer fee that will give us additional flexibility as we continue to build our club for the upcoming season and beyond,” said Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson in a statement.

Back in early January, Camilo was seen on the training ground of Querétaro in their uniform without authorization from the Whitecaps, including a picture appearing on the club’s Twitter account of Camilo taken with the club’s jersey on while giving a “thumbs up” sign.

Despite MLS and the Whitecaps’ repeated insistence that Camilo was a Whitecaps player and that his option had been picked up, Camilo and his agent ended up forcing the reigning Golden Boot winner from MLS to Mexico.

According to a report in the Vancouver Sun, Whitecaps management including president Bob Lenarduzzi and head coach Carl Robinson traveled down to Mexico to meet with Camilo, though the Brazilian apparently refused to speak with anyone except Robinson.

“It was an interesting conversation,” Robinson told the Vancouver Sun. ““I made my point to him, where I stood. There were a few words at higher decibels than others … we agreed on certain things and disagreed on certain things.”

Robinson and Lenarduzzi haven’t minced words this month when asked about Camilo’s conduct, calling it “unprofessional” as well as criticizing Querétaro for trying to sign a player under contract with another club.

The crux of the problem stems from Camilo and his Brazilian-based agent Lucas Texeira’s belief that the player was actually a free agent. Attorney Mike Jarosi, who specializes in sports law, told the Vancouver Province that while FIFA opposes the use of unilateral options (like the one the Whitecaps used this offseason on Camilo), they’ve deferred to U.S. labor laws and the fact that the MLS players union agreed to it in their most recent collective bargaining agreement with the league.

Last season, Camilo completely obliterated his previous goal totals, scoring 22 goals and six assists in 32 games for the Whitecaps, though they barely fell short of making the MLS Cup playoffs. Camilo’s crazy scissor-kick goal on October 6 against the Portland Timbers was named the 2013 MLS Goal of the Year.

Now with Camilo gone, there are even more questions about the make-up and look of the Whitecaps squad next season. Veterans Jay DeMerit and Nigel Reo-Coker are still unsigned and forward Kenny Miller’s contract ends this summer. The Whitecaps open preseason on Jan. 25 with player’s entrance physicals and Jan. 26 is the first day of training.


What do you think of this news? Surprised the Whitecaps sold Camilo? Think it sets a dangerous precedent? Do you believe Camilo and his agent were right to declare the contract void?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Gotto love MLS doublespeak.
    Multimillion= it could be somewhere between 2 and 999 millions but it’s actually 1.5
    Club record transfer fee= previous record was 100k
    No matter how they try to spin it they still look like chumps

  2. I know Teixeira is a common name in Brazil but I wonder if his agent is related in any way to Ricardo Teixeira? If so, it figures.

  3. Shows how little MLS is regarded.Top scorer and one of the best players in the leauge signs for Mexican minnows Queretaro.Where was the interest from the BIG Mexican clubs.

    • You realize Queretaro are at the top of the table at the moment? And are not the same Queretaro from years past? (Literally. That Queretaro got relegated and disbanded. Then Jaguares got bought and moved to Queretaro).

  4. 2 million for a player on his last year of the contract and who didn’t want to continue doesn’t sound that bad. But he was top scorer and is only 25. 3 million would have been acceptable. 4 would have been GLORIOUS.

    but didnt he wanna continue with Vancouver to get Canadian citizenship?

  5. People that keep spouting this MLS will be in trouble with FIFA line are just ridiculous, this is the same organization that voted to have a world cup in Qatar and now are scared it will be too hot. What could FIFA do? Please tell me, what court in the United States would not up hold US labor laws? It was voted on by The players Union and is upheld by the law of the land FIFA has absolutely no dog in this fight, they might not like it but that doesn’t mean anything.

    • Seriously–if there were a place that had reason for intervention it would be Italy–insane player-rights sharing schemes.

      • haha why would MLS even let him into the draft…

        (not sure whos fault it is. MLS letting him in the draft or whitecaps for not checking their info)

  6. Considering he had one year left on his contract I think $2 Million is a very good return on MLS’s investment. Maybe now Vancouver will go do something.

  7. MLS got punked.
    They should be on their hands and knees thanking Queretaro for not taking this to FIFA. That could’ve gotten ugly.

    • Wait, what? How is it not the opposite? This whole time I’ve been thinking MLS should have taken the issue to FIFA to call Querataro to account for their actions.

      • MLS’ rules and contract options differ greatly from FIFA regulations. For starters, players having a contract w the league instead of w the club is a big no-no.

  8. Is it possible for Vancouver to file an injunction here and get their money but Camilo and his agent end up suspended(ala Gaston Fernandez, who now plays for Portland) for negotiating a contract with Vancouver and also negotiating with Querataro? That’s some shady schtuff right there.

    • Probably, but they would have to file an injunction in NY or Delaware and then seek to get it enforced in Mexico. A bit of a hassle and probably not worth pursuing now that money has changed hands. I am sure that Queratero would have sought a release from any future legal action in any deal, although Camilo and his agent would likely still be fair game.

  9. Jason DeVos, who has strong Whitecaps connections, reporting the fee was $2 million, with $1.2M going to the Caps, the remainder to MLS.

    • LOL. Yeah…. more like multi-hundred-thousands, or multi-fractional-millions. I am almost certain you must first reach 2 before you qualify for multi.

  10. I hope the MLS files a grievance with FIFA over this. This kind of poaching isn’t allowed between other countries and MLS shouldn’t have to put up with it either.

  11. This situation seems ludicrous to me. MLS actually expects clubs to have an ‘option’ on a player! So the player can not have any job security and the club gets easy flexibility to dump a player if they wish! That’s ridiculous. It seems to Camilo was protecting himself. If the club can have the ‘option’, then why shouldn’t the player too?

    • The players do have an option. They have the option not to sign a contract that has options in it. While the option definitely helps the club, they also have to pay more for a player to sign the contract. Before the season, it shouldn’t be something that helps the player or the club, otherwise they wouldn’t agree to the deal.

    • Cause of things called contracts. Camilo signed it and is responsible to know what his and the teams obligations are when doing so.

      • Apparently MLS still permits a type of contract that is frowned upon by the rest of the footballing world and has been demonstrated to be un-enforcable.

        It’s a shame Vancouver and Camilo didn’t work something out, but I’d put more blame on the Whitecaps than Camilo. He had an amazing and the organization basically said, “Thanks, now we’re locking you in for another year at the discount rate.”

        That’s not how winners like SKC do it. They renegotiate with their big players to make sure they’re still valued.

        The real unfortunate thing about this is that the league and VWFC now look like morons.

  12. And the immediate action following this should be the addendum of serious contractual repercussions for what was tantamount to public extortion by Camilo.

    Break a leg you wanker. Seriously, break it.

  13. glad they got their money out of Querétaro and that over with..

    great goal scorer but the ‘Caps should be fine without him and with Menneh, Salgado & Mattocks.

  14. This is just he beginning, expect ligaMX to steal all MLS top talent every year now. They will get the top mexican American talent or however you wanna call it “Hispanic or Chicano or Latino.”
    LigaMX will attack those top players with bilingual skills, in order for them to adapt faster.
    For instance, ligaMX has very fancy markets and modern. There is:
    Monterrey rayados, very rich team and very modern city, it’s like living in the states.
    Monterrey tigres, very rich team and same as Monterrey rayados living style.
    Club America, owned by Televisa broadcast ( the ABC of Mexico) super rich and similar to ManU, Real Madrid . A huge club in the world and in Mexico City. Mexico City is like London, New York, Paris.
    Chivas, super rich like club America but they only use mexican players but they want to try the mexican American aspect since they know they are loosing on that.
    Morelia monorcas, super rich team but stingy owners but opening their wallet now. They are own by TVAzteca, (the NBC of Mexico) Morelia is a gorgeous city and rivals of Televisa.
    The timbers of ligaMX, club Leon. Leon is owned by Carlos slim and pachuca owner. They have Carlos slim, one of richest person in the world.
    Now pachuca, gorgeous calm city. The owner is super loaded and is friends with Carlos slim.
    Cruz azul, super rich like chivas and America and they just raided MLS.
    Oh and Tijuana, which their owner is loaded with dirty money and supported by the state and they always have raided MLS.
    Querretaro, they are trying to be a big fist in ligaMX, they have a oil money head owner and they are supported by the state as well and they just stole camilo. They were cents away from getting Forlan and Giovanni do santos. By the way, really pretty city.
    So, MLS owners, they are watching MLS and if garber doesn’t raise the cap and DP rule, good luck to MLS best talent. Thank god for nycfc and Miami coming in.

    • true, LA had to give Omar Gonzalez a DP deal to keep him from going to America.

      hopefully more high profile transfers between the two leagues and big CCL games to come. Nowhere else in the world are their two leagues (and economies) of such size that prefer to completely ignore one another! <– Something that is changing.

      I really think that after the new TV deal is in place MLS needs to continue raising the salary cap gradually like they have been doing but also roll out a Domestic DP spot to help keep MLS competitive with LigaMX salaries for the wave of Latino-American & Anglo-American talent that is developing across North America.

    • “They were cents away from getting Forlan and Giovanni do santos”
      no they were’t, Forlan to Queretaro was just a twitter rumour like Donovan to Atlas, dos Santos has stated before that he wouldn’t go back to Mexico while he is still young and he would only go to Club America.

      • Why, it’s a huge huge metropolis and very multicultural. You find people backpacking in Mexico City and their crazy food scene. They have everything you would need if you were a rich soccer player but you are not 🙂 jk, don’t be a fool and open your sould.

    • Oh yeah, Omar Salgado from El Paso tx. The sun city of USA, and where Edgar Castillo played almost his whole life. Only if we had a NASL team.

      • yeah if we had a more european or south american football pyramid. The Salgado’s and Castillo’s would start their careers at El Paso FC, then get bought Houston or Dallas, then El Paso would put the fees back into youth development.

        That’s how great footballing nations do it.

  15. Bummed he’s out of MLS now as the league needs all the talent it can get. That being said, what kind of impact will he have on his new club?

  16. It does leave a dangerous precedent, one which will make the Players Union look worst because of this stint. They should have intervened in this case and tell Camillo to report back to camp.

    • Hulk went from playing in the second division in the J-League to Porto, it isn’t that weird to find good players in small leagues.

      • WHAT?!?!?!

        Are you telling me there is actual talent outside the 4 largest European leagues? But, but, but all the Europhiles say otherwise. As we all know, if you don’t play in a top 4 European league then you’re crap (or “rubbish” as the wannabes say).

      • Yup i love hulk and knew that. Even balotelli was playing in the third division of italy when inter picked him up

      • he had a youth career at Lumezzane, a club based in Lombardy. Then a season for the pro team

        You’ll find that most European players start their careers at clubs that are very close to home.

        This is the opposite of what we do. We’ll take a 17 year old kid, force him to enter the draft, then ship him from Texas to Vancouver to start his career and then people wonder why his career has stalled.

        We’ll never be efficient at producing great footballers with this structure.

      • What we really need is a system where home grown talent can sign on with their local MLS team if the team wants them. Oh, that’s already a thing?

        Well, at least we should have an affiliation system set up between MLS and a lower league so that these kids don’t just ride the pine for 5 years before they wash out. Oh, they’re already doing that, too?

        Maybe MLS and soccer in the USA is doing all right.

      • If you are referring to Salgado, his career has stalled because his feet appear to be made of glass. He was injured for the entire season last year and the majority of the season before.

      • What the heck are you talking about? I often wonder if people reference an older version of MLS when they talk about it. I certainly hope folks at least have some form of rudimentary level of understanding of the league before taking a swing at it.

      • No, the simple difference is that footballers elsewhere in the world don’t go to college … heck, they don’t even go to high school (they get the equivalent of home schooling or a GED). Most Americans are not yet ready to have Freddy Adu be the “norm” and have to figure out what to do with the 98% who wash out and never make a professional team. Culturally, it is very difficult for us to get past this, for better or worse.

      • Juest nailed it. But to back that point up a little bit:

        there are not any 17 year old lids in the draft. there are some young GA players, but they know all the options in front of them before they sign the contract. The players in the draft are older and have already played for their “lower division pro team close to home” — it’s their college…

  17. Good. While it’s a shame that a player of his caliber is no longer in MLS, the whole thing was absolutely classless on the part of Camilo, the agent, and Querétaro. I hope Vancouver got a lot out of this for their trouble.


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