Top Stories

MLS Ticker: Nocerino, Kappelhof, Wingert and more


While the race for Italian star Antonio Nocerino has heated up, one MLS side has reportedly been ordered to end its pursuit for the Milan midfielder.

Orlando City SC has been ordered to cease its chase for Nocerino because of D.C. United’s discovery rights claim. D.C. filed its claim for the 30-year-old last month. (REPORT)

Dutch defender Johan Kappelhof has joined the Chicago Fire on a three-year deal. The Fire claimed the 25-year-old as a discovery signing and used Target Allocation Money to acquire the former Ajax youth academy player. (REPORT)

Veteran defender Chris Wingert has re-joined Real Salt Lake after spending the 2015 season with expansion side New York City FC. The 33-year-old previously played at RSL from 2007-2014. (REPORT)

The Los Angeles Galaxy announced on Tuesday that it has continued its sponsorship with Herbalife Nutrition. The Herbalife logo will be featured on the team’s primary and secondary kits. (REPORT)

The Seattle Sounders are considering a formation switch in 2016, changing from a 4-4-2 to a 4-3-3. Head coach Sigi Schmid said, “I’ve always been a coach who feels you have to evaluate the talent that you have on your team, and devise a system of play that enhances everybody’s abilities to contribute and gives them an opportunity.” (REPORT)

Real Salt Lake fell to Liga MX side Club Tijuana in Mexico, 1-0. RSL will resume preseason play on Feb. 11 in Tucson, Arizona, against the Portland Timbers. (REPORT)

D.C. United tied Swedish side Jonkoping Sodra FC, 2-2, on Tuesday in Bradenton, Florida. (REPORT)

What do you think of Major League Soccer’s decision? Is Kappelhof a good signing for the Fire?

Share your thoughts below.


    • As long as MLS is single entity, discovery tags make perfect sense. It’s not really about “discovering a player”…it’s about a negotiating order. B/c DCU placed a discovery claim on Nocerino a month ago, that means (according to MLS rules), they get first crack at negotiating with him. And if another club wants to negotiate with him, they can either acquire his rights for $50k in allocation money (standard, set league amount) or the original club has to make a good faith offer–they can’t just put a claim on someone and sit on it.

      The purpose behind this is so you don’t have 4-6 (or 2 or 10) MLS clubs all bidding for the same player, jacking up his price, which is then paid for by MLS. NYRB, Chicago, TFC, all of the leagues clubs provide cash which goes to produce TAM provided by the league. So when one club acts in ways that raise the price of a player for another club by tampering (which is exactly what Orlando is doing), then that it costing the other clubs in the league some money.

      In this case, DCU “discovered” that Nocerino was surplus to requirements for AC Milan. They met with him and found out what his asking price was going to be and negotiated him down to a reasonable number. They got him, his agents, and his wife okay with the idea of living in America. In short, through their scouting, work, and negotiation, they “discovered” that this was a player who was open to coming to MLS and was signable. And then Orlando steps in and sabotages the negotiations. If Nocerino does end up reversing his position and he signs with DCU, it will probably end reasonable well for Orlando. if he refuses to sign, you can expect an ugly situation for Orlando. DCU will definitely file a tampering charge against Orlando in that instance and given that Orlando is a repeat offender (guilty of tampering with Dom Dwyer), you can expect a heavier penalty this time.

      • Thanks for your explanations, I was prepared to come in here and bash the league like some other commentators but what you said makes sense. I also didn’t know teams were limited to only 7 discovery players which makes the discovery rule more reasonable. I thought they could just go stick a claim to anyone and it was with them until some other team bought the rights to the player. The way you explain it makes sense for a single entity league.

  1. This “discovery” claim bull crap on internationally known player is so bush league. It’s as much a “discovery” as Columbus finding America hundreds of years after the Vikings!!!

    • Agreed. Plus there’s a perfectly good chance that DC isn’t even going to pursue Nocerino. I’m all for good players joining this league, but to me it sometimes seems as though all these rules bog-down the development and improvement of the league, when they’re meant to do the exact opposite.

      • Actually, DCU has met with Nocerino and both of his agents and his wife multiple times. They’ve seen him practice in person multiple times. They were close to an agreement (the Italian press quoted one of his agents saying it was a done deal) and then Orlando got involved. Orlando originally asked to acquire his rights from DCU (league policy is that this is a standard $50k) and DCU refused. They are serious about signing him. Remember, Orlando was penalized for tampering last year as well–this is not the first time they’ve pulled this nonsense.

    • I think discovery is important for MLS. There are a lot of leagues out there and a lot of quality. Teams that are good at scouting should be able to have a claim to players that they have tabbed as potential signees. If you are a DC United fan, you know they have used this discovery to find players like Christian Gomez, among others.

      if Orlando is so hot to now sign this former teammate of kaka, they can pay DC United a little something. This kind of business makes sense, if you want to keep mechanisms in place to keep some parity in the league. Maybe a cleaver team owned by “oil rich” sheiks can buy up discovery claim on all the players in Europe and South America.

      • Orlando did offer to buy the discovery rights from DCU. The league policy is that it’s a standard $50k whether we’re talking the rights to Messi or to a 4th division Russian one-legged defender. And DCU refused. They can’t ask for a higher amount, it’s b/c they’re serious about signing Noserino. And Orlando then decided to sabotage the negotiations. Kaka called Nocerino. And Heath told the media that Orlando was going to sign him.

        And no, some rich club couldn’t buy up all of the discovery rights. You are only allowed 7. You can add people to the list all the time but then you have to subtract some. Every team has a list of 7. Who you put on is mostly driven by a function of who you feel you have a realistic chance of signing that will work for your club and system. So there’s nothing that prevents Orlando from putting Messi on their discovery list but that doesn’t mean it’s wise.

    • Actually, it’s just a lousy label. It more accurately should be called something like “wait your turn.” MLS is a single entity. So when multiple MLS teams compete for the same player, it drives up the price that MLS has to pay to sign that player. DCU put in a “discovery” claim for Nocerino a month ago, has met with him and his agent multiple times. Orlando was interested and asked to acquire his discovery rights (league policy is $50k for this). DCU refused and was close to an agreement with Nocerino. Kaka then evidently called Nocerino and badmouthed DCU and said he should sign with Orlando. And Heath publicly told the media that Orlando were interested in Nocerino and intended to sign him. And so Nocerino said he needed more money in order to sign with DCU. Given that basically, this money comes from MLS (i.e.: the TAM money), Orlando’s tampering (and remember, they got caught doing the same thing last season) took some money out of the pockets of the rest of the league.

      It’s not so much that DCU “discovered” Nocerino. It’s that the league recognizes they’re first in line to negotiate with him. And Orlando is sabotaging the negotiations and violating league rules.

      • If there wasn’t a rule like this in place Orlando wouldn’t be breaking it. This is yet another example of MLS needing to let go a little, se détendre l’anus !

        Bidding wars between teams is unlikely because, case in point, players typically have a preference where they go… another area the league should let the market run it’s course.

        You know this league very well, you must know that MLS has money to spend. But if competing transfer fee offers ever got out of hand they could intervene or just say no.

Leave a Comment