Date: 19th June 2008 at 5:04pm
Written by:

I`m confused!

I`ve just picked up a paper and read that our former striker Brian McBride will be signing for Toronto FC!

But, that will not be his true destination as he`ll then be sold on immediately to Chicago Fire!

Apparently, it`s something to do with MLS rules!

Can anyone enlighten me what those rules are because it seems a bit strange to me?

 

10 Replies to “McBride – Fulham to Toronto to Chicago!”

  • Keep in mind MLS is a single entity and the teams are simply franchises. When MLS was established, they set up a bunch of rules to prevent the league from collapsing like the NASL, and this allocation rule is one of them. The fear is that teams in major markets (NY, LA, and Chicago) would provide a much larger attraction for star players (like the New York Cosmos in the NASL) and the other teams would not be able to keep up. This may work in other places in the world with established fan bases, but the fear was that teams in small markets would never be able to establish fan bases if all of the high profile players declined to play for them.

    So this allocation rule establishes an allocation priority list. A team improves their spot on the list if they are an expansion team, if they missed the playoffs in the previous season, or by selling a player. Now I’m not sure what determines which players this rule applies to, but it seems that only star player signings fall under this rule (a separate MLS discovery claim rule applies to young players). When a player covered by this rule shows interest in signing with MLS, the team at the top of the list gets the first opportunity to sign the player. If the player wants to sign with a different team, the team at the top of the list has three options:

    1. They can trade their allocation spot to the team that wants to sign the player.
    2. They can pass on the player, in which case they retain their spot at the top of the allocation list.
    3. They can refuse to trade their allocation, and the player cannot sign with any other MLS team (I’m not sure when this expires)

    Right now Toronto sits atop the list, but McBride has made it very public that he is only interested in signing with his hometown team, the Chicago Fire. For Chicago to sign him, they must reach an agreement with Toronto to acquire their allocation slot, and then come to terms with McBride. It is thought that the sticking point at the moment is that Toronto is asking for too much for the allocation spot (the rumors are that they are asking for two of Chicago’s best young players). Toronto believes they have leverage because Chicago desperately wants McBride, but Chicago believes they have leverage because McBride will never sign with Toronto.

  • Also, to complicate things a bit, there are rumors that the US National team has asked McBride to play on the olympic team. If he does that he wouldn’t be available until very late in the MLS season, which gives Chicago less incentive to sign him this season. But most people think he will only play on the olympic team if he doesn’t sign w/ Chicago.

  • ora as Toronot published in th eforum – Toronto FC hold the #1 allocation spot for returning USMNT players…they have the first shot at signing McBride and then trading him, trading his rights without signing him, or passing all together and keeping their #1 spot. It’s just a strange MLS rule that I think was put in place in the Leagues infancy to ensure all teams had and equal chance at signing good players…this rule doesn’t really need to be around now since the quality of players coming to MLS has rising dramatically in the past few years…I have a strong feeling that TFC will want something for McBride though, he is still a very good player who they shouldn’t pass up on.

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