Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Chicago wins tug-of-war with Red Bulls
by Ridge Mahoney, April 30th, 2008 6:45AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ
TAGS:  mls

MOST COMMENTED

[MLS]Whether it stems from spite or sporting interests, the Chicago Fire's stubborn adherence to signing Lider Marmol has finally been rewarded. Ridge Mahoney analyzes the controversy.

Marmol, 22, spent a few weeks during preseason training with Red Bull New York as the team tried to negotiate his rights away from Chicago, which had filed a discovery claim one day before NYRB did the same.

Under MLS rules, competing discovery claims are decided by "first come, first served," and try as he might, Coach Juan Carlos Osorio wasn't able to swing a deal to obtain Marmol's rights.

Red Bull threw in the towel a week ago and allowed Marmol to join Fire training sessions. He has signed a contract with Chicago, and as a free agent, will be eligible to register and play for the Fire once his P-1 visa is issued and his international transfer certificate received.

The Paraguayan defender turned into a pawn as Chicago and Red Bull New York scratched and clawed in the aftermath of Osorio's move between the teams in December.

While coaching the Fire, Osorio had invited Marmol to train for a few weeks but wasn't able to sign him, and amid the turmoil of Osorio's effort to change teams Chicago filed a discovery one day earlier. Red Bull insisted its claim was filed on the same day as that of the Fire but MLS didn't concur.

Typically, Red Bull fans are moaning about the archaic and arbitrary ways of MLS, citing Marmol's preference to play for Osorio. Much the same hue and cry emanated a few years ago when New Jersey productDanny Szetela was snagged, and kept, by Columbus, rather than being assigned or otherwise sent to the then-MetroStars.

It's true that MLS has severely scrunched its own rules to place players where it wants them. Luis Hernandez wanted to play for the Galaxy, so it traded Clint Mathis to the then-Metrostars. Landon Donovan came back to MLS and off went Carlos Ruiz to Dallas. And what about Carlos Valderrama being "re-allocated' from Tampa Bay to Miami, or was it the other way round?

But both teams know the ropes, tangled though they may be, and followed procedure. MLS stuck to its rules and Chicago stuck to its guns. And shock of shocks, not every player in every pro sport gets to play for his favorite team or first choice, at least not right away. Cases in point: the MLS, NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB drafts.

Fire technical director Frank Klopas says the teams talked about a trade. Only Klopas, Fire head coach Denis Hamlettand Osorio know just how those talks went and each probably has his own opinion about how a plausible was a trade. Or is, since the MLS trade deadline is months away, and another Fire player -- Wilman Conde, who played for Osorio in Colombia for Millonarios and followed him to MLS -- also expressed his wish to play for his former coach in New York.

Marmol, 22, is a 6-foot-3, 195-pounder who has played first- and second-division ball in his native Paraguay and Spain. After playing the second half of the 2007-08 season with the Spanish second division club Hercules, he was released and went on trial in England last summer with Reading of the Premier League and Coventry of the League Championship but didn't land a contract.

Perhaps the Fire sees this saga as an additional payment for losing Osorio, who served five months of a three-year contract before leaving despite the objections of then president and general manager John Guppy, who for some reason agreed to a clause in Osorio's contract that gave him the option to leave.

MLS found no evidence of "tampering" and the teams negotiated a deal by which Chicago would receive a 2009 No. 1 draft pick, a 2011 third-round pick, and cash. Osorio also doubled his salary, to more than $400,000.

MLS rules forbid teams from approaching coaches under contract to a league rival without permission, but is there a penalty if the coach "tampers," i.e., makes his wishes known and thus initiates, directly or indirectly, discussions?

Is the Fire being spiteful or vindictive by refusing to trade Conde and keeping Marmol? Doesn't matter. It's competing off the field, as would any professional franchise worthy of its name.



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Red Bulls get defensive held with Collin    
In need of help at center back, where it lost Matt Miazga, sold to Chelsea, and ...
MLS Week 9: Results and standings    
The Colorado Rapids earned a 2-2 tie at Montreal to join FC Dallas and Real Salt ...
NWSL: Reign's Fishlock sidelined with fractured tibia    
Jess Fishlock, an NWSL Best XI pick in each of her three seasons with the Seattle ...
MLS Week 9: Weekend schedule    
One of five Saturday afternoon matches features the Montreal Impact, first in the Eastern Conference, against ...
Soccer gets new Vegas pitchman: David Beckham    
A surprise pitchman at Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis' Thursday meeting with Las Vegas government officials ...
MLS Countdown: FC Dallas looks to rebound quickly    
FC Dallas, which plays at the New York Red Bulls in a battle of 2015 conference ...
Alex Morgan flexes her social media muscle    
If U.S. women's national team players want to show off their clout to make their case ...
What They're Saying: Seattle Sounders sports scientist Dave Tenney    
"One of the biggest red flags we have is guys that have kids. Almost across the ...
U.S. U-19 men fall to Slovakia on the way to final    
The Brad Friedel-coached U.S. U-19 men's national team, having already clinched a spot in the Slovakia ...
Video Pick: Dog invades field, kisses player    
The hound who ran onto the field during a Copa Libertadores game seemed especially happy to ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives