Now that he's parted ways with Fulham, retired U.S. national team striker Brian McBride, 35, could well be set to join his hometown club, the Chicago Fire. But although it's long been rumored that Illinois is McBride's preferred destination, Toronto FC will be the team that owns his rights if he comes to Major League Soccer.
"It's unlikely," writes Luis Arroyave, "[that] McBride would leave Fulham -- where he was captain, a fan favorite and getting paid much more than he would in MLS -- if he didn't know where he was going to end up." Meaning that if McBride seriously thought he was destined for Toronto, he would not be heading for MLS. Fire Technical Director Frank Klopas says, "We're definitely interested. But ... Toronto has his rights. We still have to deal with them. It will depend on what Toronto wants in return."
According to the league, McBride first needs to agree to a contract with MLS, then be claimed via the allocation ranking. Toronto, as the last-place team in 2007, would have first dibs on the player. It could either pass on him and retain its top spot for a future signing, or take him and then trade him away.