Roster Compliance: Chicago, FC Dallas (Sanneh, etc.)

Was I alone in thinking we'd hear a lot more about teams getting into roster compliance around last Thursday's (or was it Friday's) deadline? I'll begin by confessing I didn't look too hard, but...still....

Even if I didn't recognize any of the names involved, I've at least seen some talk for FC Dallas, but the niftier complications seem to follow from what the Chicago Fire did on Roster Compliance Day (next year, I'm expecting the day off, by the way). The best stuff comes where veteran Tony "Big Cat" Sanneh is concerned.

Unlike four other striving players, Tony Sanneh, along with Ryan Johnson, "have been placed on the club's right of first refusal list." Even after reading the article buried on the link above, I wasn't totally clear on what being on the "first refusal list" entailed or, more to the point, how a player might get himself off said list. A good beginning point comes with the phrasing Luis Arroyave to describe its meaning on his Red Card blog: "Should a team be interested in signing either, they would have to get the rights to the player from the Fire."

Seeing as Sanneh was offered a contract by Chicago that he subsequently refused to pick up, it seemed odd that he's not then on the market free and clear. But it's the detail material, which can be found on the rules corner of Major League Soccer's site, that makes for the most interesting reading:

"WAIVED PLAYERS: A team waiving a player who clears waivers holds a right of first refusal to such player for 12 months from the date of his release."

"OUT OF CONTRACT PLAYERS / OPTIONS NOT PICKED UP: A team retains the right of first refusal to the player indefinitely only if attempts were made to re-sign the player."

Wow. So, based on, well, everything, it seems Chicago thinks they can get something for Sanneh and Johnson, but none of the other four (ouch!). And, as Arroyave's post wraps, it looks as if Sanneh has indeed attracted some interest - though it'll be interesting to see how well he fares over the unspecified offer he received from Chicago.

And, of course, this is only the tip of the iceberg with regard to understanding the waiver system in MLS...I'll turn to that when I've got a few days. But I didn't know anything about a "first refusal list" till today. It's an interesting wrinkle.


No comments: