MLS blocks Red Bulls bid for Kandji

The Red Bulls’ quest to sign Macoumba Kandji this season has ended, with Major League Soccer pulling the plug on the potential $200,000 transfer bid for the 23-year-old Senegalese striker.

According to sources with knowledge of the transfer discussions, the New York Red Bulls have ceased their quest to sign the Atlanta Silverbacks striker after Major League Soccer officials balked at allowing an MLS team pay a $200,000 transfer fee for a USL player.

Atlanta’s insistence on a $200,000 transfer fee, an extremely high figure for a USL player but one Atlanta felt was fair value for such a young and talented forward, was the sticking point that MLS couldn’t get beyond. This despite the fact that the Red Bulls were willing to pay Atlanta’s asking price.

The Red Bulls secured the necessary funds to pay the asking price for Kandji when it traded goalkeeper Zach Thornton to Chivas USA for an allocation worth approximately $75,000, only to have MLS officials step in and determine that paying such a high price for a USL player would set a dangerous precedent for MLS. The issue was not the transfer fee itself, as MLS teams are allowed to pay transfer fees as long as the fees are paid using allocation funds.

The Red Bulls are still testing the MLS trade waters in their search for a speedy forward, but the wide-open playoff race has most teams reluctant to make any trades at this point in the year. The Red Bulls may wind up adding Gambian Sainey Touray, who has been on trial with the Red Bulls. The club is also looking at Crystal Palace Baltimore speedster Matthew Mbuta, a Cameroon-born winger/midfielder who looked very impressive in Crystal Palace’s U.S. Open Cup upset win against the Red Bulls on July 2nd.

It’s time for a poll. What do you think of the way MLS handled the Kandji transfer situation?

What’s my take? I think it’s a pretty sad statement that MLS would block the Red Bulls from making a $200,000 transfer purchase just a few months after the league profited greatly from selling Red Bulls star Jozy Altidore for a reported $10 million. Something needs to change in the way the league does things because it’s a bit absurd for a small office of a handful of officials to be responsible for what 14 professional teams do.

What do you think of MLS’ decision? Like it? Hate it? Think it’s time for the league’s single-entity structure to go away? Think MLS needs to loosen its restrictions on personnel moves?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in MLS- New York Red Bulls. Bookmark the permalink.

203 Responses to MLS blocks Red Bulls bid for Kandji

  1. Tim says:

    Wow, this is why everyone hates the people running MLS. They run the MLS like a small communist country.

  2. Hincha Tim says:

    I think it’s time to do away with the single entity structure and go to a salary cap/transfer cap system. And what’s wrong with giving $200K to a USL-1 team so they can use it for player acquisitions/development. It only helps the MLS in the long run since USL is basically the farm system for the MLS. On the face of it, a stupid move by the MLS, although I don’t have all the facts in front of me.

  3. Red Bull Salsbury says:

    This is great! Now we can go after Wiltord!

  4. Jon E says:

    I understand MLS’ desire to contain costs and wanting to keep USL fees low and rare, but surely they have to actually think about their decisions on particular players. How many times does a player like this come out of the USL?

    If a twenty-three-year-old player with (from what I’ve heard) a lot of pace, remarkable endurance, and visible potential pans out, he’ll bring a lot more than $200k on the European transfer market next year. Maybe even next winter. And if he doesn’t, well, there are no guarantees in sports.

  5. Michael Vann says:

    Piss poort decision by the league. If RBNY viewed Kandji worthy of a 200K transfer they should of been allowed to pull the trigger. If baffles me that the league would slam the door shut on a player for 200K but they have no problem shelling out (moreso in the past) mega bucks for washed up Euro players. Kandji is a very talented player and I see no reason why this would would set a “dangerous precedent for MLS” as the league put it. That’s ridiculous. It’s not common place to pay that kind of cash for a USL player but if anyone in the league office paid attention they would see Kandji’s talent. Furthermore, playing devil’s advocate (and if Seatle weren’t moving to MLS),would the league of vetoed a transfer if a club came calling for Sébastien Le Toux?

  6. Ed says:

    Good for MLS.

  7. Coach says:

    I hate the MLS rules, but I think the league did us a favor here. Save the money for a proven MLS performer or quality international.

    As for this year, everything depends on Angel’s health and the performance of the jeckyll & hyde defense, not a second striker from USL.

  8. Al17 says:

    This is bad on all fronts. Bad for all teams in MLS, bad for many players in USL and lower divisions and one could argue very bad for American players. The league which bills itself as the American league won’t allow a club to spend money on a player in a lower league within the US but has no problem breaking the bank if need be for players coming from leagues outside the country. Come on, if RedBulls want to spend that much money then let them. They’re the ones footing the bill. I’m no lawyer ~ those of you whom are, can ya help a brotha out with this one ~ but does this actually fall under the definition of Collusion? Yes, the league is single entity but this is just a bad precedent in my opinion.

  9. Dave says:

    Wow, the LEAGUE stopped this one? I understand how this is legal but I hope the MLS PR department is prepared for a hell lot of damage control.

  10. scott47a says:

    I can’t wait to come back and read this thread later just to see all of the people angry at the MLS structure.

    Good times.

  11. Joe says:

    Im a Fire supporter and I think that is terrible by the league. They should have told NJ that before they traded Thorton. Maybe they wouldnt have done it and Chivas would have given more for him seeing that they didnt have a keeper. NJRB got screwed in this deal because of the league.

  12. Allegre says:

    Really! It’s much better to spend team money out of the country than to spend it here! What a farce! What does MLS think they would do with it???? Maybe use it for more player development. I think MLS afraid that USL will eventually compete with it and would like USL to remain the ugly sister, even if it hurts its own teams.

    Pathetic reasoning.

  13. Kris says:

    Exactly the reason why the MLS is always going to be a second-rate league, even to American soccer fans.

    And exactly the reason why I’ve slowly stopped paying attention to the league.

    MLS is getting to be a BORING league :(

  14. Mikeype says:

    Here we go again with “Big Brother” (MLS). All teams must have the league approve everything that they do, MLS should not run the clubs, that’s for the management of the team and its fans. You do not see any other soccer league behave in this fashion around the world.

    I am beginning to believe that the USL leagues are more of a European league than MLS. That’s sad.

  15. tfina says:

    When was the last time we were actually given a break from MLSFO? It seems like they go out of their way to mess with RBNY

  16. Steve says:

    This is good. MLS can’t afford to have its clubs paying absorbitant fees because its clubs are desparate to unearth a plyer right before the transfer window.

    I’m sure its a particularly sensitive subject in the NY offices in light of Montreal knocking TFC out of the CCL, Puerto Rico and Montreal starting more brightly than NE and Chivas and the runs of Charlestown and Seattle in the USOC.

    The league needs to set itself apart from the USL and if that means controlling transfer fees so players (and agents) know you’d better come to MLS if you want to play in NA and buidl your career so be it.

  17. United fury says:

    Red Bull Salsbury,

    Wiltord is well past his prime and would probably become another disappointing player in NY’s history.(like Matteus)

  18. Dannyc58 says:

    It won’t be the futility of the Red Bulls that make me give up on the club someday. It will be the idiocy of the MLS front offices.

  19. mls hater says:

    but if it was the galaxy there would have been no problem

  20. Ossington Mental Youth says:

    Bit pathetic on the MLS’ part, its redbulls money, they put the scouting into it and feel dude is worthy.

    Dont understand how they could sign this guy with the transfer window closed tho

  21. quartz62 says:

    Mickey Mousse



    lets us sign K. we have the money, keep your big brother noses out of this…

  22. smokarz says:

    This is ABSURD!!!

    I am not aware of any leagues in any sports in the world that prevent clubs from signing players, WITHOUT a reason.

    How are teams suppose to compete, or gain a competitive edege, if they’re not allowed to sign the players they want.

    MLS might as well put all players under a pool and randomly select 28 for each team.

  23. quartz62 says:

    Mental Youth:

    That’s the international signing window, we can still sign from MLS/USL until Sept. 15

    someone correct me if I’m wrong please.

  24. KingSnake says:

    Single entity blows.

  25. RK says:

    Maybe MLS doesn’t want this to happen because they want a weaker USL tea in Atlanta for when MLS comes to town.

    I can dream.

  26. KingSnake says:

    Do Red Bull need to file an expense report for a roll of toilet paper?

  27. Eric says:

    This is BS – for all they want to say about helping soccer in America, they are hurting a USL franchise that makes little money as it is.

    For them not to get decent value for a player they signed, paid, and developed, is wrong. How would this be any different than buying a player from a low level Central America league.

    If NYRB feels the market value for Kandji is 200k, they should be allowed to pay it.

  28. cuzco03 says:

    What’s RBNY’s relationship with its parent RB Vienna? Could Vienna acquire Kandji then loan him to NY and settle finances internally?

    Otherwise Atlanta got a good asset that they may still be able to sell outside of MLS.

  29. J says:

    If the guy had UK football experience, MLS would have been all over him

    Mickey Mouse League

  30. Don Garber says:

    I’m sorry, Carlos. You’ve already used up your Northern allocation. You’ll just have to walk around mungy for the next month …

  31. Bob says:

    Petty, petty move by MLS. Heaven forbid that they actually do anything to help a USL club out. Atlanta is going to get $ for Kandji no matter what. Unfortunately a young player with talent won’t be coming to MLS but instead will be sold to a league in another country.

    The MLS/USL relationship or lack thereof is holding back soccer in this country.

  32. TCompton says:

    It seems like MLS is rather high on itself. USL is a different league, with different owners, different players, different salary restrictions, etc.

    MLS just wants to be only league people follow, and that’s pretty rediculous, especially with so many cities without an MLS team.

    As if paying a $200K transfer fee means that MLS is somehow legitimizes the USL (and as if the USL needs to be legitimized)! MLS should focus on getting the best players to play in MLS.

  33. Scott C. says:

    you can sell a player for $10 million but then can’t buy one for $200,000…what a joke…

  34. noname says:

    I don’t see why MLS needs to micromanage the selection of particular players when they set the parameters for how much teams can spend through the allocation money and salary cap system. I know they own all the contracts but then why bother having personnel people with the different franchises?

  35. Aguinaga says:

    Bad precedent?? In terms of finances, this is a league that signs David Beckham for multiple millions yet allows entry level players to be paid below minimum wage at $12900 a year. A league that wants teams to fork over millions to build their own stadiums in order to acquire their own franchises (for which they’re also charged millions), & yet balks when that same team that’s already made such a grand investment is willing to go a bit further to enhance their level of play & pay a 200K transfer fee that they can afford while abiding by the fiscal constraints as set forth WITHIN THE LEAGUE’S OWN RULES! A fee the team recognizes is based simply on the rare talent of the USL player at hand. And to add insult to injury, a fee the team arranged to pay by selling a marketable team asset in order to make happen. MLS is punishing a team just for wanting to get better by investing in a player that could turn around and net a transfer fee multiple times that! Perhaps empathy for the other owners who may not want to spend that much on a transfer fee? Where was the league empathy when the Red Bulls got considerably weaker upon selling their most prized asset and consequently netting the league millions?! BAD F*#$@%$#ING PRECEDENT?!?! JESUS CHRIST. I have been a very dedicated fan since the league’s birth, and right now, I HATE THIS LEAGUE.

  36. anotherbodymurdered says:

    what, no one’s here trying to blame this on the Fire?

  37. Don Garber says:

    Because I feel like it.

  38. Adam says:

    F–k the single entity!

  39. BigWave says:

    Seattle should sign this kid before they become an MLS team.

  40. Frank the Frowner says:

    This league is an absolute joke and will always be second rate until this morons stop limiting teams. They can pocket 10Mill but can’t spend 200k for the same god damn team? Words can’t describe the stupidity in this.

  41. Jonathan says:

    In light of the CONCACAF CL results, the false emperor is being exposed slowly. I sure hope that more and more instances would chip at the smug and arrogant “top flight football” league of the US.

  42. Bollocks. That is what MLS Front Office is–complete Bollocks.

    Look, NY did this will allocation money which they had. The two sides, NY and Atlanta agreed on the fee, so there is no quibbling there. NY was willing to pay the money.

    Now MLS says, no it is a bad precedent.

    The bad precedent has already been set when the MLS changes the rules when ever they want for what ever reason they want. NY did everything by the book here and MLS just changed the rules.

    It is not only unfair, but it is wrong. It is no wonder to me that the quality of USL has improve more dramatically than the MLS quality, because USL doesn’t change the rules on the fly.

  43. Robert Green says:

    pathetic. this is why (and i say this as a season-ticket holder of two seats at the home depot for the galaxy–e.g. someone who spends a ton of money on this league) this league still sucks after all these years.

    single entity is bullsh*t. i’m sorry ives doesn’t get that, but the constant “but the NASL went under, waaah waaah waaah ” crap has got to go. the past is the past. this league has a bunch of teams with their own stadia and revenue streams, with more coming all the time. let them sink or swim on their own competence. single table (keep the playoffs because americans love them and it doesn’t hurt anyone), no more single entity. no more hamstringing ownership who wants to do the right thing, which is to put a top quality product in front of their fans based on their revenue potential and the deepness of ownership’s pockets.

    the single entity structure may have been good training wheels, but the baby is all growed up now and doesn’t need them anymore. that the league essentially is mediocre (no depth, can’t beat panamanian or trinidadian rivals!, low goal-scoring average) is obvious. if some team wants to spend money to bring top talent–good for them. if some other team wants to win using billy beane’s philosophy–good for them.

    the number of times this year i have had to apologize to friends whom i have brought to the HDC for the paucity of quality in the galaxy lineup beyond the big two is just embarrassing. and the team is making a ton of money. so let them f+cking spend it on a couple of central midfielders who aren’t…execrable.

    what is the point of spending beckham money if you can’t surround him with good players? seriously?

  44. 4now says:


    Might you add a petitioning application to your website for when polls regarding MLS policy are this lopsided. It might make a difference and the SBI mafia might become an important voice.

    Also, could you provide phone number to the MLS office so those of us interested in calling in and lodging our criticism can be counted?



  45. MasterShake says:

    F@##@%CK this is all Chicagos fault !!!!! 😉

  46. cuzco03 says:

    MLS doesn’t want to be shown-up by USL again after Tuesday’s CONCACAF defeats contrasting to USL’s Wednesday’s CONCACAF win and draw. Imagine how embarassing it looks for MLS’ vaunted talent scouting network to pay extra for talent it should have found for free. Now if Charleston wins at RFK next week . . . not that I want that but it’s a ossibility.

  47. Jordan says:

    Wow. As a Columbus fan who went through the Pat Noonan circus (which eventually panned out for C-Bus) I think this is an absolute farce. This is so bogus. If NY wants to buy him, they should be able to. I really think MLS needs to get rid of single entity and just have a salary cap instead of this nonsense.

  48. Drew says:

    horrible decision by mls

  49. inkedAG says:

    If LA was set to pay for the dude…he’d be in a Galaxy uniform faster than you can say David Beckham!!

  50. Don Garber says:

    Give me a break. I’ve bent the rules for Red Bull as well …

  51. John says:

    Several comments:

    1. Sometimes the best deals are the ones you don’t make. Red Bulls were very close to signing Augustin Delgado and Paulo Wanchope but when those two deals fell through, signed Juan Pablo Angel. How would we feel if FIFA had allowed the team to sign Delgado or Wanchope had said “yes”?

    2. Color me skeptical about Kandji. He’s athletic and he’s torn up the USL. I think the primary reason Osorio is interested in him is that he wants someone with speed playing next to Angel. I’m not convinced that Kandji would tear up the league or even prove to be an upgrade over Doe.

    3. I think there are two possible issues here on the league’s part:

    –the league tends to lowball players consistently. They did this to Wynalda (which is why he didn’t sign with MLS at the end of his career) and a host of other players. So it’s not specific to Red Bulls.

    –the transfer fee is also a clever way of beating the cap (or potentially a cap violation). Here’s why: don’t players typically get to keep 20% of the transfer fee (I know the exact amount varies with each league and contract)? So that would be $40k before Kandji ever gets paid a dollar to step on the field. I don’t begrudge the player any of the transfer amount but I wonder if cap issues could have been a consideration. For instance, I know that DC United used to tell players they were trying to sign that by playing for United, their salaries went up an automatic $40k because of the playoff bonus situation from the league (that wasn’t counted in the cap) and then the league told Kevin Payne to stop making that argument.

  52. Mike says:

    Remember, this decision comes from the same group of people who thought that Lothar Matheus was a good buy. Fools, damned fools.

  53. Matt says:

    Okay, it’s one thing that MLS has all these rules. Fine, I get that. But why on Earth would MLS step in when NY is making an acquisition WITHIN the framework of established rules?!

    This flies in the face of MLS HQ’s recent party line, saying they only “rubber stamp” transfer deals these days, and that these decisions lie with the clubs.

    It’s obviously not the reality. I am not a NY fan, but I sympathize, what a load of crap.

  54. Eugene says:


    Why is it the league’s business who NY wants to sign? How does the league dare to make player acquisition decisions for the Red Bulls and then claim they are creating conditions for parity between teams? How can the league justify this decision given the fact LA was unofficially given a 2nd DP slot without needing to trade for it, NE is sitting on the discovery rights of George Wellcome without any interest in acquiring him this year (despite interest from NY), Chicago claimed Lider Marmol on discovery and blocked NY but have not played him since.

    The league needs to stop speaking out of both sides of it’s mouth. Writing a new rule about setting precedents is not nearly fair. The Red Bulls are acting within the league’s rules in acquiring new players — the league has NO GROUNDS to stand on.

    Gazidis needs to readdress the issue of competitive fairness if this verdict is going to stand.

    Absolute outrage.

  55. mikeK says:

    If it were LA…. oi vey.

  56. Ossington Mental Youth says:


    Thanks, thought USL might be in the international window (even tho its in the US) thought this current window only applied to free agents and mls players.

  57. Kyle says:

    I’m a HUGE MLS fan, but even I am starting to get tired of MLS’s cheapness. This is the 2nd time this week I have thought, “Maybe, Ill stop watching MLS.”

  58. Commisioner Garber says:

    Although it may seem spiteful on the part of MLS, it is really another historic moment in the development of soccer in America.

    If we send any money to the lower divisions it will delay the day that the fold up shop. Too many of these USL franchises are in cities that we want to expand in order to create a 40 team first division.

    The average fan does not realize how important franchise fees are to our business model.

  59. LJ says:

    the supremely sad thing is, give this kid some guidance and mentoring, and he could be a special player for the MLS.

    link to

    what f’n idiots.

    he would have been an exciting player to watch.

  60. GeneralMSU3 says:

    WOW!!! What a year for the MLSFO in regards to player movement. Conde, Marmol, McBride, Kandji, Seattle being able to sign their own players, Noonan, LA’s extra DP’s, etc… I’m sure I missed a bunch too.

    I feel like Gazidis is just sitting on his office desk, indian-style, moving players around like they’re little toy soldier pieces. “You go Chicago! You go to TFC! No wait!…. You go to San Jose! Now fight!!!!” All the while bright-eyed and laughing develishly.

    Hmmm…here’s a thought MLS…If you’re worried about the little ole’ USL sneaking up on you….How about going out and buying all their best players (Including Kandji). Yes I know this will mean raising the salary cap, hoh hum. But you know what…you actually might have the best league in this country after that! Just a thought…..

  61. Brando says:

    This is garbage. I encourage everyone to call MLS HQ and let them know how you feel.

  62. phats says:

    bush league

  63. Ives says:

    Your right Quartz62.

  64. CPTKevin says:

    borders on criminal (did any other team in MLS have a problem with this move?)

    It also sends a bad message to potential USL players trying to break into the MLS.

  65. Joamiq says:

    Absolute. Utter. Complete. Bullshit.

  66. Matt says:

    Sounds like communism to me.

    The ruling party thinks they know what is better for the whole than the actual people they serve.

    What a farcical joke this league is. Too bad we care because it is an American league and we want it to be the best not some bullshit regime run league that it is now.

  67. Yossarian says:

    Another brilliant move by MLS

    1) It furthers their shrewd policy of screwing with the NY team. It’s been proven time and again that a small market like NY can’t possibly support a team, so moves like this will just hasten their exit out of the league so a major market like Boise can get a team that will make some serious money for the league.

    2) It also continues their excellent policy of putting a poor product on the field and preventing good young players from developing and signing with MLS teams. If MLS gets too good, they’re going to wind up having multiple teams going deep into all these extra tournaments which is just a huge hassle.

    3) It’s a great service to the soccer watching public. With all the new opportunities out there to watch EPL and other foreign leagues, it’s nice to see a league that has no desire to produce a watchable product. It really frees up a lot of my time now that I don’t have to go to any MLS games or watch them on T.V.

    Thanks MLS!!

  68. Jacob says:

    I get to see Kandji a little longer, like I wanted, but:

    MLS screwed the pooch on this one. Proof that they are run no better than the USSF itself.

    Can the single entity deal be settled in the new cba? If it can, it needs to be. All our other major sports (baseball aside) work as seperate entities with salary caps (even large as it is, the NFL cap is very stringent) and with great success. It’s time for this to happen.

  69. JL says:

    Ya this really doesn’t make sense. Is it the idea MLS is such a superior league to USL they shouldn’t have to pay to get their players? Thats retarded if so. If you are going to be willing to sell up and coming players to Europe, but then only give a portion of this cash to the teams, you shouldn’t be telling them no when a cheap, young option becomes available. Maybe the concern is there is a sell on clause? I dont get what MLS gains by taking this stand.

  70. Fumar says:

    It sounds like we all have some feedback for the league. We’re the ones paying for the product on the field. We want the best available product. LET MLS KNOW we want the teams to make personnel decisions, NOT THE MLS!

  71. GeneralMSU3 says:

    Imagine an EPL, La Liga, Serie A, or Bundesliga team were not able to sign players from the lower divisions within their respective country.

    I wonder if this would be an issue if the $200,000 amount was never in the news.

    So the issue here is that he is playing for Atlanta (a USL team). If he were playing in Belize or Nicaragua this would be a good spend???…..hmmmm….

  72. Chris says:

    WOW! these guys are a joke! i agree that $200,000 is a lot for a USL player, but if red bulls were willing to pay what’s the problem? i freakin hate the guys running mls.

  73. JC says:

    The only thing the MLS has accomplished by blocking this move is shown that despite landing Beckham, and hyping itself to the world, the MLS still isn’t confident about it’s standing in the North American sports landscape. It’s very obvious MLS FO is concerned the USL might compete with it, so it stupidly blocks a move that could help an MLS team. What’s most amusing is that some really good talent has come from the USL or have they forgotten where Brian Ching, Maykel Galindo, and Dwayne De Rosario got their starts? Not to mention that a full USL team (Seattle) is basically getting promoted to the MLS next season. Pathetic action on MLS’ part.

  74. MasterShake says:

    This is not just a problem for Red Bulls, this is a problem for everyone. Today Red Bulls tomorrow SJ or RSL…just not LA apparently.

  75. scott47a says:

    Man, I’m really enjoying this.

    I think my favorite so far was “Single-entity blows.”

    Now that is a succinct and direct comment!

  76. BlonDie says:

    This is a joke , rules are bent every which way by MLS , not to mention the league has made more money of the redbulls/metrostars interms of transer fees from european clubs-Bradley-Altidore-Howard and that JP guy who tore up his knee! A joke plain and simple , tell Garber to pill his head out of the Galaxies asshole long enough to sse that usl has talent and that 200k is not alot for a player who might wind up in France or Germany and 1 day be worth 20 times that 200k , Garber is a FOOL!

  77. donny says:

    seemingly it takes red bull f-o-r-e-v-e-r to do anything – so this hurts even more that so much valuable time was wasted to get to this conclusion. this season i’ve lost quite a bit of respect for garber and company in the mls front office – they are as useless as our sporting director is!

  78. GeneralMSU3 says:

    I’m so fired up about this topic. This is my 3rd time posting.

    I just e-mailed this to MLS:

    Oh boy! Quite a commotion you’ve caused with the Mac Kandji purchase or lack thereof.

    Please let NYRB operate as they deem fit and sign players that they feel will benefit their club. If they made moves via tranfers and trades to acquire the necessary funds to spend on a player such as Atlanta’s Kandji, please allow them to sign him.

    In case you were unaware (tongue in cheek), teams and leagues around the world operate just like this. They buy young talent from their countries lower divisions to help bolster their squad. Then hopefully they can sell them on at a later date for a greater amount. This just makes sense.

    Recent performances show that MLS is not ahead of USL nor many teams throughout CONCACAF in terms of quality of play. Don’t you think it would make sense to acquire the best talent possible that is currently playing in this region of the world?

    Not only is Kandji, possibly, one of those players, but he is absolutely an exciting player to watch. Dare I say he is “entertaining”? That is what this is all about, isn’t it?

    Now please allow NYRB to sign Kandji and move on to more pressing matters. Like how to go about finding and signing more Kandjis!

  79. JSquaredNY says:

    If I could, I’d punch Don Garber right about now…

    I finally see why the MLS is considered second rate and a Mickey Mouse League.

    Thanks Don, your board’s decisions are always appreciated.

  80. BlonDie says:

    Let Him Play ! Let Him Play ! Is this league run by Aushwitz or Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) Garber in stronger words your an asshole who is missing the point!

  81. BlonDie says:

    We still have time someone head up a petition – Graber will tell us we can only spend 200k On Henry next year ! lol

  82. Chris says:

    I’m so sick of this league. I’m hating it more and more. Why is it the league has claimed over and over how New York is an essential franchise to the league, yet any chance they get, they screw us. Charter planes, Marmol, now Kandji. It’s ridiculous. They bend over backwards for LA. They pulled strings even for Chicago to get McBride, but NY they just seem to not care about at all.

    Ives, please write an article bashing this decision for ESPN. This needs to STOP!

  83. Graeme says:

    Just further proof that in order for this league to truly grow now with individual owners that the league needs to allow individual control as well.

  84. Michael F. says:

    MLS fromt office is absolutely ridiculous. RBNY can’t buy a player they want with the money they have?

    How can this be?

    MLS just took in $10 million form RBNY!

    Unbelievable…uh, I mean believable.

  85. BlonDie says:

    I agree this is an injustice to the fans !

  86. BlonDie says:

    IVES whats your opinion as a fan not a journalist?

  87. Chris says:

    Garber is turning into David Stern. I used to like him. Now I F’ing HATE him.


  88. Thom says:

    USL- I think United States Soccer is in there somewhere.

    Why block the sale? Why not keep the money in our overall domestic development system and leagues. I think this just really dumb on MLS’s part & illegal in any other federations’ eyes to boot. It flies in the face of capitalism as do many aspects of the MLS- some understandable but many others not and this list “of not” seems to grow much faster as time goes by.

    Ives- I have asked before and I will ask again- PLEASE do a piece on how these 2 organizations fit and function (or don’t) together. I just don’t understand it and no one in our small soccer world seems to have an interest in doing so.

    If you do I promise-

    A. to buy something from everyone of your sponsors

    B. pledge my lifelong loyalty to your site

    C. squeeze more cash somehow out of ESPN for you and the family.

  89. Kris says:

    There’s a reason The United States of America set it up so states can govern themselves and the federal government doesn’t have that much micromanaging say in things. The MLS is the opposite: The teams (as states) have no power, and the league (the federal government) run about 99% of everything.


  90. Royce says:

    Teams should be allowed to make their own decisions as long as they abide by the current rules of the league. They did everthing the right way. Give the teams their freedom.

  91. mpatt75 says:


  92. royce says:

    how can the MLS heads even think about putting another team in the NYC area when this one has so pityful for all of it’s existence, and when we finally have a coach who has a very good futbol mind they go ahead and tie the hands, why play by the rules, it doesn’t get you anywhere with MLS…

  93. Pico says:


    could not agree with you more. All the good feeling of late for the NYRB has soured, and unfortunately not because the team’s doing but because a bunch of inept people in control of the league.

    The poster Matt Johnston above is right. It is a pity this has happened.

  94. Haig says:

    What happened to all those iceholes who claim that the league favors NY?

  95. kpugs says:


  96. IHateDC says:

    If this is a new “rule,” then MLS is to blame. If RBNY knew/should have known about this in advance, then they are to blame. RBNY has ways of skirting this rule (hint: Red Bull energy drink buys advertising at the Atlanta stadium. $200,000 worth).

  97. Fumar says:

    My e-mail to the MLS. I suggest you all do the same. Only with a large outcry from MLS supporters will things like this change.


    Commissioner Garber:

    The MLS has had the scepter of the NASL hanging over its head since the leagues inception. This is why the single-entity ownership structure was created, to hold down costs and allow the MLS to have final say of player movement. My concern is that this same concern for the viability of the league has caused the MLS to pass up opportunities to better the quality of play.

    The recent refusal to allow the New York Red Bulls to sign USL player, Macoumba Kandji, for $200k is part and parcel of the trade off the MLS has made time and time again. The MLS has stepped on the toes of NYRB by overruling their judgement as to the worth of a player. I can understand blocking a transfer of a large sum as this would represent a large investment. But to block a transfer fee this small is simply not in the best interest of the league. As MLS’ top talent continues to be sold on to larger European teams those same transfer fees must be used to replenish the talent on the field. By blocking a team such as NYRB from using their allocation money on a young talent they believe is worth the money, the MLS has foolishly bet that top talent will simply filter into the league for free transfers. Simultaneously, the league has withheld money from the ULS, which has been and continues to be a breeding ground for future MLS talent.

    By not allowing clubs to pay modest sums for USL talent, the league has shown that it has little concern for the talent level in the league (basically a slap in the face to paying customers such as myself) while cutting off possible investments into the development of talent in lower leagues. This is not only watering down the product on the field currently, but also watering down possible talent of the future. Both the short-term and long-term ramification of this decision are bad for the league.

    Please allow MLS teams to invest in young talent from lower leagues in much the same way other football league around the world bring up talent from their lower leagues. For the good of the present and future of the league.


    A concerned MLS fan

  98. Kartik says:

    As always some outstanding reporting by Ives.

    The Hubris in MLS HQ is a subject I’ve been exploring on my blog since the Superliga debacle. This incident however even surprises someone like me who tends to think the worst possible of Gazidis, et al in player matters. However, I must state I support MLS and hope they shape up rather than permanently lose a generation of football fans in this nation.

    The fact is back in the day USL-1 (The A-League) and MLS used to have a working partnership. Now they compete. USL is obviously an inferior league but its not as wide a gap as typically you have between first and second divisions. MLS seems determined to kill USL, while at the same time not allowing its franchises to grow. I’ve actually spoken off the record to a few players who have been in both leagues and while they acknowledge MLS is the top league they prefer playing in USL and actually signing with a team and not being subject to the constant rearranging of the deck chairs that occurs in MLS.

    What MLS needs to do is learn from USL’s success in certain markets and also understand why USL sides tend to perform well relative to their talent level in knock out competitions like the Open Cup and now the CONCACAF CL. USL-1 sides typically get players that are MLS rejects not because they weren’t good enough to play but because they fell in the salary range of 30k-50k where cap space becomes tight. Many USL-1 players are actually better than the low end MLS players.

  99. nathan3e says:

    Here we have MLS officials distilling to its essence why so many people regard the league as a complete joke. In a way it is rather nice of them.

  100. Tom O says:

    Who do they think they are LA???

    Wait, I thought NY could do whatever they needed.

    Actually, this is Bullstuff. They should be able to reinvest what they (NY and MLS) got from the sale of Jozy!

  101. BlonDie says:

    AEG comment got me in trouble

  102. Kartik says:

    As always some outstanding reporting by Ives.

    The Hubris in MLS HQ is a subject I’ve been exploring on my blog since the Superliga debacle. This incident however even surprises someone like me who tends to think the worst possible of Gazidis, et al in player matters. However, I must state I support MLS and hope they shape up rather than permanently lose a generation of football fans in this nation.

    The fact is back in the day USL-1 (The A-League) and MLS used to have a working partnership. Now they compete. USL is obviously an inferior league but its not as wide a gap as typically you have between first and second divisions. MLS seems determined to kill USL, while at the same time not allowing its franchises to grow. I’ve actually spoken off the record to a few players who have been in both leagues and while they acknowledge MLS is the top league they prefer playing in USL and actually signing with a team and not being subject to the constant rearranging of the deck chairs that occurs in MLS.

    What MLS needs to do is learn from USL’s success in certain markets and also understand why USL sides tend to perform well relative to their talent level in knock out competitions like the Open Cup and now the CONCACAF CL. USL-1 sides typically get players that are MLS rejects not because they weren’t good enough to play but because they fell in the salary range of 30k-50k where cap space becomes tight. Many USL-1 players are actually better than the low end MLS players.

  103. Scott Brown says:

    Robert Green hit the nail on the head. MLS is so afraid of everyone saying theyre the “new NASL” that they continue to provide the country with mediocre soccer, even going so far as to send talented players (see Beckham) to failing teams.

    Single entity needs to go. No, MLS isnt ever going to be the NFL in this country, but want to raise your profile? Putting a quality product, especially with a “hometown hero” on the field is a good way to do it.

  104. brett says:

    while i enjoy seeing the redbulls squirm, i agree this is rediculous…. if the team is willing to dish out the transfer fee then let them…. and as long as he fits under their cap so be it…

  105. Chairman Mao says:

    Mass control… Sweet.

  106. doug says:

    wow, all I can say is wow!!! I thought MLS was bad with rules and salary cap but this ust takes the cake. Essentially, 2nd division teams arent allowed to turn a profit on their investment if the prospect was not drafted, tried out or discovered by MLS. Also, im sure the Silverbacks have les money than any MLS team. Having to keep a great but undoubtedly costly prospect on the payroll, when you have a buyer, is going to screw up their books. Its not like these USL teams are an endless moneypit. That 200k loss is going to hurt

  107. Angel says:

    I see the point of why mls don’t want to pay that high of value on a USL player but I think mls should let the team make its own s scouting and pay for what ever they want to pay for a player don’t matter if they are from USL or any other small league. MLS is trying to build a Monopoly and become Dictator of everything TEAM in the MLS.. Please can we Stop this Nounses and get a commish that know about futball soccer and the way to run a premier league. at the same time too can we get a better president of the UNITED SOCCER ASSOCIATION SAY BY TO GULATI

  108. Eugene says:

    Look, the fact of the matter is that NY is just on the edge of the play-offs. Acquiring Kandji legitamitely would have helped in the play-off push. By blocking the acquisition, MLS is negatively interfering with NY’s ability to compete.

    Not being allowed to acquire Kandji is clearly a disadvantage to NY and is based on a judgement call by the league, not by the rules that have been in place up to this point. Earlier in the year, the league decided it didn’t want to penalize LA for acquiring Donovan before the DP rule. Now they are penalizing NY for wanting to pay $200k (that the team has by the rules) for a USL player.

    Frankly this is much less about MLS vs. USL and much more about NY’s ability to compete over the last third of the season.

    Is the league looking to foster parity or are they actively favoring teams? That’s really the question that needs to be answered and that’s exactly where the change in policy appears to have occurred.

  109. SonicDeathMonkey says:

    King Snake, you stole my exact words dangit!! Just wait till Steve Cohen hears about this. I can hear him now calling MLS a “Mickey Mouse League”. And this time, he’ll be right. Sad.

  110. Steve says:

    Anybody else laughing their a$$es off at the fact that more Red Bulls fans have threatened a buycott in this string than attended their last home game?

    Too funny.

  111. Kevin says:

    It does suck, I was looking forward to the Red Bulls signing him and watching him play. However, it makes sense and it is necessary. In cases like this you always have to think about what is best for the league. MLS doesn’t want to shut down like the NASL did and this is a just something to prevent that. The MLS doesn’t want the teams spending so much money for a USL player. The league is still fragile, but soon enough they will be able to start allowing decisions like this. Besides, Red Bulls is going to sign Henry next year.

  112. Steve says:

    And by the way, those of you whining about MLS trying to keep New York down? Really? You think thats what they want?

    They’re probably trying to protect you from yourselves.

  113. Heffe says:

    I think my take on it would be this: if the team can afford to bring the player in for whatever price the selling team asks, why not? I understand that MLS officials don’t want values to inflate so highly (as with Euro players ie. C. Ronaldo), since doing so could cause financial harm to the league. But, since RBNY has the allocation funds to complete the deal, who cares! That is what is absurd. RBNY already dropped a player, but now are being told to move onto another choice?

    If it doesn’t benefit the Galaxy, it won’t happen!

  114. Ted says:

    @ smokarz

    The NBA has blocked franchises from paying transfer fees on drafted European players from time to time.

    The new Russian hockey league has rules on paying transfer fees as well.

    The Aussie A-League has blocked transfers as well.

  115. cuzco03 says:

    What’s the price for not being considered a “dangerous precedent” for USL1 transfers to MLS? Could the commissioner please articulate? I don’t think he or his staff really know what’s so “dangerous” about this situation, just that it seems threatening to them that a competitor league in the same country can find and develop talent that they can sell to keep them afloat. If the player does well in MLS then that helps MLS so where’s the danger? That Garber uses the word “precedent” indicates that he fears there could be significant amounts of transfers like this possible from USL1 which would seem to show how both leagues are closer in talent and entertainment than he would like to admit. Of course he doesn’t know how this could be, so he’s scared to death what he doesn’t know. So he stops the transfer because he has absolute power even when all the convoluted rules are followed to a T.

  116. A.S. says:

    This is the kind of thing that causes me to just not care about MLS. EPL, Champions League, La Liga – for all their considerable flaws, those are competitions I can care about. MLS – not so much, because the league is really a joke… it just isn’t a serious league.

  117. Drew-ROC says:

    Atlanta will sell Kandji to Norway, Denmark or Sweden for $300k-$500k. Then after a year of playing there, MLS will buy him back for $1million.

    At least they proved a point!

  118. Sniff This. says:

    I’m loving this move by MLS. New York fans are crying over everything these days. MLS officials had a reason to do this. Remember, if MLS folds, so do their jobs. They had their reasons to stop it. I haven’t seen them stop many transactions like this. I think its a great move.

  119. Drew Carey says:

    My God, what kind of screwy business did I get into?

  120. Pepe Pinton says:

    Now, I will never sell them the Cosmos name…unless of course, Giorgio tells me to.

  121. chris says:

    MLS=Mickey Mouse. Thankfully EPL is back and I can watch a real league.

  122. JMR says:

    Methinks the commish is feeling some heat from USL and wants to try to put them into the place he thinks they belong.

    The Don is now in Wayne’s World and is making a fool of himself and the league by trying to make a player from a league below his not worthy.

  123. andy says:

    single entity is fine for early business survival, but mls really needs to let some of these teams start to sink or swim a little on their own now. that’s the only way these teams can really maximize themselves and get out of the safety-net mentality.

    this combined with player salary/bonus disputes has me foreseeing a rough rough 2009-2010 time period for mls

  124. Allegre says:

    Sniff this…..Maybe you can explain how the signing of another player (from a US team) will lead to the downfall of the MLS and the loss of jobs in MLS. I assume that better players will be paid more and the more money that is offered, the better player that can be sought. If USL teams get more $ what happens….. they can attract better players and raise the level of football within this country, the players don’t necessarily have to go to Europe. The caps on player salaries are the weapon which keeps the big market teams from becoming overly strong in the league so that the old Cosmos story is not repeated.

    I see millions of $ being spent in Harrison (finally) and for 200G they want to squash scouting and acquisition in this country? You really can’t color this move any other way than BS.

  125. Yossarian says:

    Steve = Troll

    Garbage like this is exactly WHY no one goes to these games despite the fact that there are millions of rabid football fans in the area. I’m never bothering with MLS again. Thank God there are real games to watch overseas. What a joke.

  126. J says:

    I love some of the responses on this, the NASL point is a joke. This is not RBNY going out and spending a ton of their own money on players or bending salary rule (Galaxy having 3 dp’s) RBNY played by the rules, allocations process, discovery claim system, etc. and MLS said…no we are changing the rules again…very disappointing

  127. TFC07 says:

    We should start a league wide protest! All the fans in MLS should expose MLS and their bush league rules.

  128. HerthaBerwyn says:

    While Ill not cry for Juan Quisling, I think they should be able to acquire the player. My Fire fan need to see Red Bull suffer is temporarily placated.

  129. tommy wong says:


  130. scstorm7 says:

    hey mom and dad i’m going to go spend my allowance money that you gave me to buy something that i need from a friend of mine… the hell you say… wisdom of fools is on full display

  131. garbage. pure and simple.

  132. yankiboy says:

    Seriously folks. This is absolutlely NO surprise. Did anybody who is familiar with with how MLS does things think that they were going to let RBNY pay $200k for a USL player. Not even if it were Romario when he played for MiamiFC. It’s not the money that the league is protecting. It’s the marketing of the “we are WAY better than USL–they shouldn’t even be in the same sentence with us”. In MLS mind, USL deserves no credit and must be rendered irrevalent at all costs. MLS doesn’t want for USL to have any credibility with the public.

    MLS offers under market value for a decent player coming from a league like the Honduran First Division. Of course they are going to do the same with the USL. They hope that the USL club will feel ashamed by asking for more than a bag full of soccer balls and a friendly between the MLS & USL club–because they don’t want to be perceived as “holding a player back”. I seriously doubt that an MLS club has ever actually paid more than say $10k for a USL player. But hey, who knows. Seattle might have got punked and let both Galindo & Burpo go for less.

    No surprise at all. Hope Kandji likes Norway. If dude doesn’t have his “green card” (which it appears that he does NOT) then don’t think that didn’t empower MLS to play even a harder brand of hardball.

  133. bruce says:

    i am just curious as to how many of you have seen kandji play?

    my guess is that almost no one reading this post has seen him play. maybe a handful.

    is he worth the money? how do you judge?

  134. J.K says:

    MLS continues to shoot itself in the foot. With decisions like this, it will make me want to follow the USL more and MLS less. It’s time to put an end to single entity and let the clubs duke it out with a no-nonsense salary cap. Let the clubs pay transfer fees out of their own pockets just like they pay for most of the DP salaries.

  135. J.K says:


    Red Bull saw him play. They took a flight down there to see him in person. They think he’s worth the money. That should be the end of it.

    I seriously doubt that Garber and his cronies know anything about his abilities.

  136. Dave says:


    I don’t think anyone is arguing whether Kandji is worth the money. Red Bull obviously has done their homework, you do not pay 200K just because. When an MLS team says I want this player and am willing to pay 200K for him and the league says “NO!” then I am inclined to believe it is not so much how good the player is but rather some other reason. The obvious one unless I hear otherwise is that MLS underlying fear of the USL gaining a thread of legitimacy.

  137. Allegre says:

    I would like some organized response to the %^&%^&%&”s in the MLS offices. Can we boycott MLS Gear (jerseys, hats, etc.) without hurting RBNY? I think it might send a message.

  138. Fumar says:

    Bruce – that’s not the point. The point is that the MLS should let the NYRBs do whatever they see fit as long as they stay under the salary cap and various other rules the MLS has installed. To deny a move like this because the MLS doesn’t think the player is worth it undercuts the NYRBs own scouting and any independence they may have had from the MLS. It’s a power play plain and simple.

  139. Kartik says:

    I’ve seen him play in person once. He was lively but didn’t get much help that night as the Silverbacks in general were dire and Miami FC dominated them.

  140. NJ Guy No Longer Stuck in DC says:

    I am no longer a fan of MLS. I am still a fan of this blog and Ives great reporting.

    Let us count the ways that MLS makes me not want to watch it anymore:

    1. Single entity with HQ determining everything. This could be the one and only reason. It’s more important to read about the machinations in HQ determining results then it is to watch the product on the field!

    2. The schedule is totally unimportant until late July. With the transfer windows and divisional playoffs it’s just a waste to watch before then. Nevermind the team you watched in April doesn’t remotely resemble the team in August.

    3. Broken down national team players who no longer have a market in Europe. We’ve become the retirement league for Americans who can no longer ply their trade. Soon we’ll have plenty to talk about other than Reyna/O’Brien and forget all about Mattheus and Denilson. It boogles my mind that MLS and some owners think that I’ll pony up dollars to see Keller, Lewis, Friedel when he’s 50, and even McBride who is still a serviceable player. I’ve seen these guys play in their prime live with the Nats and in the EPL before they begin their career shilling for medicare eligible scooters and mail-in prescriptions.

    5. It is not ok to buy Kandji within the rules (nevermind you are buying the PLAYER and not a USL item – who cares where you buy them from). It is ok for teams to bring in Franco Niell and Oscar Echeverry and waste salary on them.


  141. MM says:


  142. Sean says:

    This is absolutely the least defensible intervention I’ve seen from MLS – and this coming after the difficulty of the Noonan deal and other bush-league maneuvers shenanigans this season.

    MLS needs the suits to understand their role a little better. Right now, they’ve convinced themselves that the growth of the league is all down to their great suitiness.

    This blows.

  143. brett says:

    all the comments talking about not following the MLS anymore and “thank god euro leagues are starting up” makes me laugh…

    you all go ahead and become armchair “fans”… foolish plastic fans 😀

  144. Thom says:

    “Atlanta will sell Kandji to Norway, Denmark or Sweden for $300k-$500k. Then after a year of playing there, MLS will buy him back for $1million.

    At least they proved a point!”

    I think Drew Roc predicted the future pretty accurately here.

  145. Reid says:

    We havent heard from giorgio in a long time, I wonder what he thinks of this scenario.

  146. brett says:

    NJ Guy No Longer Stuck in DC

    1-i agree that the hold they have is rediculous, but without them, we would have seen the likes of LA and RBNJ become powerhouses with all the money they’d flood into their team and we’d see the destruction of the league… personally i think the MLS shouldnt have a say in how much players get paid and who they bring in, so long as they fit the cap…

    2- every game is impt… plain in simple… every win is necessary… just look at the fire last season…started off hot, failed off, then had MANY games that were to be wins, but ended up tieing at the last second… many points lost that wouldve assured them a trip to the playoffs, but instead we got into the playoffs against LA on our LAST game… every point, every game counts…

    3- keller will be quite the asset to seattle and he’s not even taking up a DP.. i was more then happy about the Fire bringing back BMB… not to mention with it being his home town, im sure he’s filled some more seats that werent previously filled… Freidel will be an asset when he finishes his career… there have been successes and failures with bringing back aging talent… but to point out, other leagues bring back aging players, while still productive…. dont blame the league, but blame the team for wanting those failed aged players….

    4- ya, im kick*ss

    5- ya i have nothing on this… personally i agree with you that they shouldnt be able to deny RBNJ access to whomever they want… if they bring in the guy and he fails, then its on RBNJ’s head…

  147. brett says:

    Thom- eh, if he goes to scandanavian countries to play then comes back it would be as a free agent… but i see where you guys are coming from

  148. BK says:

    Props to the poster who compared MLS to a communist regime. This is totally out of line. Exactly what precident is the league trying to prevent? Are they trying to prevent a USL team from making money? It sure seems that way to me. Perhaps there is something under the surface that we aren’t seeing. I know the league has plans for Atlanta…I’m starting to think they are afraid the current Silverbacks are going to get in the way and do not want to help them out.

  149. brett says:

    per ives report-“only to have MLS officials step in and determine that paying such a high price for a USL player would set a dangerous precedent for MLS.”

    what precedent is that?? bigger leagues all around the world pick players up from smaller leagues all around the world, such is the way things are… actually by paying the $$ we are pointing out that the MLS is a bigger league willing to dish $$ for the smaller league’s talent…

  150. Sergio says: and Brian Lewis are both reporting that MLS did NOT do any blocking…

  151. Reid says:

    Ives could you put up as your next poll question:

    Who’s the bigger douche bag

    A) Don Garber

    B) Ivan Gazidis

    C) Brody Jenner

  152. BK – that was mine – but not posted here lol. Now we have the counter news – whats going on?

  153. Rob C says:

    Apparently there was no block by MLS on the Kandji move.

    Fans who left the league because of this…please come back??? We need you!

  154. tbisgrove says:

    Weird question… If he is trying to get asylum status in the US and hasn’t played for a men’s national team yet, when are we going to try to play him with the USMNT? It would seem we are a little short of strikers since we only seem to play TT, EJ, and who ever else we can scrounge up each game because we don’t want to hurt Altidore…

    Just wondering.

  155. yankiboy says:

    i am just curious as to how many of you have seen kandji play?

    my guess is that almost no one reading this post has seen him play. maybe a handful.

    is he worth the money? how do you judge?

    Posted by: bruce | August 28, 2008 at 03:54 PM


    Brian, I have see webcasts of Khandji playing and I have seen him on FSC USL game of the week. In total, about 30x. I haven’t seen him play in person yet.

    I can tell you that he torches dudes in the USL1.He has victimized my Puerto Rico Islanders–I mean they just haven’t been able to stop him other than by fouling him. I’ve talked to dudes who play against him and they have no problem admiting that he is a handful.

    By international standards, if you are the Norwegian First or Danish First or Bundasliga2 or England League One I think $200k is very reasonable. Considering what MLS pays for guys his age, it is a hefty price. I know that some of my Silverback supporting friends and other USL fans disagree but I think that ATL is asking for way too much from MLS (just given the history of dealings between the two leagues).

    But like other people have stated here, it is the principle that most people have a problem with.

  156. yankiboy says:

    @tibsgrove: Bro, it is waaay to premature to talk about Khandji and the USMNT. Maybe 3 years or so in the future if he lives up to his potential. Just my opinion…

  157. Pablo Chicago says:

    Metro Fanatic has a quote from Ivan Gazidis that says otherwise:

    link to

    “I have no idea who the source is for this story but it’s absolute nonsense. While I can’t comment on this specific player since he’s under contract to Atlanta, Red Bull and the League work absolutely in lockstep on player negotiations and the League has not blocked any move for anyone by the Red Bulls.

    It’s difficult to respond to blog entries where unknown sources are referenced – and of course blogs are driven by hits, not necessarily by the same standards as print media.”

    Are you going to take that lying down Ives?

  158. BFBS says:

    Maybe it’s a negotiating ploy played by RBNY and MLS: the Silverbacks quote the transfer fee, RBNY “accepts” knowing all along that MLS would block. So now RBNY could ask to lower the fee, with a wink-wink understanding that the MLS would not block should the Silverbacks agree.

  159. Ives fanboy says:


    Please respond to this. I am starting to worry.

  160. Ives fanboy says:

    metrofanatic is not a credible source….Ignore him

  161. Sean G says:

    Seems like we have an almost unanimous decision here on SBInet. I doubt many fans on other blogs disagree. Not much more I need to say that hasn’t already been said.

  162. tbisgrove says:

    yanki- Just throwing it out there because I’d like to see someone, anyone, new up top to see what they can do. Been a while since Altidore, we’re afraid to put Cooper out there, and we keep trotting out EJ and even call up Wolff… Just saying we have options, and with some experience (as BB always says he’s trying to give new players, but never actually does) some of the other guys out there might prove to be good for us. Kadji is just but an example, thats all…

  163. Felix says:

    MLS once again looks like a bunch of poofs. And they wonder why no one wants to take the league seriously.

  164. tbisgrove says:

    Have to admit that for all the ticking off of their fans and players, they’ve done a great marketing job to potential owners. Wonder what they’ll do to market the league when the players strike?

  165. Pablo Chicago says:

    Let’s hear it Ives

  166. Eugene says:

    Ok, this story has clearly exploded. But following Gazidis’ denial and the NY Post blog writing that something happened but not clear what, we now don’t know the truth…

    Dying to find out what happened… I’m also hoping that one way or another the Kandji deal is not dead.

    Gazidis may be snide in his comments about blogs, but the reality is MLS gets minimal coverage by print media who largely treat the league as irrelevant. I believe most fans get their news from the blogs, including those that are affiliated with the print media. Ives was previously affiliated with the NJ Herald, I don’t for a second believe that he is any less credible writing for this blog as he was writing for the Herald.

    Frankly, there is a reason why Ives has earned a reputation for credibility while the league has earned a reputation for obfuscation, obscurity and unfairness.

  167. alex says:

    Pure idiocy by the league.

    They are supposed to konw more about talent evalutaiton than the actual coaches? What a bunch of idiots.

    Dear MLS:

    you are not a monopoly and will never be one. Now stop holding your teams back.

    Thank you,

  168. JabbaBabba says:

    the only honest solution is one league with promotion and relegation. but if MLS is so scared of USL that they won’t let Kandji into the league as he would expose them for not being much, they certainly wouldn’t want to compete against USL teams on an even footing.

    You get into the Premiership by being one of the 20 best teams in the football league. You get into MLS by paying $40,000,000. It just creates a different sort of product.

    I honestly wonder how any can support a league like MLS

  169. TonyT says:

    Well I think thats too bad for the MLS and great for Macoumba Kandji, Im sure now that the MLS has created some more noise around Kandji, its caught the attention of other leagues and they might match or even offer more for Kandji, so either way the USL will still get paid whether its MLS money or someone else.

  170. Bernie says:

    Garber is a lunatic. I cannot support this league.

  171. Prutsos says:

    metrofanatic is calling you out Ives…What do you say????????

  172. mike in LA says:

    link to

    Says Ives is full of it…

    Gazidis: Kandji block is “nonsense”

    August 28, 2008

    In lieu of the story that broke today on SoccerByIves, MetroFanatic has contacted MLS Deputy Commissioner Ivan Gazidis for a response. Here’s what Mr. Gazidis said:

    “I have no idea who the source is for this story but it’s absolute nonsense. While I can’t comment on this specific player since he’s under contract to Atlanta, Red Bull and the League work absolutely in lockstep on player negotiations and the League has not blocked any move for anyone by the Red Bulls.

    It’s difficult to respond to blog entries where unknown sources are referenced – and of course blogs are driven by hits, not necessarily by the same standards as print media.”

  173. RK says:

    I have a game tonight — I’ll look for Kandji and see if he has heard anything 😉

  174. JabbaRabba says:

    damn, i just presumed this ives guy knew what he was saying. guess not everyone has my kind of credibility.

  175. TheDreamTeam says:

    MLS becomes a joke when it does this. I realize they want the league to succeed but they also have to take a laissez faire approach if they want to improve the quality of the game on the field. Watching some of the players they have allowed teams to go after makes me cringe sometimes.

  176. TheDreamTeam says:

    Metrofanatic is a journalistic source more credible than the NY Times

  177. KingSnake says:

    Let’s see …

    Believe Ives? *weighs left hand*

    Believe Don Garber? *weighs right hand*

    Ives wins. He has no reason to lie. Garber does. You can’t hide your lies forever …

  178. Garber says:

    “I’m on a mission to keep all good players out of the country!”

  179. Don Garber says:

    No I am not!

  180. KingSnake says:

    Speaking of proven liars, it was Ivan Gazidis who said some 6-7 years ago that the {fill in current euphemism for the minimum wage spot} players would not be, quote, “churned” through the league.

    Ah …



  181. KingSnake says:

    Btw, Czar Ivan appears to imply that print media, which is either dying or migrating online is not driven by advertising: ” … blogs are driven by hits, not necessarily by the same standards as print media.”

    Wow, guess Knight-Ridder is still in business …

  182. JabbaRabba says:

    you kids figure it amongst yourselves. i’m gonna advise kandji to go to mexico

  183. Ives fanboy says:

    Tell me this was just a joke, Ives!!!!!

  184. thumpjosh says:


    how does this change? what do we need to do as fans to press mls a little more? i don’t know, but i want the league to succeed. if anyone has ideas about how we can do something other in addition to expressing our frustions on these boards

    i’ve supported soccer in this country for a long time and it seems that at this point, with momentum in its favor, US soccer and the MLS are making some irresponsible decisions.

  185. Don Garber says:

    Wonder what Nansha Kalonji is doing these days? Maybe I can sneak him into New Jersey and nobody will know the difference …

  186. onionsack says:

    Well of course MLS is gonna deny this..they cant really come out and say they are deliberatly trying to undercut the American soccer competition.

    Fact is NY wanted him, had the allocation money to do it…someone said no…only one entity here can do that..MLS. Why? Ives said his source said it was because of this. MLS is just saying nothing execpt not true. But obviously something was blocked…

  187. rpb says:

    As a season tix holder – what do we get? More hurdles from the league – sad.

    Prediction – Next year – Players Strike –

  188. Don Garber says:




    Damn, hope nobody saw that …

  189. I was watching GOLTV, and they report the Red Bulls pulled out of the deal.

    Cant find a goltv link, but here is my two sentence report on watching it lol

    link to

  190. Eugene says:

    Still no closer to any clarity on what happened and what the truth is. No comments from the front office, no comments from Atlanta, no comments from Kandji’s agent (whomever that may be).

    Just don’t understand, we have conflicting news and one quote from Gazidis.

  191. dave says:

    Stupid decision. What is the point of setting up these rules if MLS front office can arbitrarily over rule them whenever they feel like it?

    There are good reasons for Single Entity; it is a legal protection against anti-trust laws allowing MLS to control player salaries. But that is no excuse for this kind of micro-managing; the MLS front office has no business vetoing transfers like this.

    What we need is “Single Entity in Name Only” – MLS signs all of the players paychecks but EVERYTHING ELSE must be managed by the individual clubs themselves. As long as the clubs stay within the salary cap and make their books balance, MLS front office should have no power to interfere in who they choose to sign and who they choose to pay transfer fees to.

  192. kawa says:

    WOW who are the retards running mls , the will break the bank to buy beckhams boots but 200 grand is too much for a talented player .

    somehow i’m never surprised by these fools anymore its not official to me MLS Is ran by A bunch of idiots.

  193. Sean Johnson says:

    Considering how well USL teams did, and how embarrassing MLS teams were, in the CONCACAF Champion’s League I’d say they should have paid it.

    On the other hand, $200K for a USL player? I mean, if he’s that good, why is he still only in the USL? I’m still wary about opening up the purse strings when MLS still isn’t all in their own stadiums and places like New York still struggle with crowds.

    And, finally, back on the other side. I’d really not mind throwing some extra dough into a USL side. I do hope that the second division league in the US becomes good enough to have promotion/relegation in the future.

  194. Sean Johnson says:

    Oh, and Ives, regardless of whether your source was right or wrong, Ivan Gazidas is completely delusional if he thinks that news and the media are not driven by how many people tune in, purchase their publications, etc. They are clearly and indefinitely driven by it and that will always compromise the integrity of news agencies, whether they want it to or not.

    In our way of life, money rules. And bottom line thinking prevails. Sad, really. But, no one is ready to change it.

  195. Mao says:

    Well this is a tough call…

    It wasn’t a good move by the league! what MLS want is to spend $$$$ on washed out Euro washed out stars! Like Matheus and alike! (no, I don’t mean Beck, I actually like him)

    NYRB should buy him, develop him and sell him for even more money!

    We sure can use that dude with the LA Galaxy!

    haa haa

  196. John Leonard says:

    WOW! How small-time can you get? The more the MLS behaves this way the more they’re going to hold down and possibly jeopardize the league long-term. How unfortunate. League management (especially Don Garber) really needs to financially grow up and understand economic realities or they’re going to set the league back considerably in gaining new talent. This top-down team control has to start evolving.

  197. Mati B says:

    Kandgi is gifted. Full of upside potential. Could be a future international. Exactly the type of player that MLS needs to be putting in their ranks instead of overdone millionaire has beens. Its sad that they will not set a precedent of paying the USL teams for doing a better job of scouting talent than they are.

  198. furball says:

    I think it is time for the USL to start Challenging MLS for Players. Especially if MLS does not choose teams like Portland, Montreal, and Vancouver.

  199. donny says:

    which sucks more…

    the mls referee pool or the mls administration?

  200. Paul says:

    BTW, the league doesn’t want many people to know this, but this precedent (amount) was already set back in 2001/2002 with GK Pat Onstad from Rochester Rhinos.

    MLS is doing what they need to be doing, but needless to say it looks really bad that this info made it’s way out. Ives great stuff for making this known, this is how the current system will get altered for the better over the coming years (public pressure / perception).

  201. Former USL says:

    For those unfamiliar with USL, this may seem to be a bad move. However, I would most definitely take the same stand if I were in the front office of MLS…but maybe not for the same reasons. The USL would use this to the ‘n’th degree to legitimize themselves. It is in their plans to start using the ‘foreign’ connections to help them milk the MLS of more $$$ for their players by playing the two sides off each other. In fact, I would expect underhanded tactics to ensure that the MLS thinks someone else will pay higher just to get MLS to up the ante.

    I can assure you USL is telling all potential owners that Nike is planning to make their league into THE premiere level league in the US. This is supposedly because Adidas has MLS and Nike doesn’t like it.

    So, in order to get owners to fork over the franchise fees to support an entirely too large league office which does little to support it’s owners, they have been ‘lying’ to them for years.

    If you think the MLS front office is full of cheaters and liars and generally disgusting people…you ain’t seen nothin till you open the USL door.

    Their favoritism towards teams and willingness to look the other way when teams break the rules is ridiculous. If your owner or coach is an old friend of Marcos, then you’ve got it made. If your owner flies Marcos overseas to watch ‘real’ soccer games, then you’ve got it made. If your owner is just trying to help guys find their footing in the pro scene and develop them in hopes of getting them to bigger and better things………then, unless you meet one of the previous criteria, you can be assured the league will do everything it can to try to make you fail. After all, they’ve been getting the dough from you and will get the franchise fees and dough from someone else when you are gone.

    So, while it may seems that the MLS is beign dumb and it will pan out to bad PR, in the long run, the league should ditch the single entity structure and let teams pay their players what they want under a salary cap and crush the USL wannabes. The true USL owners would move to MLS if they did away with single entity bs and the exhorbent franchise fee.

    But, until the MLS makes changes and turns this league into what it should be…then USL will hang around. IF MLS would make the changes, then USL would be ‘really’ relegated to the second or third level league that it really is….front office wise anyway.

  202. Mac says:

    That’s why nobody cares about MLS. Because the FO and Garber try to run everything. In order to be like the european teams, you have to go and learn how their systems work. Thank god for the NFL.

  203. Don Garber says:

    I used to work for the No Fun League. Funny, eh?

    Btw, no truth to the rumor I am a plant to screw up any potential competition …