EU type deal for CONCACAF players in MLS

Discussion in 'MLS: News & Analysis' started by ENB Sports, Nov 22, 2013.

  1. ENB Sports

    ENB Sports Member

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    I was talking with a FIFA agent who represents some Caribbean base players who are hoping to attend the MLS Caribbean Combine. I told him the chances of his players being signed are slim because they would count as international spots although he gave me the impression they will not and like players with EU passports in Europe, players from CONCACAF countries will be able to play in the MLS and not count as international players.

    First I've heard of it and I hear lot of talk from agents who don't have a clue especially regarding MLS although was wondering if anybody heard anything regarding this.


  2. tab5g

    tab5g Member+

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    My barber and bartender have each been saying things similar to this.
  3. OleGunnar20

    OleGunnar20 Member+

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    so has my mailman's gardener's dog walker.
  4. tab5g

    tab5g Member+

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    Probably because that dog-walker is also my barber and a FIFA agent who represents some Caribbean based players.



    Having said that, any Caribbean (or foreign) player who can acquire a US Green Card will not count as an International player (afaik) on MLS (US-based) rosters.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2013
    ENB Sports repped this.


  5. ENB Sports

    ENB Sports Member

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    Love the sarcasm but thanks I didn't know that maybe that is what he's getting at.
  6. superdave

    superdave Member+

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    He's wrong. They'll count as internationals. To do otherwise would violate US law.
    Elninho repped this.
  7. Knave

    Knave Member+

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    Those players obviously need a more competent agent.
  8. tab5g

    tab5g Member+

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    http://pressbox.mlssoccer.com/content/roster-rules-and-regulations
  9. troutseth

    troutseth Member+

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    That would be against US Labor law.
  10. Boloni86

    Boloni86 Member+

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    How is that? The policy would only discriminate against non CONCACAF internationals ... I din't realize that they would have that kind of legal protection. Not asking the question rhetorically ... I'm just curious since I've never read US labor laws.

    Exempting regional applicants from the same limits as n0n regional applicants seem to me to be a reasonable idea. I don't think there should be any legal limit for an employer to give preferred employment to regional applicants.

    Now if it was something random like we'll take Chinese but no Japanese ... that I would think to be pretty dodgy.
  11. JasonMa

    JasonMa Member+

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    AIUI, labor law does not allow for discrimination based on national origin, which is what this would be. Non-Caribbean countries would be discriminated against when compared to Caribbean countries. A player from Bolivia (for example) would have less opportunity than a player from Jamaica.
  12. Boloni86

    Boloni86 Member+

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    Too bad ... Should be able to circumvent that for a specific case like this. You should be allowed to create a preferred recruitment pool when it's based on reasonable factors like geographical closeness, cultural likeness and that it's simply a cheaper to do the recruitment work.

    If the bias was ethnic, racial or religious I'd have no problem with the legal scrutiny
  13. JasonMa

    JasonMa Member+

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    Slippery slope argument. It becomes very easy to hide ethnic/racial/religious/etc discrimination inside "acceptable" discrimination like geography, culture, or finance.
  14. itcheyness

    itcheyness Member

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    I think that there is a mechanism to do just that, it just requires congressional hearings and well, you've probably seen how Congress is working right now...
  15. POdinCowtown

    POdinCowtown Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm curious if there are any differences between US and Canadian immigration law in this area. I could readily imagine players from Commonwealth countries getting into Canada more easily than the US.

    MLS would ideally like all teams to be on an even footing with Canadian teams neither suffering nor benefiting from any differences in immigration laws or exchange rates.

    So for those who know, a few questions:

    1 Why does MLS distinguish between US and Canadian players for things like international slots? Is it that the Canadian FA wants a certain number of slots in the interest of player development? Is it a legal requirement?

    2 Are players on the Canadian teams paid in USD (which they would convert to CAD? Or do contracts specify separate pay amounts depending on which country the players works in?

    3 Does NAFTA play any part in this? Would it make Chivas' preference for Mexican players ok? I know that the Teamsters have been fighting the admission of Mexican trucks into the US (nominally on safety grounds, but what they mainly mind is Mexican truck drivers). If a Jamaican player can easily get Canadian residency, would that affect his MLS status, either for a Canadian team or one in the US?
  16. blacksun

    blacksun Member+

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    1. It is a legal thing. For US teams, it is illegal to treat a Canadian (without a green card) any differently than any other foreigner (without a green card). Canadian law is different - Canadian teams can count both Canadians and Americans as domestic players. Canadian fans have complained about this since Toronto joined the league.

    2. If it is done like other US/Canada leagues, everything is done in US dollars regarding salary, salary cap figures, min/max salaries, etc. Back when the Canadian dollar was significantly weaker than the US dollar, getting income (gate, merchandise, local tv) in Canadian dollars but having to pay expenses (player salary) in US dollars was cited as one reason Canadian teams were struggling to make money (particularly in the NHL).

    3. NAFTA doesn't change anything regarding labor laws. If someone gets Canadian residency, that would make them count as a domestic player for Canadian teams, but not US teams.
  17. billf

    billf Member+

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    The EU rules are based in place because of EU law, not because the football leagues and associations of Europe got together with the aim of making it easier for players to cross borders. MLS and/or the USSF cannot do anything to make something like this possible. @Boloini86 points to the exact reason why this suggestion is illegal. It creates a situation where some discrimination is acceptable while other discrimination is not. He is essentially advocating making it legal to use language or culture as a means for hiring preference which is precisely what the law seeks to prevent. Make the industry software development rather than soccer and the hiring preference Canadians and Europeans over Chinese and Indians and you have a lawsuit of epic proportions. We are never going to see Congress or the Labor department make something like this possible because it sets a very bad precedent across the economy.
  18. chapka

    chapka Member+

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    The whole point of including national origin as a protected class was to stop people from giving preferences to people from certain countries based on "cultural likeness," instead of from countries where the people are "different" in their "culture," and where they coincidentally are also different in their race/religion/etc.
    JasonMa and billf repped this.
  19. ENB Sports

    ENB Sports Member

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    An interesting back and forth although still confused where law mixes in with football. For example in Asia teams are only allowed 3 international to play in the AFC champions league but could have additional players from other Asian countries on their team. Not sure why if the MLS wanted to they couldn't have an international roster restriction and a CONCACAF roster restriction. If anyone was to sue over unfair practices it should be the American based player since MLS and other leagues in US/Canada are already allowing so many international players well many American based players can't find work.
  20. JasonMa

    JasonMa Member+

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    Dude, seriously? RTFThread.

    In short, U.S. labor law. Nothing any other league outside the U.S. matters because MLS is still restricted by U.S. labor law.
  21. ENB Sports

    ENB Sports Member

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    US Labor laws also say that if there is an American employee who can provide the same service as a foreign employee a foreigner can not be brought in to replace them yet 40% of MLS players are foreign. So I'm not sure how much Labor laws influence professional sports leagues.

    But for this topic let's say we switch the question and instead of a MLS rule its a CONCACAF rule and to play in the CCL like the AFC clubs are only allowed 3 non CONCACAF born players could that be allowed or will US Labor Law have a say in that as well.
  22. USvsIRELAND

    USvsIRELAND Member+

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    Which doesn't make any sense why they would complain.

    The three canadian clubs would be even worse if US players weren't considered domestic.

    There are only 19 Canadians in the league right now. They would have to double or triple that.
  23. El Naranja

    El Naranja Member+

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    Won't happen.
  24. POdinCowtown

    POdinCowtown Moderator Staff Member

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    I have doubts that the law is an obstacle to any MLS categorization or limits on non-citizen, non-resident players. Unlike Americans trying to get work permits in England, how often has a player MLS wanted to sign been denied a work permit in the US? I'm not aware of any pressure from ICE or the State dept to limit the number of foreign players in MLS. So I think MLS could have any rules on the matter that it wanted. The USSF no doubt prefers that MLS employ lots of Americans to deepen the pool for the national team. I'd guess that MLS rules on the matter are a combination of keeping the USSF happy and looking for cheap talent, ie American post-college kids willing to play for minimum wages.
  25. JasonMa

    JasonMa Member+

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    U.S Labor law trumps anything. Now you can disagree that it applies (I think those that do are clearly wrong) but just because some other authority has some rule that they may apply to American teams, that doesn't supersede U.S. labor law if you agree U.S. labor law applies.

    This doesn't rules out Congress passing a law to exempt MLS from labor law, but until that happens they have to play by labor law rules.

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