Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Wednesday, May 22

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr

« Short Hops Cubs vs. White Sox Not Hard to 'Get' »

Fire Thu Jun 19 2008

It’s Hard to Argue That We’re Not the Jerks On This One

When the Chicago Fire didn’t want to let Wilman Conde follow Juan Judas Osorio to New York just because he wanted to, people called them jerks. When the Fire didn’t let the Red Bulls sign Lider Marmol because the Fire had already put a discovery claim on him, people called them much worse. But they were wrong. The Fire was doing everything in their rights to stay as competitive as they could and not help a rival Eastern Conference team. That’s what a sports team should do.

So it’s hard to defend this quote in the Tribune from Frank Klopas about his negotiations with Toronto FC coach Mo Johnston about acquiring the rights to Brian McBride:

"Mo needs to understand it's about doing the right thing. Someone who has had a great career wants to finish in his hometown. He has to understand that.”

No doubt a player that’s done as much for MLS and American soccer as Brian McBride should get to choose where and how he finishes his career. But for Mo Johnston, doing the right thing is making Toronto FC as strong a team as he can and that doesn’t necessarily mean making Brian McBride or Frank Klopas or the Chicago Fire happy.

If the Fire want McBride, they’re going to have to pay the price. And if that price is more than one good young player, it might just be too high. If that’s the case, there’s no point complaining in the papers or being jerks about it.

GB store

nm / June 20, 2008 9:15 AM


Martin / June 20, 2008 10:20 AM

Well said. There's no room for altruism in competitive sports.

alex / June 20, 2008 5:16 PM

I agree with what you've put there. Got to expect clubs to use the full confines of the rules.

At the same time, this is serving as a detrememt to bringing talent into the league the rules should change (in the off-season). Not blaming Toronto or Chicago here, but MLS itself.

The rules are dinosaur like.

GB store
GB store

Tailgate on Flickr

Join the Tailgate Flickr Pool.

About Tailgate

Tailgate is the sports section of Gapers Block, covering all Chicago sports. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Chad Ruter,
Tailgate staff inbox:



Tailgate Flickr Pool
 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15