MLS Midweek: Giovinco sparks CBA tension, Montreal signs Ciman, more


Staff Writer

Toronto FC will pay Sebastian Giovinco the largest salary in Major League Soccer history, but the league may end up shouldering the burden of that contract in other ways.

The high-profile move brought CBA tensions to the forefront of the offseason news cycle over the past few days, as players continue their push to see the league’s paltry minimum salary raised.

CBA negotiations are the elephant in the room this offseason. Outside of Toronto, uncertainty about the new CBA has kept big moves to a minimum. Omar Gonzalez added to that uncertainty when he told Doug McIntyre that the Players’ Union is prepared to go on strike if a deal isn’t reached by the time the season is scheduled to begin. That’s only 45 days away.

The gaudy contracts being given to players like Steven Gerrard, Giovinco and Jozy Altidore probably will not help the owners’ case in these negotiations.

The league’s less-wealthy players have taken notice of the money being spent.

Montreal midfielder Patrice Bernier tweeted (in French) that “we are now in La Liga.” Chicago forward Harry Shipp tweeted “I wonder if Giovinco knows that he will literally make more money in 2 days than some of his teammates will the entire year.” Philly forward Andrew Wenger: “I am a bit over these “Major Player Announcements” from across the border. We get it, you have unlimited funds.”


  • The Montreal Impact signed 29-year-old defender Laurent Ciman to a designated player contract. Ciman was a member of Belgium’s World Cup squad, but never saw the field behind Vincent Kompany and Daniel Van Buyten. Ciman comes to Montreal in search of top-class treatment for his autistic daughter. His previous club, Standard Liege, released him from his contract so the Impact wouldn’t have to pay a transfer fee.
  • Colorado will host the 2015 MLS All-Star Game, against an opponent who will be announced later. This will be the second time the All-Star Game is played at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park outside of Denver; the venue hosted the 2007 game in its inaugural season.
  • The LA Galaxy made room for Gerrard (and perhaps more) by trading Marcelo Sarvas to the Colorado Rapids. Sarvas, 33, has made at least 27 appearances in his three years with the Galaxy, and was a part of two MLS Cup-winning sides.  In return, the Galaxy move up to third in the allocation order, behind only Montreal and San Jose. The Galaxy are reportedly after Sacha Kljestan, but they could be leapfrogged if a rumored deal between the Red Bulls and Impact goes through.
  • The Rapids also traded for San Jose midfielder Sam Cronin. Cronin made 140 appearances with the Earthquakes over five seasons. The Earthquakes received allocation money in the deal.
  • Leaving Colorado is Spanish midfielder José Marí, after just a single season in MLS. Marí has signed with Levante in La Liga. This represents a step up for the 27-year-old, who came to the Rapids from Spain’s second division. He made 20 appearances for the Rapids, scoring four goals.
  • Sporting Kansas City parted ways with designated player Claudio Bieler. Bieler spent two seasons with SKC, scoring 16 goals in all competitions, but was overshadowed by Dom Dwyer’s rise to prominence. He scored just twice during the 2014 MLS season.
  • Toronto FC traded Kyle Bekker to FC Dallas for allocation money. The 24-year-old Canadian midfielder made 20 appearances for the Reds last year.
  • Nathan Sturgis, who spent 2014 with Chivas USA, has signed on with the Houston Dynamo. Sturgis has played for seven clubs in MLS since 2006, including a 2012 stint with the Dynamo in which he made just five appearances.




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  • Don Garber

    I hereby decree there shall be no more CBA tension. Players are gonna eat the warm plate of crap we’re serving up and they’re gonna like it!

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