Report: MLS demands Orlando stop courting Nocerino because DC called dibs

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That headline: it’s pretty much the whole story.

We told you earlier this week that Orlando City was after AC Milan midfielder Antonio Nocerino on a loan deal. Nocerino, 30, is pals with OCSC midfielder Kaka and a reunion may’ve suited the pair.

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Well it turns out DC United filed a Discovery claim on Nocerino and was already talking to him. Major League Soccer uses the Discovery Process to allow teams to call dibs on foreign players in case said players ever have interest in entering the league.

DC thought negotiations were going well with Nocerino, but Orlando had stepped in. The Lions do not have the best reputation when it comes to “tampering” and all heck kinda broke loose. We’ll turn to Washington Post soccer reporter Steven Goff for more:

General Manager Dave Kasper and managing general partner Jason Levien met with Nocerino in Milan last week. Initial reports suggested Nocerino probably would not end up signing with United. However, the club has remained in contact with the player’s representatives and, according to one source, was encouraged by recent discussions.

United officials declined comment, but one source familiar with the drama said they were “irate” with Orlando and that the “meddling” had disrupted negotiations and provided the player’s agent with additional bargaining leverage.

Because Orlando didn’t buy the discovery rights from DC, the Floridian club is in hot water.

While the rule itself is, well, rough, it’s clear that Orlando was playing a bit of dirty pool here. While I’m not sure anyone actually thinks the Discovery Process is good for the league — I call Messi, Pogba, Hulk, Aguero, Kondogbia, Butland and Ozil — Orlando knew what it was doing.

Read the whole article. It’s a wild world in MLS right now.