Leave it to Major League Soccer to shake things up at 5:30 p.m. on a Friday.
MLS announced the signing of U.S. national team midfielder Benny Feilhaber, hours before the end of the league's transfer window. Feilhaber, 26, who previously played for AGF Aarhus, of the Danish first division, will be sold to highest bidder via allocation rankings.
The Union sits in second position behind Chivas USA in the rankings. Chivas has until 5 p.m. EDT Tuesday to decide whether to use its allocation money to claim Feilhaber or pass in the hope that someone better comes along in the future.
But Union manager Peter Nowak told the Daily News via text Friday evening that the Union "do not have any interest" in acquiring the U.S. national-teamer. Whether that is a smoke screen is yet to be seen.
Per MLS rules, allocation money amounts are not disclosed, so as to not compromise deals with clubs abroad or player agents. Individual club amounts are dispersed via MLS' Board of Governors - a k a the club owners.
A league source did reveal that between the individual budgets and what is available in allocation cash, thes top five teams easily have the resources to claim Feilhaber, whether or not they pass on what is expected to be a substantial payday.
"I doubt many teams would be unavailable to grab him, between him allocation and their own budget," the league source said. "But allocation rankings are especially tenuous, because it's really luck of the timing and which player comes through."
Should Chivas pass on Feilhaber, the next club would have the next crack and could claim him, claim him and trade him, or even entertain deals from other clubs. The situation bears a resemblance to the days leading up to the 2010 MLS expansion draft, when the Union sat first in allocation ranking and acquired the rights to goalkeeper Troy Perkins. That day, they traded Perkins to D.C. United for Brazilian midfielder Fred and cash considerations.
Of course, all of this could be for naught if Chivas coach Robin Fraser decides that adding the 23-year-old is worth spending all of its allocation money and then moving to the bottom of the rankings. *