It's always funny how rumors come out of no where and are really based off of nothing. The Birahim Diop to Colombia rumors started out of nothing but a running joke that Diop would look to continue to follow Ocatvio Zambrano as he had quite a few times in his career. Today another rumor really based off of nothing has come up. That being Herculez Gomez returning to the US. Gomez, the US international scored 2 goals and had an assist in Santos Laguna's 6-2 win over Toronto last night.
Comments on Twitter this morning basically started with the question from a few people wondering which teams would be interested in trying to get Gomez as a designated player for their team. There are many teams in the league that could use a guy like Gomez, especially in the form that he's in. But there's really nothing to the rumor.
Still that has led to people digging in to what would be the process for Gomez to re-enter the league. If a team wants to bring Gomez in, that team would need to negotiate with Sporting KC, because the team holds his MLS rights. The reason for that is because after the 2009 season when Gomez was out of contract, the Wizards offered Gomez a new contract. Since the contract was deemed a "bona fide" offer, KC held on to his MLS rights. This is a similar situation to the one Kansas City was in with Kevin Hartman. KC made Hartman a bona fide offer and held his MLS rights, even though they ended up signing Jimmy Nielsen. KC ended up trading Hartman's rights to Dallas, but Gomez ended up going to Mexico, and KC ended up holding his rights. This sort of situation was one of the key points of the CBA negotiations the other year. The players wanted free agency, as a compromise, they got the re-entry draft.
To clear up some of confusion, this is not a 2 year rights holding as teams get with draft picks that they don't pick up. It's permanent because of the offer he was given.
The realization of this by more mainstream media has gotten the whole discussion starting again. Grant Wahl, Herculez Gomez, and Jimmy Conrad all got into it, discussing the fact that KC still held his rights. Gomez first expressed surprise that he wouldn't go through the allocation process, and as Wahl brought up that MLS says he (Gomez) turned down the offer, Gomez hints at an underlying conflict with Peter Vermes regarding the situation. Conrad, who at the time was still captain of the Wizards, and one of the team's reps with the player's union, said how the team didn't even want Gomez, but that making him an offer was in their best interest in case he leaves and does well (which he has).
It's interesting to see the topic of player rights being brought up (Portland holds Jonathan Bornstein and Robbie Findley's MLS rights in a similar fashion to Kansas City holding Gomez's rights). And it's amazing how all this has led to rumors starting to come up of Gomez returning to MLS. But remember, there's currently nothing in the rumors, and it'd likely cost an MLS team almost $3 million to sign Gomez, who would require a transfer fee for Santos (who will likely require no less than the $1.8 million transfer fee they paid for him) and making him a designated player as he reportedly is making in the upper 6 figures. And that's before you get into what the interested team would need to give to KC.