I think i have a man-crush of Steven Goff. This guy gets soccer news like nobody else in town.

Check out his blog post here about the latest in the Fred situation.


  • The contract is for $150k in the first year with 3 league options after that (standard 4-yr league contract) and has already been signed
  • He has his work permit already
  • He is under contract with Melbourne Victory until March 31st, but under contract to the League until June 30
  • Melbourne is holding out for some transfer $$$ even though he won’t play for them anymore (since his contract runs out before the season starts)

And the crux of the matter according to Goff is this:

So what happens now?

Sources tell me that United and Melbourne have scheduled a conference call for Wednesday evening (Thursday in Melbourne) to discuss the matter. Melbourne could play hardball and retain a player who will never play for them again, in which case, DCU would:

*attempt to have the June 30 date invalidated and hope to officially add Fred on April 1
*wait out Melbourne and acquire him on July 1
*pay off Melbourne for an immediate transfer

I don’t think United/MLS has any intention of sending the Victory a fat check. And if there is no resolution, the Victory’s reputation internationally could take quite a hit.

I can understand Melbourne’s reluctance to let a player go for free, but the reality is that Free Transfers happen all over the world every season. Melbourne’s actions are very similar to some MLS tactics that I despise… That is, holding out for top dollar even when you don’t have any leverage. Thats why Ryan Nelson didn’t re-sign with the league in 2004 since he knew that the league would not send him off on a transfer. The result? Nelson left on a free, DC United and the league got nothing in return. I have said many times, that a young player in MLS should not sign a second contract if they think they have options overseas.