MLS anti-tampering rules clearly spell out when other players are truly off-limits

Robbie ROgers trains with the LA Galaxy

Photo Credit: 
Courtesy of LA Galaxy

The Chicago Fire hold the MLS rights to sign Robbie Rogers. But he's training with the LA Galaxy and the Seattle Sounders say they'd "rather see him play with us."

All the chatter has raised the topic of tampering. When does a team cross the line?

Well, the Galaxy, for one, have not. The Chicago Fire granted Rogers permission to train with LA and the club confirmed it has been in touch with Rogers's agent and the Galaxy throughout the process.

READ: Klopas says Chicago's primary preference is to keep Rogers

Club permission is critical when it comes to players under contract with an MLS team or players whose MLS rights are held by a specific MLS team (e.g. Herculez Gomez and Sporting Kansas City's right of first refusal on the player in MLS).

Without that special permission from the club that holds the player or his rights, the league deems the following actions as a violation of its "anti-tampering rules": 

“Any member, officer, shareholder, director, partner, employee, agent, or representative thereof or any person holding an interest in a team cannot tamper, negotiate with, or make an offer, directly or indirectly, to a player or his representative.

"Same parties also may not tamper with: (i) a coach or other employee under contract with another member; or (ii) an employee at a director level or above of another member, in each case, unless written permission is first sought from the general manager or principal of such other member, which permission may not be denied with respect to upwardly mobile positions.”