That was the word from Lino DiCuollo, MLS vice president of competition and player relations, in a conference call with reporters on Monday night following a widespread report in the wake of Urruti’s trade from Toronto to Portland earlier in the day.
“There are no ‘League Designated Players,’ as the reference in the article suggested,” DiCuollo said. “There’s no players that the league puts a tag on and calls them ‘League Designated Players’ and then suddenly they appear on a team’s roster without us.
“He was signed to Toronto like any other player – I think that was clear with the announcement – and now he’s been traded.”
Urruti was reportedly involved in a contract dispute with his former team, Newell’s Old Boys of the Argentine Primera División before Toronto were able to grab his signature last month after a flirtation that lasted the better part of a year.
But with last week’s ouster of Kevin Payne as president and GM of Toronto FC , the club immediately went in another direction and dealt Urruti to the Timbers in exchange for forward Bright Dike, a first-round pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft and allocation money. Toronto also give up an international roster spot through 2013 in the deal.
According to DiCuollo, Major League Soccer played no part in acquiring the signature of Urruti, nor did it get involved in the trade between Toronto and Portland.
Timbers head coach Caleb Porter admitted on Monday that he long has been an admirer of the player and had pondered how he could fit Urriti into his system.
“We made sure guidelines were being followed, but there was no involvement by the league,” DiCuollo said.
DiCuollo also said that at no point was Urruti ever classified as a DP. He also shot down a suggestion that the league paid a transfer fee for the striker and that Toronto retained a portion of Urruti’s rights, reiterating that no transfer fee was paid for the player.