Camilo Sanvezzo made some goals, won some awards, tried to get paid, got rebuked, and now looks to be coming out on top all in the course of a year. After a flip-flopping, confusing affair between Camilo, the Vancouver Whitecaps, and Liga MX club Queretaro, it appears to all be over. Reports now say that Queretaro has purchased Camilo, and will soon have him joining the team.
Camilo was the 2013 MLS Golden Boot winner, scoring the league-leading 22 goals this season, and what did it get him? Pretty much nothing. The Whitecaps picked up the option to keep Camilo for another year with a price around $250,000. Camilo wanted a new contract, one which would’ve seen him slide up to the Designated Player pay range, but Camilo never made any kind of public statement about such a deal.
Camilo did not like the neglect, seeing it as a sign of disrespect, and soon began talks with Queretaro, telling them that he was free for a transfer, even posing for pictures clad in Queretaro’s jersey. The problem with all this is that the Whitecaps still owned Camilo’s contract, therefore making it impossible for him to go anywhere without their permission.
These last few weeks have been full of finger-pointing and confusion. All we really do know is that Camilo created an awkward situation for himself, the Whitecaps, and the future of MLS contracts.
For the Caps, it looks like the difficulty of keeping a player around who clearly doesn’t want to be there is too much. The reports say that Queretaro are paying $1.5 million for Camilo, which would simultaneously remove him and his problems from the team. It’s their best option at this point. Vancouver’s original plan held onto Camilo for one more year with a nicely predetermined undervalued price, but by not offering a new contract created a rift. Camilo, on the other hand, should not go galavanting off, telling teams he’s willing to sign when he actually doesn’t have the right. I understand what each side wanted, (a cheap goalscorer, more money) but the truth of it was that both sides went about it wrong.
Now the league will have to deal with the fallout. Camilo stayed in Mexico during all of this, and it looked as if he wasn’t going to leave for the Canadian club without some kind of meltdown. The Caps began negotiations with Queretaro soon after, stopping any need for FIFA involvement. But what would have happened if the Caps didn’t let Camilo go so easily? A player can now demand that the option on his contract is not valid? Where the league draws the line on such a situation will be determined when they renegotiate a new CBA after the current agreement expires at the end of the year.