As RCTIDnomatterwhat pointed out yesterday, according to Global Premier Management and several others on Twitter the Portland Timbers hold the discovery rights to Panamanian international Armando Cooper. By itself this is not significant, but with the increasing reports of the Vancouver Whitecaps' intent to sign Cooper, 28, the Timbers find themselves in position to profit from the Whitecaps signing, unless they intend to make an offer of their own for the play.
Timbers fans will certainly remember the 2013 saga of Mikael Silvestre, whom the Timbers signed, but only after trading a 2014 3rd round draft pick and a conditional 2015 draft pick to the Seattle Sounders for the privilege. Of course, the Timbers benefitted from a similar situation in 2013 as well, holding the Whitecaps hostage for the discovery rights to Nigel Reo-Coker and gaining second round picks in the 2014 and 2015 Superdrafts for him.
This time around, however, the most the Timbers could get from the Whitecaps for signing the player they had dibs on is $50,000 in allocation money, thanks to a rule enacted in 2014 to prevent just the sort of brinksmanship that the Cascadia clubs engaged in the previous year.
From the MLS Roster Rules and Regulations:
If a club wants to sign a player on the Discovery List of another team, it may offer the team $50,000 in Allocation Money in exchange for the right to sign the player. The team with the player on its Discovery List will then either (i) have to accept the Allocation Money and give up the right to sign the player or (ii) make the player a genuine, objectively reasonable offer.
So, the Timbers won't break the bank just by being first to add Cooper to their discovery list -- or by the tie-breaker: being behind the Whitecaps on points in 2015 -- but every little bit of advantage that can be squeezed out of these mechanisms certainly helps the cause.
Wondering just who this Cooper fellow is? Check out this youtube video of his skills as shown off in the Romanian second division.