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Report: Union has a deal to receive $50,000 in allocation for Colombian striker’s discovery rights

21-year-old striker Santiago Moreno is reportedly being sought after by the Portland Timbers and other teams in MLS

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Colombian striker Santiago Moreno is reportedly being targeted by the Portland Timbers in a deal that could fetch the Philadelphia Union $50,000 in allocation money.

According to a report in The Athletic, there is a deal in place for the Timbers to acquire the Union’s discovery rights for the player they are seeking to sign under the league’s new Under-22 initiative.

One of the more convoluted signing mechanisms in MLS (which is saying something), the discovery process is one where clubs can add a player they are scouting and interested in signing to a discovery list, which then gives them priority to sign said player. There’s a whole list of rules of who qualifies as a discovery player, of course.

Our friends at RSL Soapbox did a deep dive into the whole process a few years ago that is a helpful read. The summary of how teams acquire a player who is on another team’s list is pretty straightforward:

MLS teams may sign players on another team’s discovery list, however, the team that currently has the player on their list must first be given the opportunity to make a genuine offer to the player, or shall be paid $50,000 in general allocation money for the opportunity to sign the player.

The $50,000 figure is the same amount the Union has acquired for the homegrown rights of players they passed on signing in their academy like Tomas Romero, who was acquired this offseason by LAFC and Kalil ElMedkhar, who was acquired by FC Dallas.

Moreno has made 40 appearances for Colombian club América de Cali, scoring 11 goals and dishing 8 assists in all competitions.