Commerce City, Colo. – Omar Cummings is a wanted man. And it’s not just the Rapids that like the talented Jamaican forward.
Earlier this summer, Club Necaxa from Mexico’s First Division made a series of offers attempting to acquire the 28-year-old on transfer. It turns out that other teams were also been interested.
“It wasn’t just Necaxa,” said Paul Bravo, Colorado Rapids Technical Director. “There were other teams in Mexico and in Europe that were considering Omar, and it wasn’t the first time. We had a Championship (England) team come in last year sniffing around Omar, (though) it never got to the point where they gave us an offer.”
Major League Soccer’s by-laws dictate that if a player is transferred, his MLS team keeps two thirds of the transfer fee and the League keeps one third. Transfer money that teams acquire has to be used on the competitive side of the organization, with a maximum portion permitted to be used for the allocation pool.
While Bravo would not comment on how high the offers for Cummings reached, or what the selling point was, he did explain how a player’s value is established.
“It’s the League and the club’s valuation of the player,” said Bravo. “The price was set and we felt Necaxa fell way short of that. We’re not holding Omar back. If we feel that a team meets the valuation of the player that the League and club has set for that player, for us it’s a great opportunity to sell our program.”
Cummings was the Rapids third pick in the 2007 MLS SuperDraft, selected in the third round with the 31st overall pick out of the University of Cincinnati. He has since developed into an attacking player that can not only score, but set up goals. In 2009, he scored eight goals and was tied for the League-lead in assists with 12. He has scored five goals so far this season.
“A great deal of credit goes back to the player, who came in to this club as a third round pick and worked his way up,” said Bravo on the interest the forward has received. “And it’s a testament to the club’s system in identifying young players and developing those players.”
The Colorado duo of Cummings and forward Conor Casey has been one of the top attacking tandems in MLS for the past several seasons. For the club, keeping the two in burgundy was a priority. Cummings was signed to a new contract prior to the 2009 season, and Casey re-signed with the club before to the current season began.
“We had done our homework and there was enough feedback that there was going to be an offer (for Cummings),” said Bravo. “So we were prepared if we had to sell Omar with a list of players that we would have gone after.”
Two former Colorado players have gone on to play in Mexico after their time with Rapids. Alain Nkong, who played for the Rapids from 2005-2006, was signed by Atlante FC after the 2006 season. Last year, former forward Herculez Gomez, who played for the Rapids in 2007-2008, signed with Pachuca and tied for the goal-scoring lead in Mexico.
With the registration window in Mexico now closed, teams interested in Cummings will have to wait until the winter if they want to try to lure the Jamaican down south again.