Home NASL & USL Ottawa Fury As a member of the Ottawa Fury, Mozzi Gyorio will return to the league that he’s suing

As a member of the Ottawa Fury, Mozzi Gyorio will return to the league that he’s suing

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Mozzi Gyorio is set for a return to the NASL — a league he is in the process of suing.

On Tuesday, the Ottawa Fury announced that the Prince Edward Island-raised Gyorio had been signed for the 2016 season. But, on Feb. 10, Gyorio and his legal team is set to appear at New York Supreme Court for the next chapter in their suit against Minnesota United and the NASL.

NASL officials told me Tuesday that they were confident that the case would be resolved soon, and that they expected the outcome would be positive for the league.

Gyorio signed with Minnesota United in 2014; his contract was terminated after he refused an assignment to an NPSL club affiliated with the Loons. Gyorio launched a suit against Minnesota United and NASL in 2015, claiming that the Loons violated the terms of his contract by trying to move him to what he called an un-sanctioned and semi-pro club. The club has countered that Gyorio did not agree to an arbitration process (CLICK HERE), and that their club rules provided for the assignment. The team also maintains that a New York court should have no jurisdiction over a team based in the state of Minnesota.

Gyorio claims that, because Minnesota was maxed out on international roster spots, he was asked to move to NPSL so the team could bring in another import (CLICK HERE). MLS and NASL have similar roster rules in the way Canadians are treated; Canadians are considered domestic players on the rosters of Canadian teams, but are internationals on American sides. Meanhwhile, Americans are domestics on both Canadian and American teams. In the past, NASL commissioner Bill Peterson has declared this a “federation issue” (and not a labour-law issue as MLS claims). Peterson has also gone on the record saying he would prefer a system where NASL would not have any sort of roster protection for Americans or Canadians; that its teams could sign whatever players they wanted, regardless of their birthplaces.

Gyorio wants to be compensated for what he calls wrongful termination of contract by Minnesota, which cut ties with him before the end of the 2014 season.

Of course, for NASL, which has preached that its owners are free to do whatever they need to do in order to make their teams more competitive, the Gyorio signing could be seen as proof positive of laissez-faire in action. What could be more “invisible hand” than having one of your entrepreneurial owners sign a player who is suing the league and another member of the ownership fraternity?

At his height, during the early days of NASL Mark II, Gyorio had established himself as one of the top midfielders in the league (CLICK HERE). In fact, his time in FC Tampa Bay had impressed Sporting Kansas City coach Peter Vermes so much, that Gyorio was invited to trial with the MLS side. Gyorio then turned down an entry-level contract from the MLS side; he went to Europe, trialed at clubs in Eastern Europe and ended up in England’s Fleetwood Town. From there, he made his way back to North America, and Minnesota United.

He spent 2015 with the USL’s Austin Aztex, under the watch of coach Paul Dalglish.

Dalglish, of course, is now the Fury’s head coach.

Dalglish also oversaw Gyorio’s advancement as a youth player, when the current Fury coach presided over the Houston Dynamo’s youth setup. The pair have a long history.

The Fury also announced the signing of Acadia University product Andrew MacRae. The CIS-trained keeper spent time training with the Fury last season and his signing offers more glimmers of hope for Canadian university prospects.


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