Well, guess what? MLS commissioner Don Garber has seen enough, and he's now threatening to make the deal for them. Said Garber:
"The league, at some point, has to determine whether we get involved. ... The league doesn't want to get involved and our hope is that we won't get involved. We hope that the market and common sense prevails."
The problem here isn't the market and common sense. It's the rules that allow Toronto to block McBride, who is practically a free agent here, from returning to Chicago in the first place, and the irony here is that Chicago has already used these league rules to take a player away from the New York Red Bulls.
When Juan Carlos Osorio bought his way out of his contract with the Fire to become the Red Bulls' head coach, Paraguayan youngster Lider Marmol followed him to New York. However, Chicago had already filed a discovery claim on Marmol, which gave the Fire first right to sign Marmol. Given that Fire owner Andrew Hauptman labeled Osorio Public Enemy No. 1 when he left, he wasn't about to let the Red Bulls get their hands on Marmol, and Fire supporters hemmed and hawed about MLS abiding by the rules it created for itself. Marmol eventually signed with Chicago.
Now, however, the shoe is on the other foot. McBride wants to come to Chicago, but Toronto FC has the allocation rights to him, and TFC GM Mo Johnston is asking for a lot in return. And why shouldn't he? How does it benefit TFC if one of their Eastern Conference rivals suddenly acquires a Premier League-caliber striker? If the rules say the Fire has to give something to Toronto in return for McBride, then the Fire should abide by those rules, right? The Fire forced the Red Bulls to abide by the rules, didn't they?
All of this goes to demonstrate, of course, how MLS is starting to outgrow most of these ridiculous allocation and discovery rules. Brian McBride is a free agent and should be free to sign with his hometown club if he chooses. That he can't do this without intervention from the MLS commissioner proves that something here is very, very broken. The only thing for certain now is that one of these clubs is about to get the shaft, because MLS needs McBride a lot more than he needs MLS.