A day after LA Galaxy hoisted the 2014 MLS Cup, the league delved right back into action when the MLS half-day trade window opened up on Monday.
The window that was open from 9 a.m. ET to 1 p.m. ET allowed teams to trade or resign their players. Even though the 2014 dust hasn’t settled, multiple teams prepped for the upcoming season by making marque signings. Of all the teams that were active, expansion side Orlando City SC made the most noise.
The team that’s set to join the MLS next season announced the acquisition of three MLS veterans and fan favorites at their previous clubs and 2015 and 2016 international roster slots. After weeks of reports, the club finally unveiled former Houston Dynamo No 1 Tally Hall along with 2013 MLS Cup hero Aurelien Collin and Philadelphia Union original Amobi Okugo.
The acquisition of Collin and Okugo came as a shock to a lot of the fans because the former has been a key member of Sporting Kansas City since 2011, while there were rumors that the latter was going to give Europe a go.
Sporting KC’s boss Peter Vermes told the media that he tried his hardest to keep his enforcer, but both parties could not reach an agreement.
“We’ve tried I don’t know how many times to get a deal done,” Vermes told MLSsoccer.com.
By the tone of his voice, it was evident that Vermes was not too pleased to see Colin leave.
“It wasn’t easy,” he said. “He’s obviously a player that we found and brought here. But I think all of you know that in the cap world of all sports, there’s always going to be challenges with trying to keep your team together. It happened in this situation where he became a cap casualty, in regards to not being able to get a contract done.”
Colin and Okugo would make a solid pairing in front of Hall, but there is a possibility that Okugo could be deployed as a defensive midfielder if Orlando acquires another top center back.
Vermes also parted ways with former Rookie of the Year C.J. Sapong. The outgoing forward will join the Union’s offense. To fill the offensive void, Vermes signed winger Bernardo Anor from Columbus Crew.
The other expansion team — NewYork City FC — set to join MLS in 2015 also made a couple of signings. Josh Williams and former No 1 draft pick Omar Salgado will join the club, but Williams will be the only one donning the club’s colors next season. MLSsoccer.com confirmed that Salgado will be transferred to and international club.
Portland Timbers also made some noise by acquiring MLS legend Nat Borchers. The physically imposing center back has played 288 regular season games with Real Salt Lake and Colorado Rapids. The 33-year-old should form a formidable defense with Designated Player Liam Ridgewell.
One player that will be missing from that defense is Michael Harrington. The experienced fullback was traded to the Rapids.
Some lesser known players also switched sides. Houston Dynamo acquired goalkeer Joe Willis and defender Samuel Inkoom from D.C. United by sending winger Andrew Driver to the capital. Goalie Joe Nasco joined New England Revolution, while forwards Dimitry Imbongo and Geoffrey Castillion went to the Rapids.
The teams also revealed their protected and unprotected list on Monday. That list that features Designated Player Tim Cahill and Eddie Johnson can be seen here.
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