MLS Trade Window Recap: Orlando, Portland highlight busy day


Staff Writer

Major League Soccer opened up its trade window for four hours today in advance of Wednesday’s expansion draft, and several teams took advantage of the opportunity to make moves.

It was a hectic four hours, with nine trades involving players made between clubs, and some signings from outside the league as well.

The Portland Timbers were the busiest team today, making significant changes to a defense that struggled in 2014. Portland acquired long-time Real Salt Lake center back Nat Borchers in exchange for allocation money. Portland announced the signing of Ghanaian keeper Adam Larsen-Kwarasey, who started at the World Cup against the U.S. They also signed 23-year-old Brazilian defender Jeanderson Salvador Pereira and 22-year-old Colombian forward Dairon Asprilla.

Leaving the Rose City is Michael Harrington, who was traded to Colorado for allocation money. The 28-year-old defender was the third overall pick in the 2007 SuperDraft, and spent the last two years in Portland after six seasons with Kansas City. The Timbers also sold Jose Valencia to Olimpo in Argentina, where he had previously been playing on loan.

One of the teams taking part in Wednesday’s draft didn’t hesitate to make significant additions today. Orlando added midfielder Amobi Okugo from Philadelphia, goalkeeper Tally Hall from Houston, and defender Aurelien Collin from Kansas City. They also acquired an international roster slot from DC United.

Okugo has been with the Union since their inaugural season in 2010, and made 117 appearances for the club in MLS over that time. Hall made 24 starts in 2014 and was a key member of Houston’s playoff teams in recent years. French center back Collin was MVP of the 2013 MLS Cup for Sporting Kansas City, but the successful pairing of him and Matt Besler showed cracks near the end of this past seasons.

SKC didn’t stop there, though. They sent CJ Sapong to Philadelphia in exchange for the Union’s first round pick in January’s SuperDraft. The 25-year-old Sapong made 110 appearances for Kansas City over the previous four seasons. On the incoming side, SKC acquired Bernardo Anor, a 27-year-old Venezuelan midfielder from Columbus.

NYCFC made a couple moves today, adding defender Josh Williams from Columbus and an international roster slot from DC United. Both were acquired in exchange for allocation money.

DC was involved in one other trade. Houston sent 27-year-old English midfielder Andrew Driver to the nation’s capital, along with a pick in the 2016 Superdraft. In return, the Dynamo received Ghanaian defender Samuel Inkoom and keeper Joe Willis. Inkoom made just two appearances for United in 2014 after signing in September from Dnipro in Ukraine. Keeper Willis spent 2014 on loan with Richmond in USL Pro.

The trade window is now closed again until after Wednesday’s expansion draft. Teams must submit their lists of protected players to the league office by this afternoon.