Monday, July 20, 2015

Sporting Trade Carrasco to Orlando for Okugo

Sporting KC looks like they are on the verge of addressing some of their defensive needs in the very near future. According to both and the KC Star, Sporting KC is trading midfielder Servando Carrasco and other considerations to Orlando City in exchange for Amobi Okugo. The trade would see two players that have lost their starting spot switching teams.
Okugo can play in the midfield or in defense. He's mainly played in the midfield over the last couple years, but has also played a number of times in central defense when he was with the Philadelphia Union. With KC fairly set at defensive midfield right now with the likes of Soni Mustivar and Roger Espinoza, one would think that Okugo could come in and challenge Kevin Ellis for the starting position next to Matt Besler in central defense.
At 24, Okugo is also still young but is in his 6th season in MLS after spending his first five years with the Union. He'd played well there and was looking for a pay increase or a move abroad. In the end, Okugo was traded to the expansion Orlando City side. He played 15 times for them, starting nine times, but has not started a game since May 8th against New England. Instead he's been relegated to cameo roles off the bench for the most part.
The immediate worry for those that looked at the trade on the surface is the fact that Okugo is set to make $275,000 in base salary and $300,000 in guaranteed compensation according to the players' union salaries, but it looks like Orlando will be helping out there as well, apparently picking up $200,000 of Okugo's cap hit over the rest of this season and next season too.
One has to assume that KC is probably throwing in some allocation money or the new Targeted Allocation Money in the deal as well. As a whole this trade probably benefits everyone involved, Okugo and Carrasco get a change of scenery after it's become apparent neither is going to get a lot of field time with their current club. KC gets a young player who can play center back, a position that KC really needed to address in this transfer window while Orlando gets some cap relief.

The trade means that over the last three years or so, Peter Vermes has turned a 4th round supplemental draft pick into Okugo. Sporting traded a fourth round supplemental draft pick to San Jose for the rights to Michael Thomas. A couple years later, KC traded Thomas to Toronto in exchange for a 2015 second round pick. This year ahead of the draft, KC traded that pick to Houston in exchange for Carrasco, who has now been traded to Orlando for Okugo.

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