Sporting Kansas City has won seven of its last 10 games and is in the thick of the top tier in MLS's tough Western Conference, but the club isn't sitting pat with its current roster.
Sporting KC traded for versatile central defender and midfielder Amobi Okugo Monday, sending Servando Carrasco to expansion club Orlando City SC in a move that bolsters its strong midfield and also provides another option for a defense that has been impacted by injuries.
"Servando has been a class act and I can't say enough about his professionalism and work ethic. He's a true team guy and we thank him for his service here," Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes said in a club statement. "Amobi can play three different positions and that kind of versatility is valuable to have on the roster. We are extremely excited that we were able to get him."
Orlando City hinted that the move was made with salary cap considerations in mind. Okugo, according to documents released by the MLS Players Union last week, is earning $300,000 in guaranteed compensation this season, while Carrasco–husband of U.S. women's national team star Alex Morgan–is on a considerably lower $85,375 deal. Orlando City has been rumored to be looking to bolster its front line, with links to Mexico's Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez the most prominent.
“First of all we want to thank Amobi for his contributions to the club in our inaugural MLS season and wish him nothing but the best in his career,” Orlando City general manager Paul McDonough said in a club statement. “This trade is a win for all involved. We acquire a proven midfielder while creating some salary cap flexibility for future strategic player moves.”
The trade is the second one involving a prominent MLS star in recent days, with D.C. United acquiring Costa Rican forward Alvaro Saborio from Real Salt Lake in exchange for Luis Silva last week.