Danny Mwanga signed a new deal with his hometown Timbers in December. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Less than three months after signing Danny Mwanga to a new contract, the Portland Timbers have traded him to the Colorado Rapids for a first-round pick in the 2015 MLs SuperDraft.
The surprising move comes eight months after the Timbers brought Mwanga, 21, back to his hometown via a trade from Philadelphia. Mwanga, who also played at Oregon State, apparently became expendable after struggling to adapt to new coach Caleb Porter's system in the preseason.
The Timbers' successful trial with French striker Frederic Piquionne last week may have been the final straw for the No. 1 pick in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft.
He scored seven goals for Philadelphia in his rookie season, but combined for just eight goals in his next two seasons.
“Danny was with the Timbers for a short time, but we appreciate his contributions to the club,” said Timbers general manager Gavin Wilkinson in a statement released by the club. “With Danny being from Portland and having been developed as a player at Westside Timbers, it made this a very difficult decision. He was a great ambassador for the club and the sport in the community. “It is a good opportunity for him in Colorado and we feel this move is beneficial for all involved. We wish him well.”