After four seasons of injuries, inactivity and frustration, Omar Salgado is finally moving on.
The Vancouver Whitecaps and New York City FC have orchestrated a unique trade and transfer, in which Salgado's MLS rights go to NYCFC before he is sold to an "international club" to be named. The first overall pick in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft, Salgado never found his footing in Vancouver, scoring just one goal in MLS play in 29 games across four seasons.
Salgado, a 21-year-old U.S. youth international who came through the Chivas Guadalajara youth system before leaving the Mexican club to pursue an international future with the USA, would have either had to have been protected by the Whitecaps from Wednesday's MLS expansion draft or been potentially selected and having the club gain nothing for his departure. As it stands, the club will split the transfer fee with NYCFC and fetch a portion of any sell-on fee from his future moves.
“Omar is a good player with potential; however, both the club and Omar agreed that now is the right time to go in another direction and we wish him all the best,” Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson said in a statement. “The transfer freeze prior to the Expansion Draft made this a unique situation. After exploring a number of options, this was our best move. If we left Omar unprotected in the Expansion Draft, we would have most likely lost him for nothing. Alternatively, we could have used one of our 11 protection spots on him but then we would have risked losing someone else. By orchestrating a trade and transfer, we hold on to future sell-on rights and will receive allocation money.”
By selling Salgado for a transfer fee, NYCFC won't retain his MLS rights, and Salgado would likely go through the allocation order should he return to the league.
Salgado, an El Paso, Texas, native, remains in the mix for the USA's 2016 Olympic team despite his club inactivity, being called into the U.S. Under-23s as recently as this past August.