Although neither move was seemingly predicated on the date, D.C. United opened the MLS summer transfer window with a pair of big moves. First, it was revealed that the last-place team had agreed to transfer recently acquired defender Alain Rochat to Switzerland's BSC Young Boys for about $500,000. A little later on Tuesday, United then announced that they had acquired Luis Silva from Toronto FC in exchange for and undisclosed amount allocation money.
Since the Rochat transfer has not been formally announced, it's impossible to say for certain whether or not the two moves are actually related, but it sure looks that way. Depending on the details of the Rochat transfer, United is in line to receive at least $150,000 in allocation money (and that's assuming they had to split the haul with the Vancouver Whitecaps). That's probably a very similar amount to what they are sending TFC's way.
The moves make a lot of sense for United, who even if these deals are a wash, basically gave up a second-round pick in the 2015 SuperDraft (what they sent to the Whitecaps for Rochat) in order to acquire a player who was the No. 4 overall pick in the 2012 SuperDraft. That's not a bad piece of business, especially if United still have some allocation money to show for it.
Silva, it would appear, had lost favor with Toronto FC after a spectacular rookie season in which he notched five goals and five assists in a little more than 2,000 MLS minutes. Under the new regime of Ryan Nelsen, Silva had not scored and had just two assists in 961 minutes this season.
For their part, TFC says Silva being traded is part of a bigger-picture.
"We are bringing in new attacking talent this window and Luis' playing time would likely suffer," Toronto FC President and General Manager Kevin Payne said in a team release. "This move helps give us more flexibility now and for the future."
The big rumor was that TFC was poised to sign Uruguay's Diego Forlan, but after vehement denials from all parties from the player to his supposed new team there is ample reason to doubt that's going to happen.
Trading Silva opens up a sizable bit of salary cap space -- he was due to make about $105,000 according to players' union documents -- and even if TFC only got the minimum $75,000 in allocation, that's already enough salary cap space to add at least one midseason Designated Player (who would hit the cap at $175,000).