FRISCO - It’s a blockbuster move that could be the biggest trade of the summer transfer window in MLS. On Monday, FC Dallas announced the departure of Homegrown Kellyn Acosta in a trade with the Colorado Rapids highlighted by the acquisition of leading scorer Dominique Badji.
While difficult to say goodbye to the rising Academy product, both teams have added key pieces to their roster for the second half of the season. Acosta, who has visibly been frustrated in recent weeks, gets a fresh start and a chance to be an immediate impact for a team needing help in the midfield. Dallas, a team always looking to add offensive output to compliment one of the stoutest defenses in MLS, gets a proven goal scorer in the league and one who is already well on his way to another career season.
“I was shocked,” Badji told FCDallas.com shortly after being informed of the move. “It kind of came out of nowhere, but once that settled, I’m just eager to get there and to start playing…[It’s] a new environment, a new opportunity - it’s definitely something that I’m looking forward to. It gives me a lot of energy and I’m just going to look forward to being out there and starting a new chapter.”
“He’s somebody that’s physical,” Technical Director Fernando Clavijo said of Badji. “He’s good in the air and he’s somebody who knows the league. This is one of the things that attracted us the most. He knows the league, he doesn’t need to adapt to anything. He can come in and play and do well.”
Although on the surface it’s a player-for-player move, the deal is much more complex with multiple layers to it.
Dallas will retain 50 percent of Acosta’s international sell-on value through the summer of 2020, where their percentage will then drop to 33 percent in perpetuity. In addition to Badji, the club will receive an international roster spot from the Rapids for the remainder of 2018 and all of 2019.
FCD will also send it’s first- and second-round selections at the 2019 MLS SuperDraft to Colorado in exchange for their first-round pick in the same year, with a contingency that Dallas will keep the higher of the two selections and would only include the second rounder if the first-round swap is a significant jump.
As it stands today, Colorado would have the fourth overall selection (including Cincinnati’s presumed first overall selection as an expansion side), while FCD would be 21st (though draft order for playoff teams is set based on postseason success).