Thursday, February 28, 2013

Colorado Trades For Mwanga

The Rapids made what will probably be their final move of the preseason today, sending their first round pick in 2015 to Portland for forward Danny Mwanga.  The Congolese forward was the #1 pick of the 2010 draft by the expansion Philadelphia Union and had 12 goals in 61 appearances for the club before he was traded to Portland in the middle of last season.  He appeared 18 times with 3 goals for the Timbers and signed a re-worked contract with the team in December.  He has his green card and is working towards his citizenship (he hopes to play for the U.S. at some point) so will not take an international slot.

The cost of a first-round pick in two years is a decent price for the Rapids to pay.  Next year's pick will probably be fairly high (unfortunately), but the hope is that 2014 is the year the youth movement pays off and we make a deep run, making that first round pick less valuable.  Last season Mwanga's baseline salary was 250K, and his guaranteed number was 356K.  The expectation is that his re-worked contract brought those numbers down somewhat, but they're still going to be significant.  That's the real cost to this move, reducing the flexibility in the salary cap.

News over the last 24 hours explains this move though.  Buddle will miss this week's game to fly to NY for a 3rd opinion on his injured knee, with the possibility of having further investigative surgery.  Also today, some news from a good source that Castrillon's knee injury is actually the result of some sort of degenerative disease in the knee that puts his career in jeopardy (but thankfully, not his life) and the outlook is about 50/50 if he comes back at all.  Obviously that's a lot of firepower with question marks on it, so the Rapids felt like they needed to find some MLS experience up front.

Mwanga's addition gives the team 30 signed players, right at the roster limit.  Only 6 international spots, so they have two open.  With Castrillon starting the season on the DL Colorado could sign another player in his spot, so another move could be coming, but I'm going to assume for now that the opening day roster is set.

Final(?) Roster:

Steward Ceus
Clint Irwin
Matt Pickens

Davy Armstrong - Homegrown Player
Diego Calderon - International
Kory Kindle
Chris Klute (Atlanta loan through late-Sept)
Drew Moor
Brian Mullan
Shane O'Neill - Homegrown Player
Anthony Wallace
Marvell Wynne

Tony Cascio
Jaime Castrillon - International - On Disabled List
Nick LaBrocca
Pablo Mastroeni
Dillon Powers
Martin Rivero (Rosario Central loan through 2013) - International
Dillon Serna - Homegrown Player
Jamie Smith
Nathan Sturgis
Hendry Thomas - International

Andre Akpan
Deshorn Brown - Generation Adidas, International
Edson Buddle
Charles Eloundou - International
Kevin Harbottle - International
Atiba Harris
Kamani Hill
Danny Mwanga

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