Report: Crew, Fire finally seal long-rumored deal for Duka

Dilly Duka of the Columbus Crew

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Eastern Conference rivals Chicago and Columbus have finally concluded their extended haggling and completed a trade that sends Dilly Duka to the Windy City in exchange for speedster Dominic Oduro, according to a tweet from Columbus Dispatch reporter Adam Jardy on Friday evening.

Jardy followed up his tweet with a blog post confirming the transaction.

If correct, the deal would bolster Chicago’s new-look midfield with the skillful Duka, a former US youth international capable of playing multiple positions. A member of the 2009 Generation adidas class, the 23-year-old was highly rated upon his departure from Rutgers University, though his relationship with the Crew coaching staff seemed to degrade towards the end of last season, which was blighted by a hamstring injury in the first game of the year.

Last week, Duka was told not to join Columbus for their preseason activities and technical director Brian Bliss acknowledged that a deal was being pursued, but suggested that its completion was being held up elsewhere.

"I thought we would have something done by now," Bliss said earlier this week. "I'm not trying to absolve myself or the Crew for that matter for anything we can really do on the deal, but it is truly out of our hands. It's between the league and Chicago and Dilly and his agent in terms of figuring out the best scenario to make it work for everybody."

Conversely, Oduro looks like a useful addition to the Columbus front line. Chicago’s leading scorer in 2011 with a career-high 12 goals, he netted six strikes and three assists for the Fire last year but apparently grew frustrated with his playing time down the stretch.

Both clubs declined to comment when contacted by MLSsoccer.com.