TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Trade
- MTL receive: Kwadwo Opoku
- LAFC receive: $1.75 million GAM
The defending MLS Cup and Supporters’ Shield champions have received $1.75 million GAM in exchange for the versatile Ghanaian forward. The funds break down as $1.65 million in 2023 GAM and $100k in 2024 GAM.
Opoku, 21, is coming off a breakout season for LAFC in 2022, tallying 7g/3a in nearly 1,800 minutes (34 appearances) and placing ninth on the 22 Under 22 presented by BODYARMOR list. This year, Opoku has 2g/2a in nearly 1,200 minutes (19 appearances) and helped LAFC reach the Concacaf Champions League final. He consistently progressed with the Black & Gold after joining in October 2020 from the Attram De Visser Soccer Academy in Ghana.
"Mahala has been an incredible story and an important player for us over the last few years," LAFC co-president & general manager John Thorrington said in a release.
"These decisions are never easy but are at times necessary. It has been great to watch him grow and develop as a player on the field and a person off the pitch. We are grateful for all of his contributions to LAFC and wish him the best of luck in his career."
By acquiring Opoku, Montréal continue a trend of mining the MLS trade market to enhance their roster. For 2023, key standouts via that roster mechanism include midfielder Bryce Duke (from Inter Miami CF) and defender Aaron Herrera (from Real Salt Lake).
"We are very pleased with this acquisition. He is a young player who already possesses good experience in the league, notably having won the MLS Cup last year as a decisive player with LAFC," CF Montréal VP and chief sporting officer Olivier Renard said in a release.
"He will offer us something different from our existing player pool, with his speed and one-on-one ability. It is a profile we've been lacking in our squad. I am convinced he will be able to continue his progression with us."
Opoku represented one prong of LAFC’s first-choice attacking trio alongside Carlos Vela and Dénis Bouanga. The club also brought in youngsters Stipe Biuk and Mateusz Bogusz in recent months, giving head coach Steve Cherundolo options atop their fluid 4-3-3 formation.
LAFC, who already had a Designated Player spot to work with this summer, now have an influx of funds to help facilitate potential roster additions. Notably, they’ve been playing without a natural center forward since now-Real Salt Lake No. 9 Cristian Arango was transferred to Liga MX’s Pachuca last winter.
The move comes as the MLS Secondary Transfer Window opens and extends until Aug. 2. Last year, LAFC made season-altering moves during this period when they memorably signed Bouanga, defender Giorgio Chiellini and Gareth Bale.
In a separate transaction, LAFC also received a 2023 international roster slot from Montréal in exchange for $100,000 in 2024 General Allocation Money.
READ MORE: MLS Transfer Tracker presented by Avant