UPDATE (July 27, 2 pm ET) – The move became official Tuesday afternoon, with Mark-Anthony Kaye due to join Colorado from LAFC once Canada's run at the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup comes to a close.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Mark-Anthony to the club and reinforce our midfield with a player of his quality,” Padraig Smith, Rapids executive VP & general manager, said in a release. “He’s been one of the best central midfielders in the league over the last several years and has played a critical role in the success of the teams he’s been a part of. We look forward to seeing him integrate with our group as we enter the second half of the season and continue our push for a playoff spot.”
Colorado sent $1 million in General Allocation Money (GAM) and a 2022 international roster slot to LAFC for a first-round pick in the 2022 MLS SuperDraft. LAFC will also receive additional GAM if Kaye reaches certain performance-based incentives.
“Mark has been an incredible player and ambassador for LAFC since he helped launch this Club in 2018,” LAFC co-president & general manager John Thorrington said in a release. “He has grown into a leader on and off the field and will always be remembered as a fundamental building block of our Club. We are thankful to him for all of his contributions and will remember him and wish him and his wife Rachel all the best in Colorado.”
LAFC will receive $1 million in General Allocation Money, a 2022 international spot and further incentives. Colorado will also receive LAFC’s 2022 SuperDraft first-round pick. The deal includes a 10% sell-on for LAFC should Colorado sell him abroad, which would only kick in after $1 million.
Kaye, 26, has been an integral member of LAFC since their inaugural campaign. The former USL standout made 77 league appearances (71 starts) for the Black & Gold, including 31 during their record-breaking 2019 campaign. He has nine goals and 18 assists in his MLS career thus far.
Kaye will slot straight into Robin Fraser’s strongest available XI and give the club a formidable midfield group of Kaye, Kellyn Acosta, Jack Price and Cole Bassett. Designated Player Younes Namli can also play centrally or out wide, and is expected to return from ankle surgery over the next month or two.
LAFC originally signed Kaye from USL Championship side Louisville City ahead of their inaugural campaign. Kaye signed a contract extension in 2018, which included a club option for 2022. Without Kaye, LAFC’s midfield corps is still strong with the likes of Eduard Atuesta, Latif Blessing, Jose Cifuentes and Francisco Ginella. The GAM acquired can help aid further moves.
Kaye is the latest significant intra-MLS addition by the Rapids in recent years. The Western Conference club has traded for Acosta, Michael Barrios (FC Dallas), Jonathan Lewis (New York City FC), Diego Rubio (Sporting Kansas City), Auston Trusty, Keegan Rosenberry (Philadelphia Union) and Lalas Abubakar (Columbus Crew).
Colorado, a playoff team during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, sit fourth in the Western Conference standings heading into MLS Week 16. They're on 24 points through 14 matches (7W-4L-3D record).