MLS Insider: Tom Bogert

Sources: FC Dallas, DC United finalize record-setting trade for USMNT's Paul Arriola

Paul Arriola DC United

UPDATE (Jan. 25) – FC Dallas have finalized their trade for US men's national team winger Paul Arriola from D.C. United, sources tell The deal sets a new league record for General Allocation Money, with $2 million up-front plus incentives. first reported the agreement last week.

Arriola, 26, made 89 MLS appearances with D.C. United after being acquired from Liga MX's Club Tijuana in 2017. He had 20 goals and 16 assists with the Black-and-Red while becoming a USMNT mainstay, making 42 appearances so far. Arriola is currently with his country preparing for three Concacaf World Cup qualifiers over the next week.

New FC Dallas head coach Nico Estevez was previously an assistant with the USMNT from 2019-21, where he often worked with Arriola. He should fit snugly into Dallas' attack. FCD are also finalizing a club-record deal to acquire Argentine youth international Alan Velasco from Independiente, a busy offseason amid a new era.

The previous league record for guaranteed allocation money was set this winter when the New York Red Bulls acquired Lewis Morgan for $1.2 million GAM from Inter Miami CF. The previous highest total package of allocation money was Orlando City SC's signing of Dom Dwyer from Sporting Kansas City, for a total of $1.6 million combined GAM and TAM (Targeted Allocation Money) after incentives were reached.

ORIGINAL (Jan. 20) – D.C. United and FC Dallas have reached an agreement over a league-record trade for US men's national team winger Paul Arriola, sources tell The deal still needs to be finalized.

The trade would be worth $2 million in General Allocation Money (GAM), shattering previous MLS records. There could also be incentives or other assets included in the final deal. previously reported that FC Dallas and Charlotte FC had offered packages around $2 million GAM, while Liga MX's Club America made a handful of bids for Arriola but never reached an agreement with D.C. United.

Arriola, 26, is a Designated Player with D.C., acquired in 2017 from Liga MX's Club Tijuana. He has made 89 MLS appearances, adding 20g/16a. Last season he had six goals and four assists in 20 games, returning from an injury he sustained on loan with Swansea City in England’s Championship during the winter.

The winger has 42 appearances with the USMNT, establishing himself as a regular contributor under Gregg Berhalter.

Arriola would add to FCD's attacking core in the wake of striker Ricardo Pepi’s club-record transfer to German Bundesliga side FC Augsburg. The winger, typically played on the right side, should fit snugly into new head coach Nico Estevez’s preferred 4-3-3, alongside the likes of Jesus Ferreira, Jader Obrian and Szabolcs Schon. FCD also have DP striker Franco Jara.

Estevez was previously an assistant with the USMNT from 2019-21, where he often worked with Arriola.

xAM record

Earlier this winter a new mark for most guaranteed money was set when the New York Red Bulls acquired Lewis Morgan for $1.2m GAM up front from Inter Miami CF. The biggest total package sent, after incentives were triggered, was when Dom Dwyer was acquired by Orlando City SC from Sporting Kansas City in 2017. That ended up being worth $1.6m combined GAM and TAM.

The trade is the latest in a hyper-active intra-league market and is the latest seven-figure deal. The following players have all been traded for north of $1m GAM within the past year:

LAFC also agreed to acquire Maxime Crepeau from Vancouver Whitecaps FC for around $1 million GAM, per sources, but that deal hasn’t been announced yet. The Philadelphia Union and Chicago Fire FC are in talks over a trade for striker Kacper Przybylko that's worth just over $1 million GAM as well.