D.C. United picked up a promising young center back, while the LA Galaxy hinted a big fish might be on the way.
On Tuesday, the two clubs agreed to a trade that saw 23-year-old defender Kofi Opare and LA's second-round pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft head to the nation's capital in exchange for an allocation-order swap that moved the Galaxy up to No. 3 in the list. Per club and MLS policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“We are pleased to have acquired a smart, young defender in Kofi who has a very big upside, as well as securing a 2015 second round Superdraft pick,” D.C. United general manager Dave Kasper said in a statement. “This is an important move for us to make at this time to add depth to our squad as we enter the second half of the MLS season and the CONCACAF Champions League group stage. We welcome Kofi to the D.C. United family.”
The deal reiforces a United backline that has been shaken up by veteran Jeff Parke's continued struggles with migraines. Bobby Boswell has enjoyed an All-Star caliber season in central defense with rookie Steve Birnbaum and Nana Attakora providing depth.
The Galaxy, meanwhile, appear primed to make a move before the transfer window closes on August 6. positioning themselves behind Columbus and FC Dallas in the pecking order for returning US national team players. D.C. are now 11th in the order.
“This is a move that gives us the necessary flexibility to strengthen our roster,” head coach and GM Bruce Arena said in a statement. “We thank Kofi for his contributions here and wish him the best in D.C.”
Opare was drafted by the Galaxy in the second round of the 2013 MLS SuperDraft out of the University of Michigan, where he spent four seasons. He appeared in six games during his rookie season and 12 games total for the Galaxy since entering MLS.
On the international stage, Opare is eligible to play for the United States, Canada and Ghana, and has previously appeared for the US Under-20 national team.