The Philadelphia Union remained busy on Monday, but this time they traded players away, as Cristian Maidana and Andrew Wenger were sent to the Houston Dynamo in exchange for general allocation money, targeted allocation money, and the Union's natural first round selection in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft. Per league and club policy, additional terms were not disclosed.
“At the conclusion of last season we had two specific goals we wanted to address this offseason,” Dynamo vice president and general manager Matt Jordan said in a team statement. “First, we felt it was important to add more creativity and quality in the final third of the field. Second, we wanted more dynamic pace and power in the wide areas. The acquisition of these two players strengthens our group and helps us meet these objectives in preparation for next season.”
“Cristian is a player with tremendous ability who can see a pass and open up defenses as his assists show, and we feel he is coming into the prime of his career and can add more quality to our group,” Dynamo head coach Owen Coyle said. “Andrew is a young player with tremendous pace and power who we feel has the capacity to fulfill all his undoubted ability and potential and again add to our talented squad. Both players are very excited to join the Houston Dynamo and we look forward to working with Cristian and Andrew.”
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Maidana had 15 assists last season, tied for second in MLS, and leads the league with 26 assists over the last two seasons. The 28-year-old signed with the Union as a in 2014 after playing in his native Argentina, Mexico, Spain, Chile and Russia.
Wenger, 24, was the No. 1 overall selection of the Montreal Impact in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft after winning the MAC Hermann Trophy in 2011 as the nation’s best college player at Duke University. The Pennsylvania native set a career-high with six goals in 2014 and has tallied 13 goals and nine assists in four seasons. A versatile attacking player, Wenger has appeared in 23 or more games in all four professional seasons, including a career-high 32 appearances in 2014, when he was traded to Philadelphia.
“We set out this offseason with a clear direction and this helps us start that process” Union technical director Chris Albright said in a team statement. “We greatly value the increased cap flexibility, as well as the opportunity to have two high picks in the upcoming draft, increasing our ability to re-shape the roster. Cristian and Andrew should be commended for their time here and we wish them the best of luck.”
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Earlier on Monday, the Union acquired veteran midfielder Chris Pontius in exchange for general and targeted allocation money.
Houston will convey their highest first round selection to the Union, currently at No. 6. If Houston acquires a pick higher than No. 6 prior to the draft, it will be conveyed to the Union, rather than No. 6. Currently, the Union will hold the No. 3 and No. 6 overall picks in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft, which will be held January 14 in Baltimore, Maryland.