In a stunning deal for US soccer fans, quarterback Clain Acosta was handed out from the Rapids to LAFC for a hefty sum of allocation dollars on Friday. But the blockbuster makes perfect sense to Colorado, when looking at the factors that played into the trade.
A move on Friday morning sent the US men’s national team midfielder to Southern California for $1 million in general allocation money, potentially rising to as much as $1.5 million if specific incentives are met, along with a percentage of any revenue generated from the sale. Acosta in the future. Tom Bogert of MLSSoccer.com first reported the deal.
A source indicated to Burgundy Wave that Acosta and the club were unable to agree to an extension of Acosta’s contract, which was due to expire at the end of 2022, with the club’s option for 2023. According to Taylor Twillman, this only increased interest in a move to Acosta. Via MLS, defending champions Shield Champions New England also showed interest. However, LAFC’s bid was the most lucrative, and Acosta was shipped to the City of Angels, staying at MLS, rather than moving to Europe.
Acosta has always been clear about his ambitions to play in Europe. In January 2019, Rapids turned down a lucrative offer for the midfielder, but Dallas FC kept 50% of the selling costs. The Rapids have not received serious European interest since then, except for a last-minute loan offer to Acosta before the LAFC deal was finalized, meaning Acosta once again missed his chance to move to Europe.
Acosta voiced his frustrations on Twitter, claiming that Rapids “pushed him out,” and he had “an offer on the table from the outside.”
This story is sad. The carbon monoxide pushed me out. They had an offer to me on the table from abroad and continuing interests and chose to trade me …
– KellynAcosta January 14, 2022
Nobody forced Acosta to move except himself, at least in my opinion. By not extending his Colorado contract, he could leave for free when it expired. And between the fans’ consistent desires to play in Europe and the lack of terms on an extension, Acosta most dedicated to representing Colorado did not emerge past 2022.
His value both internationally and in the MLS would continue to decline as he got older, and with his contract coming to an end, the Rapids pulled the trigger in a move now, he would reap the rewards of more investment in the team (more on that later.) Also, after a very successful year with the USMNT, working Several camps, good performances in Nations League and World Cup qualifiers, Acosta could have been valued very high.
‘Offer on the table from the outside’ Acosta states it was a one-year loan, which would result in an additional year termination of his contract with him not representing the Rapids, potentially making the club little (if any) profit for who he-she is. Rapids said this loan deal would have been a free loan.
Of course, you can understand Acosta’s frustration at not having to move abroad, but as for the club itself, he lost it for a deeply discounted rate, or even for free later, or moved it now. The club has now chosen to transfer him, a position Acosta has placed himself in by not extending his contract.
The situation is not the same for Cole Bassett, who is close to moving to Dutch giants Feyenoord on loan for a year and a half, with an option to buy. The news first appeared in the Netherlands but has been verified by several American sources, including the Associated Press. This deal looks imminent.
Adding more smoke to this rumor, Bassett left USMNT training camp on Saturday for undisclosed reasons.
Similar to Acosta, the Bassett loan doesn’t provide much value to Rapids Beach, even if the loan fee is charged (which I will assume will).
However, unlike Acosta, Bassett is still very much developing, not yet realizing his potential. If Bassett’s loan move to Rotterdam is successful, then upon his return to Rapids his value will rise significantly, the club can make more money from a potential sale, or Feyenoord will activate their buyout option. Either way, the club will get a significant amount of money from Bassett if the loan process goes well.
Whatever assets the club acquires for Acosta (and will likely be Basset soon), the two represent huge holes to fill in the midfield, especially after already moving from another midfielder, Younes Namli, in December.
But this is not the time to panic. Indeed, these moves should encourage excitement for 2022 and beyond. Because, even with Yunus Namli, Acosta and Bassett leaving so soon, the Rapids midfield is still going strong, and the club has plenty of options, both internally and externally, to replace them.
The club has already replaced Bassett, having signed young Brazilian midfielder Max on January 6, and already has Jack Price as well as Marc Anthony Kay on the roster, two famous and successful line players in Major League Soccer. If these three are the Rapids’ key midfielders next season, I’d argue (depending on how well Max has adapted to MLS), it’s as good as last year’s group.
Then there are the little wildcards of Philip Mayaka and Oliver Laraz, who performed well at USL last year, along with recent Superdraft pick Mohamed Omar.
Mayaka, 21, and Larraz, 20, will have more chances with the Rapids next season, even if the club decides to add another team in midfield, where the Rapids’ depth will be tested by participating in several competitions, CONCACAF Champions League, Cup US Open, and of course you play MLS.
Rapids has a large number of spaces to make moves, both financially and in the physical roster space. All three designated player slots are open, and Acosta’s high $1.1 million salary transfer offers more room with Allocation Money.
The club has already been teasing new additions and, as a source pointed out to Burgundy Wave, the Rapids are looking to add a striker and have a shortlist of some goals, both in and out of the MLS.
Losing players after such a successful season with the Rapids seems almost inevitable, but the Rapids have kept most of the roster together, adding massive flexibility to the roster, along with new talents like Max and Abubakar Keita. The coming weeks are set to be busy for the Rapids, as they continue to prepare for their inaugural Champions League season on February 17th.