The second trade in Los Angeles Football Club history was completed on Sunday, as Atlanta United announced they have sent a 2018 international roster slot to LAFC in exchange for a 2018 MLS SuperDraft fourth-round pick.
As this trade is not for a specific player, it will go under the radar compared to the trade earlier in the day for defender Walker Zimmerman, but given the expectation that LAFC will be active in signing international players ahead of their debut season, it makes sense that they are going to look to acquire additional international slots.
In that vein, Atlanta United’s release contains a succinct summary of the international slot situation in MLS terms:
Each club in MLS has the rights to eight international spots on its roster. However, these spots are tradable, in full season increments, such that some clubs may have more than eight and some clubs may have fewer than eight. Additionally, there is no limit on the number of international roster spots on each club’s roster.
While teams can certainly find value in fourth-round draft picks, if they draft well, on balance this deal is very good value for LAFC, since international slots are among the most important non-cash commodities in MLS. There is also a chance the LAFC and Atlanta United worked out a handshake deal for LAFC to not take any Atlanta player or a certain Atlanta player on Tuesday in the Expansion Draft. We’ll have to see on that, but something like that would likely balance the tangible items traded here in a more even way between the teams.
As a result of this, LAFC now have nine international slots at the moment for 2018. They have two players signed who will be taking international slots so far, in Carlos Vela and Omar Gaber.
We’ll have more coverage of LAFC’s hot stove action as it drops.
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