The Colorado Rapids have agreed to trade Kellyn Acosta to Los Angeles FC. The deal for the midfielder is worth $1.5 million (an initial $1.1 million and $400k in incentives) in general allocation money. It’s one of the most expensive intra-league trades in MLS history. Colorado will also hold a sell-on percentage.

Kellyn Acosta
USMNT star Kellyn Acosta will play for LAFC starting 2022. (Image: coloradorapids.com)

The 26-year-old Acosta contributed with seven goals and six assists in 79 games for Colorado since he was traded in from FC Dallas in 2018. He played a total of 196 games over nine MLS campaigns. With him on their roster, Colorado reached the playoffs in 2020 and 2021, won the Western Conference in 2021, and played Concacaf Champions League football. In 2021 alone, Acosta was capped a record 21 times for the USMNT, taking his total to 45 games for the national team.

He joins former Sporting Kansas City star Ilie Sanchez as a new LAFC player. Sanchez penned a two-year deal on Wednesday.

Money talks in LA

Colorado will receive $550K in general allocation money in 2022 and $550K in 2023. The club could also get an additional $400K in general allocation money if certain performance metrics are met.

LAFC is going through major changes after manager Bob Bradley and more than 10 players left the club. The departed players include former all-star Colombian midfielder Eduard Atuesta, who moved to Palmeiras in Brazil.

Talking about Acosta’s arrival, John Thorrington, LAFC’s general manager and co-president said “He is a player that has all the attributes necessary to play how we want in the midfield. Acosta provides versatility and the ability to help our team immediately. He is in his prime, a fixture in our national team, and offers the MLS experience we sought in the off-season.”

LAFC is now working on extending Carlos Vela’s contract. The star player made a league-high $6.3 million last year, but missed almost half his team’s games because of injuries in the past two seasons. The LAFC captain is out of contract in the summer, with the club trying to extend it at a reduced rate.

LAFC is also on the verge of completing the sale of forward Diego Rossi to Turkish club Fenerbahce this month. The Uruguayan spent time on loan in Istanbul in 2021.

LAFC is an early favorite to lift the MLS Cup in 2022, alongside Seattle and New England. All three sit at +700 to win, followed by defending champions NYCFC at +1000.

The team didn’t make it into the playoffs last year, which was their fourth in the MLS. LAFC won the Supporters’ Shield in 2019, with Carlos Vela being awarded the MLS MVP trophy.

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