Trades add twists to intriguing day of MLS drafts and deals

Jamison Olave is back at the foot of the Wasatch Mountains. Daniel Lovitz is back in Toronto. Lewis Neal is back in Orlando.

And if an expected trade goes through, Sal Zizzo will forever be known as the first player to move between the New York teams.

Those were a few of the outcomes from a very busy day on the MLS front on Wednesday. Shortly after Orlando City SC and New York City FC each made 10 selections in the Expansion Draft came announcements of trades, and three former Chivas USA players found new teams via the Waiver Draft.

In a deal not directly related to the Expansion Draft, Real Salt Lake reacquired Olave, who was traded to the Red Bulls two years ago, in exchange for allocation money. Olave fills the void left when ex-teammate Nat Borchers went to Portland in a trade -- for yes, allocation money -- on Monday. Olave started his MLS career with RSL in 2008 and during his five seasons won an MLS Cup (2009) and Defender of the Year award (2010) while playing 120 matches and scoring 10 goals.

The Expansion Draft itself got off to a flying start when OCSC, which had already acquired keeper Tally Hall from the Dynamo, took veteran Jamaican goalie Donovan Ricketts with the first overall pick. NYCFC head coach Jason Kreis then nabbed one of his former RSL stalwarts, Ned Grabavoy.

Orlando City:
1. GK Donovan Ricketts (POR).
2. M Tony Cascio (COL).
3. D Jalil Anibaba (SEA).
4. F Pedro Ribeiro (PHI).
5. M Lewis Neal (DC).
6. F Jairo Arrieta (CLB).
7. D Heath Pearce (MTL).
8. F Danny Mwanga (COL).
9. F Mark Sherrod (HOU).
10. D Eric Gehrig (CLB).

New York City FC:
1. M Ned Grabavoy (RSL).
2. F Patrick Mullins (NE).
3. D Jason Hernandez (SJ).
4. M Daniel Lovitz (TOR).
5. F Tony Taylor (NE).
6. M Mehdi Ballouchy (VAN).
7. D George John (DAL).
8. M Tommy McNamara (DC).
9.  M Sal Zizzo (KC).
10. D Chris Wingert (RSL).

A deal is pending by which Sporting Kansas City, which had dealt defender Aurelien Collin to Orlando City on Monday for allocation money and future considerations, will obtain defender Jalil Anibaba from the Lions. OCSC used its third pick on Anibaba, who had been acquired by Seattle less than a year ago from Chicago.

Lovitz went back to Toronto FC for allocation money. Crew defender Eric Gehrig wound up in Chicago via a trade for a 2016 second-round draft pick after Orlando City had claimed him in the Expansion Draft. NYCFC took Zizzo with its ninth pick and as of Wednesday night, according to a source, was discussing a trade with the Red Bulls, who are also in the market for a centerback after trading Olave.

Orlando City SC and New York City FC went hog-wild on attackers in the Expansion Draft to apply a different sheen to both teams’ rosters.

They started the day with just one forward between them – NYCFC’s Spanish striker David Villa – and when the 20 selections were concluded in half an hour, seven forwards – four by OCSC – had been picked. Among those joining the Lions were Costa Rican international Jairo Arrieta (Columbus) and former No. 1 SuperDraft pick Danny Mwanga (Colorado). They also added veteran defender Heath Pearce (Montreal).

Orlando City is stepping up to the MLS level after four seasons in USL PRO. The team retained head coach Adrian Heath and eight of its players, yet has also signed Brazilian midfielder Kaka for the highest salary ($7.2 million) in league history.

“We know we needed experience,” said OCSC general manager Paul McDonough on a conference call with reporters shortly after the draft. “With the trades we did on Monday and the picks we made today, we feel really comfortable, and we have a few more [moves] yet to announce, so we feel really good where we are right now. We have good balance, good depth, good versatility.

NYCFC took rookie Patrick Mullins and journeyman Tony Taylor from New England. Head coach Kreis picked two of his former Real Salt Lake players: Grabavoy and defender Chris Wingert.

“We had some mixed ideas and wanted to accomplish quite a few things,” said Kreis on a conference call with reporters shortly after the draft. “We wanted to sort out some positional needs, we wanted to accomplish getting some veteran MLS experience, and we wanted to get some young, potential players.

“It’s my strong belief that every team in MLS needs to be focused on doing several jobs at once: Winning, with the veteran players; establishing an identity with those players, and also developing young players because we’re operating under a salary-cap structure that demands that.”

The run on forwards and OCSC’s selection of Ricketts were major themes of the draft, which also triggered a short re-opening of the trade market. Teams can trade players up until Thursday at 5 p.m. Eastern, then there’s a brief trade blackout until the conclusion of the Re-Entry Draft, Phase I on Friday.

In a Waiver Draft held Wednesday, three former Chivas USA players landed at new clubs: Nigel Reo-Coker (Montreal), Leandro Barrera (San Jose), and Bobby Burling (Colorado).

Here is what the rosters looked like after conclusion of the Expansion Draft:

Orlando City SC
Goalkeepers: Tally Hall, Donovan Ricketts*.
Defenders: Luke Boden, Aurelien Collin, Rafael Ramos, Tommy Redding, Tyler Turner, Jalil Anibaba*, Heath Pearce*.
Midfielders: Darwin Ceren, Estrela, Harrison Heath, Kaka, Kevin Molino, Amobi Okugo, Lewis Neal*, Tony Cascio*.
Forwards: Pedro Ribeiro*, Jairo Arrieta*, Danny Mwanga*, Mark Sherrod*.
*Expansion Draft selection.
(Note: Deal to send Jalil Anibaba to Sporting KC is pending.)

New York City FC
Goalkeepers: Josh Saunders.
Defenders: Jeb Brovsky, Kwame Watson-Siriboe, Josh Williams, Jason Hernandez*, George John*, Chris Wingert*
Midfielders: Matt Dunn, Andrew Jacobson, Frank Lampard, Ned Grabavoy*, Mehdi Ballouchy*, Sal Zizzo* 
Forwards: David Villa, Patrick Mullins*, Tony Taylor*, Thomas McNamara*.
*Expansion Draft selection.

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