MLS Moves: Kwarasey joins mid-season departures

Ghanaian international Adam Kwarasey, the starting keeper on Portland Timbers' 2015 MLS Cup championship team and MLS's 2015 Save of the Year winner, became the latest MLS player to leave in midseason, returning to Norway, where he grew up.

The Timbers transferred the 28-year-old Kwarasey to reigning champion Rosenborg, currently first in the Tippeligaen.

MLS Players on the move abroad (2016 mid-season):
Sam Adekugbe (Vancouver), loan --> Brighton & Hove Albion (ENG D2)
Dairon Asprilla (Portland), loan  --> Millonarios (COL)
Gilberto (Chicago), mutually terminated contract --> Sao Paulo (BRA)
Adam Kwarasey (Portland), transfer --> Rosenborg (NOR)
Emil Larsen (Columbus), transfer --> Lyngby (DEN)
Leonel Miranda (Houston), loan expired --> Defensa y Justicia (ARG)
Vincent Nogueira (Philadelphia), mutually terminated contract --> Strasbourg (FRA D2)
Octavio Rivero (Vancouver), transfer --> Colo-Colo (CHI)
David Rocha (Houston), mutually terminated contract --> Real Oviedo (ESP D2)
Daniel Salloi (Sporting KC), loan  --> Vasas (HUN)
Adrian Winter (Orlando City), mutually terminated contract --> FC Zurich (SUI)
Alex Zendejas (FC Dallas), transfer  --> Guadalajara (MEX)

"This transfer gives the Timbers flexibility to strengthen the team and is a move that makes sense for Adam, his family and the Timbers," said  Timbers general manager and president of soccer Gavin Wilkinson in a prepared statement. "We wish him all the best in his career."

Kwarasey appeared in 33 regular-season games and five of six matches during the MLS playoffs and appeared in seven matches for the Timbers before sustaining an injury to his finger in April.

Jake Gleeson took over as the starter in Kwarasey's absence. In 14 games, he has a 1.29 goal-against average. The Timbers' 3-1 win over Seattle on Sunday extended their unbeaten streak to nine games (4-0-5 record).

“I want to thank Adam for his contributions to the club and for helping us win our first major trophy,” said Timbers coach Caleb Porter. “I enjoyed working with him, and he was a top-class professional in his time here.”

Kwarasey had made 154 league appearances over eight seasons with Stromsgodset of Norway's Tippeligaen, winning a league championship in 2013.

MLS's secondary window, which opened on July 4, has always brought an influx of players, but the re-opening of transfer windows around the world has seen an increase of movement out of MLS as clubs move to unload players with whom they are unhappy or are unhappy themselves.

Those include another Timber player brought over before the start of the 2015 season: Dairon Asprilla, who has returned to Colombia on loan to Millonarios.

The moves to foreign clubs include deals involving two young players: Canadian Sam Adekugbe, on loan from Vancouver to English club Brighton & Hove Albion, and U.S. U-18 Alex Zendejas, whom FC Dallas transferred to Mexico's Guadalajara, where he renounced his U.S. national team ambitions to play for Chivas.

At the end of July a year ago, only a handful of players had left their MLS clubs and found new employment abroad.
1 comment about "MLS Moves: Kwarasey joins mid-season departures".
  1. Brian Kraft, July 19, 2016 at 9:51 a.m.

    How about Markus Halsti, who languished in DC before returning to Finland on May 25?

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