Alphonso Davies transfer: Bittersweet but inevitable, and rewarding

It looks like 17-year-old Canadian Alphonso Davies is headed to Bayern Munich in what will be a record transfer deal for an MLS player.

The deal has not been confirmed, but reports suggest that Bayern Munich will pay the Vancouver Whitecaps as much as $15 million for Davies, plus 15 percent of a future transfer fee. The MLS record is the $10 million Villarreal paid the New York Red Bulls in 2008 for Jozy Altidore.

Davies did not dress for the Whitecaps' 2-0 loss to Seattle on Saturday and has been in Philadelphia with Bayern Munich, where it is preparing for Wednesday's match against Juventus in the International Champions Cup. Bayern cannot register him until January 2019 -- he doesn't turn 18 until November -- so he should remain at Vancouver for the remainder of the 2018 MLS season.

Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson says he won't block a move by his young star who was born in Ghana to parents who were refugees from the Second Liberian Civil War.

"Did we want to sell him? No. Because he's a big success on the field," Robinson said on Tuesday. "But you can't be selfish at this moment because we've got a wonderful talent on our hands for me at the club level and even at the international level."

Davies moved to Windsor, Ontario and then Edmonton before joining Whitecaps Residency at the age of 14. In 2016, he made his MLS debut for the 'Caps at the age of 15, becoming the second youngest player to play in MLS, behind Freddy Adu. He has scored his first three MLS goals in 2018 and leads the Whitecaps with eight assists.

If Vancouver management had any doubts about making the move to sell Davies, MLS's new transfer rules regarding Homegrown players eased those concerns.

Beginning in 2018, MLS allows teams to keep 100 percent of a transfer fee when they sell a Homegrown player instead of having to settle for a 75-25 split between the team and league. The new rule rewards teams that invest in their academy programs.

MLS transfer revenue rules:
1. A team can use up to $750,000 as General Allocation Money. (GAM is the most flexible of MLS's allocation moneys.)
2. A team can use the money to pay for a new or existing Designated Player.
3. A team can use the money in other ways with league approval, such as on youth development and training facilities.
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