FC Dallas officially traded homegrown midfielder Kellyn Acosta to the Colorado Rapids on Monday in exchange for Dominique Badji, an international roster spot through 2019 and the Rapids’ first-round selection in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft.
Dallas also will retains 50 percent of any international transfer fee on Acosta until the closing of the 2020 summer transfer window, according to the announcement. In addition to Acosta, Colorado receives FC Dallas’ first- and second-round selections in the draft.
News of the move broke the night before the trade was made official, first reporter by the Dallas Morning News.
Acosta was signed as a homegrown in 2012 and has made 116 regular-season appearances for FC Dallas. He has been unable to regain his stellar 2017 form and was not starting for the team, sitting behind Victor Ulloa and Carlos Gruezo on the depth chart.
“It’s never easy to say goodbye to a player like Kellyn Acosta, who has meant so much to the entire FC Dallas family,” FC Dallas Technical Director Fernando Clavijo said in a statement released by the club. “Dominique gives us a scoring threat at the forward position that can be a difference-maker for us this season.”
The Rapids are eyeing a return to form for Acosta, who had European interest last summer and was a key player in United States Men’s National Team matches.
“Kellyn Acosta is one of the bright young players in U.S. Soccer,” Rapids Executive Vice President and General Manager Padraig Smith said in a statement. “His versatility in the midfield and ability to control games, get forward and break lines is something that will help this team both this season and in years to come. We can’t wait to welcome him to Colorado.”
Acosta said he is thrilled with the opportunity and said Colorado is “a club with a bright future and I can’t wait to get started.”
Badji joins Dallas with seven goals in 15 starts this year for the Rapids. Dallas has been actively looking for a forward and is hoping to add some more firepower after the departure of playmaker Mauro Diaz.
“Dominique adds a scoring touch that will complement our roster as we look to stay competitive at the top of the table the second half of the season,” FC Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja said. “Kellyn has grown up with the FC Dallas organization. He will always be a wonderful part of our history.”
Badji is currently in Senegal obtaining his green card, meaning he will not occupy an international spot. He says he is excited for this move and this new chapter.
“I was shocked,” Badji told FCDallas.com. “It kind of came out of nowhere, but once that settled, I’m just eager to get there and to start playing…[It’s] a new environment, a new opportunity – it’s definitely something that I’m looking forward to. It gives me a lot of energy and I’m just going to look forward to being out there and starting a new chapter.”
ProSoccerUSA writer Marco Cummings contributed to this report.