Auston Trusty will not have an opportunity to regain his starting spot in the Philadelphia Union starting lineup.
The 21-year-old centerback was traded to the Colorado Rapids Wednesday in exchange for $300,000 in Targeted Allocation Money for the 2020 season and $300,000 in General Allocation Money for the 2021 season.
“Auston was one of best talents in the academy and he was a really important piece of our roster during the last three years, even before my time,” Union sporting director Ernst Tanner said. “But know that [when] we couldn’t come to an agreement, we decided to do the trade and this was, like always with a Homegrown player, quite a hard decision for us. But at the same time, it is a win-win situation for the player and for us and for Colorado in the future as well.”
Additionally, the Union will receive $150,000 in GAM for 2021 if Trusty reaches certain performance metrics. There is also a 30 percent sell-on fee attached if Trusty is sold outside MLS before 2021 and a 25 percent sell-on fee if he is sold after January 1, 2022.
“There were different offers, but to be honest, Colorado really showed us that they wanted the player and they are desperate for him,” Tanner said. “We also have some responsibility to the player to send him to a team and give him a fair chance to develop further on and continue his career. It seems Colorado is going to be the best place for him.”
Tanner noted all interest for Trusty came from inside Major League Soccer.
The trade is the second in two seasons involving a young Union defender going to the Rapids. Keegan Rosenberry was dealt to Colorado following the 2018 season.
Tanner noted that Trusty’s contract, which had one year left on it, played a role in the trade conversations.
“We tried to sign Auston since the beginning of the year,” Tanner said. “There are expectations from the other side and we really tried hard to sign him. We improved the offers, but expectations are rising that were not fulfilled and [he] would not fit our roster. Given the situation that he has one more year left on the contract, that also played a role in our conversations.”
Trusty made 22 starts for the Union in 2019, but was replaced by Mark McKenzie after a run of bad form and could never get back into the fold.
“At the same time, the player was not performing that well. We need to be really justified to our boys and we need to play the ones who are best in competition,” Tanner said. “That was the only reason. Mark was simply better by the end of the season.”
The deal clears the way for Jack Elliott and McKenzie to be the Union’s center back pairing for the 2020 season and gives Trusty a chance to earn a starting job in Colorado.