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Philadelphia Union trade Keegan Rosenberry to Colorado Rapids

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Union traded one of their starting defenders to the Colorado Rapids on Wednesday afternoon.

Right back Keegan Rosenberry, who was selected by the club with the No. 3 pick in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft, was sent to the Rapids in exchange for $150,000 in General Allocation Money, $50,000 in Targeted Allocation Money and an additional $100,000 in GAM for the 2020 season. 

If Rosenberry meets specific performance metrics during his first season with the Rapids, the Union will receive an additional $100,000 in GAM for the 2020 season. 

“I’m looking forward to the next chapter in my professional career,” Rosenberry said. “The Rapids organization have shown massive trust in me by bringing me here and I’m ready to get to work.”

Union sporting director Ernst Tanner mentioned there were several teams interested in Rosenberry, but Tanner said a trade with a Western Conference team made more sense, and the Rapids are happy to welcome the 25-year-old to their squad.

“In Keegan Rosenberry we are very excited to welcome one of the best young right backs in MLS to Colorado,”  Rapids executive vice president and general manager Pádraig Smith said. “He is a technically gifted and strong defender whose passing from the back will fit perfectly with our style of play.” 

Making Rosenberry available for a trade had nothing to do with his abilities and more to do with the confidence the club has in 21-year-old Olivier Mbaizo, and the position appears to be filled on the depth chart by Ray Gaddis, who is working toward a deal with the club for 2019. 

“That doesn’t have anything to do necessarily with the future style of play,” Tanner said. “The decision was more or less a logic decision. We have the position covered with a very good prospect player in Olivier Mbaizo, who really showed us and play the position very well. In addition, we are in negotiations in a good way with Ray Gaddis, who will do much better on the right-hand side than the left-hand side.” 

The 25-year-old American played 80 games for the Union in his three seasons with the club, and he added three goals and six assists during that time. 

Although he was a solid contributor to the Union defense, Rosenberry was going to be out of contract at the end of the 2019 season, and with depth at right back, the Union opted to act now on a deal for the Georgetown University product while the price tag across the league for him was high enough to get a decent return. 

A majority of the funds acquired in Wednesday’s trade will go toward other players the Union hopes to bring in this offseason, and the moves could happen fast with Tanner hoping to get all of his big pieces in place before the club heads down to Clearwater, Florida for preseason training. 

Tanner admitted the club is still looking to reinforce the full back positions on its roster, as a new left back will be signed to help deal with the loss of Matt Real to the U20 World Cup in May. 

“We need a left back without any question,” Tanner said. “We have to take into consideration Matt Real won’t be available during the U20 World Cup. It’s absolutely necessary to have somebody in place there.” 

Rosenberry was the last of the three players selected in the top six picks of the 2016 draft by the Union still on the roster. 

His departure follows Josh Yaro’s contract not being renewed and Fabian Herbers traded to the Chicago Fire. 

ProSoccerUSA writer Marco Cummings contributed to this report. 

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