SPORTS

Whitecaps tidy up roster, expansion teams add players ahead of draft

12/08/2014 06:14 EST | Updated 02/07/2015 05:59 EST
TORONTO - The Vancouver Whitecaps shipped out Omar Salgado on Monday and made Matias Laba's loan deal permanent on a busy day of MLS wheeling and dealing.

In the wake of Sunday's MLS Cup, a four-hour trade window opened Monday morning as teams began to tidy up or reshape rosters.

Expansion teams Orlando City SC and New York City FC were busy, although some of the moves may have been to stockpile assets to be used in conjunction with Wednesday's expansion draft.

The Whitecaps dealt Salgado to New York City FC for future considerations, with New York sending the 21-year-forward to an unidentified international club pending agreement of personal terms and a physical.

The first overall pick in the 2011 draft, Salgado had a rocky road in Vancouver that seemed to end with a training ground incident in October the last straw.

He said his goodbyes via social media a month ago.

"Vancouver, its been unreal. Thank you to the club, the fans, and the city for making this my home for the past 4 years."

Salgado, who had a brief stint with Mexico's Tigres club this season, scored one goal in 29 career appearances with the Whitecaps.

"Omar is a good player with potential. However, both the club and Omar agreed that now is the right time to go in another direction and we wish him all the best," Whitecaps coach Carl Robinson said in a statement.

The move was made so Vancouver could get something for Salgado, rather than losing him in the expansion draft or having to protect him, thus making another player available.

Toronto FC got money from Vancouver to complete the Laba transaction. The stylish Argentine midfielder was loaned to Vancouver in February when Toronto ran out of space for designated players. It was expected he would remain on the West Coast, with Toronto trying to see the best of the deal.

"Finalizing terms and acquiring funds will assist us as we continue with our strategic planning at both the youth- and first-team levels," Toronto GM Tim Bezbatchenko said in a statement. "This could be used to help the financing of current or future designated players as well as other initiatives to improve our club."

With a question mark over the future of English striker Jermain Defoe, Toronto could be in the market for a third DP sooner than later.

The Whitecaps re-signed striker Caleb Clarke and exercised the 2015 contract options on nine players while declining options on centre back Johnny Leveron, midfielders Sebastian Fernandez, Nicolas Mezquida and Mauro Rosales and striker Mamadou Diouf.

Vancouver picked up the options of goalkeepers Marco Carducci, David Ousted and Paolo Tornaghi, defender Ethen Sampson, midfielders Mehdi Ballouchy, Gershon Koffie and Andre Lewis, and strikers Erik Hurtado and Darren Mattocks.

"Last year we built a solid core group of players and we continue to head in the right direction," Robinson said. "Consistency is important and we are excited to have the vast majority of our roster returning next season."

The club said it "remains in contact" with the five players whose options were not picked up as well as out-of-contract centre back Andy O'Brien.

Rosales is eligible for the MLS re-entry process which starts Friday. Vancouver said Diouf will be invited to training camp if he clears Wednesday's waiver draft.

Orlando City bolstered its defence by acquiring goalie Tally Hall from Houston for allocation money and an international roster spot and French defender Aurelien Collin from Sporting Kansas City for allocation money and future considerations.

The Florida club also picked up midfielder Amobi Okugo from Philadelphia for allocation money and a 2016 second-round draft pick.

New York City FC sent allocation money to Columbus for defender Josh Williams.

Both expansion teams acquired 2015 and 2016 international roster slots from D.C. United for allocation money, which allows franchises to pay down contract numbers under the salary cap.

Orlando has 12 players on its roster, including Brazilian star Kaka. New York has six, including England's Frank Lampard and Spain's David Villa.

In other news, D.C. United declined options on a pair of Canadian internationals: defender Nana Attakora and midfielder Kyle Porter.

Sporting Kansas City dealt forward C.J. Sapong to Philadelphia for a 2015 first-round pick and Portland picked up veteran defender Nat Borchers from Real Salt Lake for allocation money.

Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter

MORE:cpSports