FC Cincinnati roster takes shape in MLS expansion draft
By ANNE M. PETERSON, AP Sports Writer
Cincinnati acquired striker Kei Kamara from the Vancouver Whitecaps in the MLS expansion draft and then immediately dealt him to the Colorado Rapids for a 2019 international slot.
Cincinnati selected four other players in the expansion draft Tuesday: forward Darren Mattocks from D.C. United, midfielder Roland Lamah from FC Dallas, midfielder Eric Alexander from the Houston Dynamo and defender Hasan Ndam from the New York Red Bulls.
The team also acquired left back Greg Garza from MLS Cup champion Atlanta United for $450,000 in allocation money.
Later Tuesday, Cincinnati traded for Whitecaps defender Kendall Waston. Vancouver got $750,000 in allocation money and the international roster spot obtained earlier from the Rapids.
“Thrilled to help lead the way as the club moves into @MLS Can’t wait to get to work,” Waston, who played for Costa Rica in the World Cup in Russia this past summer, posted to Twitter.
“Kendall has been one of the best players in MLS since he arrived in this league,” Cincinnati head coach Alan Koch said in a statement. “He will be a cornerstone of our club and we couldn’t be happier to have him join our group for our first MLS season.”
Mattocks, Cincinnati’s first pick in the draft, had 10 goals this season for D.C. United. Kamara had 14 goals with five assists for the Whitecaps.
The draft came on a busy day in the league with numerous other deals announced.
The Red Bulls acquired defender Amro Tarek from Orlando City SC in exchange for a fourth-round pick in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft. Orlando also acquired defender Joao Moutinho from LAFC in exchange for defender Mohamed El-Munir.
The five-time MLS champion Los Angeles Galaxy also announced that Dennis te Kloese had been named the team’s new general manager.
Columbus goalkeeper Zack Steffen will transfer to Manchester City in July when the summer transfer window opens, the Crew said Tuesday. Steffen was named the league’s Goalkeeper of the Year this season.
“Today’s announcement is the culmination of two-and-a-half years of development and success for Zack. As someone who worked closely with Zack throughout, on behalf of the club, I would like to say that we couldn’t be happier for him,” Crew interim general manager Pat Onstad said in a statement.
Cincinnati will become the 24th MLS team when it joins the league for the 2019 season. The team will play at the University of Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium until its own stadium is finished in 2021.
Two other expansion teams in Nashville and Miami are set to join the league in 2020.