Orlando City acquires Dom Dwyer in trade with Sporting Kansas City
Orlando City acquired U.S. striker Dom Dwyer from Sporting Kansas City on Tuesday in the most expensive trade in MLS history.
In exchange, Sporting KC will receive $900,000 in a mixture of targeted and general allocation money, but that figure could raise to as much as $1.6 million with performance bonuses, which Sporting KC coach Peter Vermes was confident would be met.
MLS confirmed the money involved is a league record. The previous highest reported figure was the $650,000 that Minnesota paid Orlando City for Kevin Molino in January.
Dwyer, 26, has spent his entire MLS career with Kansas City since being selected in the 2012 SuperDraft. The England-born forward has scored five goals in 15 league games this season.
His current MLS contract, which pays him $ 550,000 in base salary and $668,750 in total compensation, has a club option for the 2018 season.
"How do we replace Dom? I don't know that we do," Vermes said. "Go find another player maybe that gives you other strengths that you can work with. But tremendous player and a great guy for our club and that's not going to be easy to replace.
"At the same time this is an incredible resource to help us navigate the salary cap over the next so many years.''
He previously played on loan at Orlando in 2013, when the club still played in USL Pro as Sporting KC's affiliate, and scored 15 goals in 13 games, with another four in the league final.
In 2015, MLS fined Orlando City for tampering after then-coach Adrian Heath said "there's no secret that Dom wants to be here. We've tried to get him here."
After acquiring U.S. citizenship in March, Dwyer made his national team debut this month and scored in a friendly against Ghana before striking again in the U.S.'s CONCACAF Gold Cup opener against Panama.
He is the husband of U.S. women's team star Sydney Leroux, who plays for FC Kansas City in the NWSL. Orlando City has an affiliated team in the women's league, the Orlando Pride.
Meanwhile, Orlando has no intention of moving forward Cyle Larin this season to make room for Dwyer, a league source told ESPN FC's Jeff Carlisle, though another source said there are three offers on the table for the Canadian forward.
It is in Orlando's interest to wait until the end of the season to move Larin. According to MLS roster rules, waiting until the end of the 2017 campaign will see Orlando secure two-thirds of any transfer fee, as opposed to one-half if he were to leave now.
Vermes said he could not comment specifically on reports that Sporting was trying to bring back striker Krisztian Nemeth, who reportedly wants to return to MLS. Kansas City would have to acquire the top allocation spot from Columbus Crew SC.
But Vermes did emphasize the SKC squad is fluid and the team is always looking at players.
"The question is whether or not we'll be able to get a deal done in short term or if it is going to be in the next window," he said.
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