As rumors of an impending Martin Paterson signing swirl, Orlando City SC made room for the Northern Ireland striker by trading forward Jairo Arrieta to D.C. United for an international roster slot. Arrieta was the Lions' sixth selection of December's MLS Expansion Draft from the Columbus Crew.
Orlando City now has 11 international roster slots and eight of them are filled. MLS allows teams eight international slots, but more may be acquired via trades with other teams. This deal would remove a potential obstacle to drafting Canadian forward Cyle Larin in tomorrow's MLS SuperDraft.
"The additional international spot gives us some increased flexibility to finalize the squad heading into our inaugural 2015 campaign," said Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath in a club press release.
City only recently came to contract terms with Arrieta, signing both the Costa Rican and Danny Mwanga, but parting ways with defender Heath Pearce.
Of the 10 players the Lions chose in the Expansion Draft, fully half of them won't be wearing purple on opening day - Arrieta, Pearce, Jalil Anibaba, Mark Sherrod and Eric Gehrig. Four of those five were taken in the bottom five rounds of the Expansion Draft, while Anibaba, the third pick, was sent to Sporting Kansas City as part of the Aurelien Collin deal.
The Expansion Draft picks that remain with City are Donovan Ricketts, Tony Cascio, Pedro Ribeiro, Lewis Neal, and Mwanga.
I would speculate that this trade allows Orlando City to complete the move for Paterson, leaving two international slots for drafting Larin and signing an additional international defender.