Orlando City has made last night's reports official, announcing that the club has traded center back Aurelien Collin to the New York Red Bulls in exchange for a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft. And just like that, the final piece of Major Monday is gone.
Orlando City will take on around half of his $500,000 base salary (2015 numbers), according to media reports on Thursday night.
"I'd like to thank Aurélien for everything he's done. He's been a fantastic professional, coming every day and doing everything that you expect of a really good professional like him," Head Coach Adrian Heath said in a club release. "It's one of them things that happens in sports. They're looking for a center back and we felt as though this will give us an opportunity to get some salary relief and open another overseas slot for us. I think at this particular time it's probably been beneficial to both parties. I wish him nothing but the best. Been a credit to a profession and he's been a joy to have around the place. He'll be missed."
Collin started in 27 of his 28 appearances for the Lions last season, but fell out of favor with Heath in the preseason and started 2016 on the bench behind Seb Hines, David Mateos, and 19-year-old Tommy Redding. He's appeared in just two of the Lions' games this season, including one start against the Philadelphia Union earlier this month. He also played half the Portland match after Tommy Redding left with a head injury.
Considering the small return Orlando City got for trading away a former MLS Cup MVP defender, while also eating around half his salary, it's easy to assume Orlando's main goal was clearing the international spot and at least some cap space, both of which could come in handy heading into the summer transfer window.
For now, the Lions will head into match days with just three healthy center backs on their roster, with 2015 SuperDraft pick Conor Donovan close to returning from an ACL injury suffered late last season. Devron Garcia, who is currently with Orlando City B, Luke Boden, and Pedro Ribeiro could each feature at center back if needed.
In addition to his professionalism with the media and always on-point suits, Collin was a classy man for the fans and a great teammate on the field, as well as a leader off it.
The Mane Land bids you a fond farewell, Aurelien Collin.