Orlando City has acquired Tesho Akindele from FC Dallas in exchange for $100,000 of Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) in 2019 and $50,000 of General Allocation Money (GAM) in 2020. The deal, first reported by Paul Tenorio on Twitter, and later confirmed by the club, adds an attacker to a Lions side badly in need of more offensive options.
Akindele, 26, is a Canadian international who has appeared in 133 games (67 starts) in five seasons in MLS. He has scored 24 goals and added eight assists and scored three playoff goals in nine appearances. He was selected by Dallas with the sixth overall pick in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft. He was offered a new deal by Dallas after the season and presumably would still need to be signed by the Lions.
As an attacking player — he’s listed as a forward but can also play on the wing — who fills one of Orlando City’s greatest needs, Akindele is a bit of a reclamation project. After a promising rookie season in 2014, when he scored a career high seven goals to go along with three assists in 26 games (18 starts), it’s been almost all downhill since. His goal totals since then have been five in 28 games (14 starts), six in 31 games (15 starts), four in 29 games (15 starts), and two in 19 games (five starts).
Akindele has also earned 14 caps with Canada, scoring two goals.
What This Means for Orlando City
The native of Calgary, Alberta is a player who has had diminishing returns in Major League Soccer and has failed to live up to his potential. His salary in 2018 was $122,500, so it’s a bit much for a player who scored only two goals and managed five starts. That’s $61,250 per goal scored in 2018 so this doesn’t seem to be a great move for Orlando City and it’s a bit frightening to see this kind of move being made without a general manager in place.
However, it’s also a low-risk move. If James O’Connor can come close to unlocking Akindele’s potential, it’ll be a fairly inexpensive addition to the roster in an area of need. It’s the kind of move Orlando will need to make this off-season with little room to maneuver at the top end of the roster.
At worst, it’s an upgrade from Richie Laryea. At best, it’s adding a useful player capable of putting the ball in the net.
Here’s a look at what Akindele can do, as well as his goodbye to FC Dallas fans.