Orlando City announced this afternoon the trade of center back José Aja to the Vancouver Whitecaps. The Lions will receive $125,000 in Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) in 2019, with additional future considerations.
The final deal will depend on the future of Aja in Vancouver. If the Uruguayan defender gets sold outside of Major League Soccer, the club will retain an undisclosed percentage of the sale. Should he remain in Vancouver during the 2020 season, the Lions will also receive the Whitecaps’ second-round draft pick for the 2021 MLS SuperDraft.
Orlando City initially acquired Aja on a six-month loan on July 21, 2016, with an option to buy. The club exercised that option following the season, signing the defender to a four-year contract that December. Aja appeared in 25 league games for the Lions, starting 24, and accumulated 2,105 minutes of playing time. He produced no goals or assists for the club, attempting only 15 shots (one on goal).
“We thank José for his hard work and dedication to our club since we first brought him on board,” Orlando City General Manager Niki Budalic said in a club press release. “He’s been a respectful and enjoyable professional to have on the team, and we wish him the best in his next endeavors.”
With this move, the Lions now head into the 2018 MLS season with three center backs — Jonathan Spector, Amro Tarek, and Ludovic Lamine Sané — barring any additional moves.