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Timbers swap international roster spot with D.C.; get richer

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Roscoe Myrick; Instagram: @Shotboxer

When the story of the 2018 MLS offseason is written, it will have to include something about the Portland Timbers and D.C. United swapping international roster spots.

For the third time this winter, the Timbers and D.C. have included an international spot in a trade. This time, the Timbers sent a 2018 international spot to D.C. in exchange for a 2019 international slot and $100,000 in general allocation money.

Back in December, the Timbers traded the rights to exclusively negotiate with Darren Mattocks to DCU in exchange for a 2018 international spot. Last month, however, the Timbers sent that spot back to D.C. (in addition to $100,000 in GAM, $100,000 TAM, and a 2019 second-round SuperDraft pick) in the deal that brought young midfielder Eryk Williamson to Portland.

Well, now the Timbers are swapping another 2018 international spot for one in 2019 and receiving another $100,000 in GAM for their troubles. Portland’s return for their 2018 international roster slot is considerably greater than the typical value of an international spot, which has ordinarily been available on the market for between $75,000 and $100,000 in allocation money.

This market has changed significantly in recent days as teams try to fit their targeted allocation money-funded acquisitions within the limits of MLS’s roster rules. Just this week, for example, the Philadelphia Union acquired $175,000 in GAM for an international slot. Now the Timbers have arguably topped the Union by swapping international spots with D.C. United and still raking in an additional $100,000 in GAM.

As it stands, the Timbers are now down to the standard eight international roster spots for 2018. The Timbers, however, retain some flexibility because they currently occupy only seven international spots as a result of Sebastian Blanco recently receiving his green card. The designated player winger, therefore, no longer counts as an international for roster purposes.