MLS Offseason Gets Busy After Christmas: Ciman to Toronto, and More

MLS Offseason
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Editorial (December 27, 2018)- The MLS offseason has picked up the pace in the days after Christmas, with multiple moves happening in the last 24 hours.

Ciman to Toronto, Powell to FC Cincy, Yotun to Cruz Azul Make Busy Day of MLS Offseason Activity

Early today, Toronto FC announced they acquired the number one allocation ranking spot to bring former rival defender, Laurent Ciman, back to MLS. FC Cincinnati held that spot, trading it away for their second round pick in the 2019 MLS Super Draft. It wasn’t the only trade that Cincy made today, as they’ve also landed Alvas Powell from the Portland Timber in exchange for allocation money. Last but not least, Yoshimar Yotun has been transferred from Orlando City SC to Cruz Azul.

The Ciman move certainly brings some surprise. The defender was acquired by LAFC to start their inagural campaign. After returning to Los Angeles from the World Cup with Belgium, Ciman moved to FCO Dijon in the French First Division. Because LAFC received a hefty transfer fee for him, he returned to the league through the allocation order. Toronto FC traded for the second spot in the order with the Earthquakes, and then traded for the top spot with FC Cincinnati. Toronto FC used that top spot to move for Ciman, who will return to MLS with his longtime arch-rival. FC Cincinnati will retain the top spot now that Toronto has used it.

Ciman spent most of his time in MLS with the Montreal Impact. His return to Canada, and move to the archrival will certainly put a nice twist in that rivalry. Ciman will likely feature in a backline that was beginning to show some chinks in the armor. When healthy, it was a strong back three, but the move will give them more depth in case their injury problem resurfaces in 2019.

For FC Cincinnati, the move hurts them very little because of the fact that Toronto used the spot immediately, and also took a player they weren’t interested in. They’re likely to use that top spot for someone like Fabian Johnson if they can make it happen. They basically acquired a second round draft pick, to be second on the allocation order for all of 20-30 minutes. As mentioned, it’s not the only move they’ve made.

FC Cincinnati acquired Alvas Powell from the Timbers in exchange for $250k in allocation money. Powell has 34 caps for the Jamaican National team, and at only 24 years old has plenty of experience in MLS. He’s also accrued almost 10k minutes in the league at his young age, and will certainly provide some nice experience and quality for the FC Cincinnati backline.

The other move that’s making headlines today is the transfer of Yoshimar Yotun out of MLS. The Peruvian was the lone light of positivity on the 2018 Orlando City squad. A miserable year for them, and miserable situation had led the midfielder to ask for a transfer away from the club.

The reported transfer fee is $4 million as Yotun will head to Cruz Azul, the recent runners up in the Liga MX.