EDITORIAL – The Colorado Rapids have parted ways with Kellyn Acosta and loaned Cole Bassett to Feyenoord (with an option to buy). Between the social media from the clubs and statements from Padraig Smith, Bassett could well have played his final game in Burgundy and Blue.
What the Kellyn Acosta and Cole Bassett Moves say about ‘The Rapids Way’
The Acosta trade to LAFC was the messier of the two. In a conference call with the media, Smith confirmed that the club offered a contract extension. Acosta and his representation declined it. At that point, the club new they didn’t want to part ways with the player without a transfer fee.
It was determined that Acosta’s peak market value would be this window, despite him having a club option for 2023. According to the club, he was sold with no offers from Europe. The only offer was a loan and came in after the trade with LAFC was completed. Acosta’s disputed these details on Twitter.
The club’s been utilitarian with difficult player decisions under The Rapids Way. This might be the most difficult and surprising decision so far. They parted ways with a critical player for the team, albeit for top dollar of potentially $1.5 million GAM.
This shows that the club has the guts to make economic decisions even when it complicates the short term. This and a few other moves (such as Paul Arriola to FC Dallas) suggest MLS teams are prioritizing getting GAM over a larger transfer fee from abroad that could max out at $1.05 million GAM with the rest getting distributed as cash (possibly for discretionary spending, the MLS Roster Rules aren’t super clear).
In this regard, Colorado is operating pragmatically under the economic realities of the budget constraints enforced by ownership. Regardless, the front office is betting on itself with a proven track record.
Bassett’s move between the loan fee and potential transfer fee could be the biggest sale in club history. Between this moves and the Sam Vines sale from the summer, the Rapids are becoming part of the global market for players. With the sell on fee, Vines was sold at value. Bassett is going to Feyenoord with a move based somewhat on potential.
If the club can sell two or three more players to good situations at value and those players perform, the Rapids could be working towards the status of an FC Dallas, Philadelphia Union, or New York Red Bulls.
Photo Credit: Mark Shaiken, Last Word on Soccer.