The Colorado Rapids were wheeling and dealing on Tuesday afternoon. They started off by making MLS history when they completed the first interleague loan, sending midfielder Tony Cascio to the Houston Dynamo in exchange for an international roster spot. Not wasting any time, the Rapids proceeded to fill that new roster spot when they signed Cameroon forward Charles Eloundou.
The intra-league loan system was created at the beginning of the 2013 season, and obviously this is the first time it’s been used. Only players under the age of 24 are eligible for the loan. The international roster spot that was traded was one of eight that each team gets but are allowed to trade. The roster spot allows from players outside of the United States (U.S. and Canada for Canadian teams) to join the club, but allow ensures that the majority of the team will come from inside the country.
It should also be mentioned that Cascio will not play in any game where the Rapids and the Dynamo meet…
FYI: #Rapids midfielder Tony Cascio, on loan to Houston Dynamo, will not be eligible to play vs. Rapids this season (all competitions)
— David Lindholm (@Lindholm) January 21, 2014
The first move is smart for the Rapids. Selected 14th overall in the 2012 SuperDraft, Cascio is young and talented, but he still needs more playing time before he reaches his potential. By sending him to Houston, the Rapids free themselves of investing any time to his progress. It’s all being taken care of by the Dynamo, and after the season ends Cascio will return to the Colorado club. Cascio is a 23-year-old left side midfielder who started in 22 games in his two year career, but only 4 of those starts came in 2013.
The loan benefits the Dynamo by adding more depth to their midfield. In the majority of their matches last season, Brad Davis was the commander of the left midfield position, but he can play as a central mid or an attacking mid given the opportunity. He led the team in assists in 2013 (9), a move to inside of the field could boost that number.
Eloundou is a 19-year-old forward, who has played for the Cameroon National Team and the Cameroon U-20 National Team. During the qualification for the 2012 U-20 African Nations Cup, Eloundou scored eight goals in seven games. The international roster spot will only last for one year, so if the Rapids decide to keep him, they’ll have to do some roster management. Eloundou was actually with the team at the beginning of 2013, but paper work prevented him from ever seeing the pitch.