The writing's been on the wall for some time for Dilly Duka - he might go on to have a lovely career in MLS, but it wasn't going to be with Chicago. In a trade with Montreal, the Fire swapped him for 25-year-old winger Sanna Nyassi on Tuesday.
Nyassi, who is from Gambia where he has received six caps with their national team, has been in MLS since 2006, starting with Seattle and then bouncing around to Colorado and Montreal. He's been with Montreal since 2011 where he has made 54 regular season appearances with eight goals and four assists. He plays out on the wing and is known for his great pace and running at defenders.
By sending Duka to Montreal, he is reunited with Klopas, the man who originally brought him to Chicago. Since joining the Fire from Columbus in 2013, he has made 37 regular season appearances but never found his place within this team. With the team cutting salary and his playing time dwindling, Duka always seemed a likely candidate to be traded.
Nyassi earned $154,000 last year, while Duka made $190,000, so the Fire do save a little bit of money while adding a little more speed on the wing. He should be able to compete for time on the wings and hopefully bring a much-needed spark to the team. With the MLS international transfer window closing on August 6th, it'll be interesting to see if the team uses the extra cap room on another new signing.
It turns out that this move has been in the works since June but Nyassi was recovering from a high ankle sprain so the Fire was just waiting for him to recover to make the trade official.
"He's back on the field now and he's probably a week away from full training and being available for us," said Frank Yallop. "Our physio had video tape, making sure he's not hobbled and I think it was worth waiting to make sure he was going to be healthy enough to help us out."
"I think he's exciting, quick and a good dribbler with a ton of pace. He's a little unpredictable which is good -- I like that. He has traits that make him an interesting player to watch and I'm sure the fans will enjoy him," Yallop added.
Let's hope that Nyassi can get match fitness soon so we can see him in Fire red in the next week or two.