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Dispatches from the Fire’s 2018 MLS Draft Day

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The Accam trade, two top picks, and more

NCAA SOCCER: DEC 11 Men's College Cup National Championship - Wake Forest vs Stanford Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Chicago Fire had one of the busiest MLS SuperDrafts of all time today.

It started with a couple of trades to shed the 15th pick to get to number 5, and then to grab the tenth pick from RSL.

But the biggest wave happened in between rounds, and involved no draft picks changing hands. Fire GM Nelson Rodriguez sold left winger and 2015 supporters’ player of the year David Accam to the Philidelphia Union to $1.2m in combined allocation money.

It was no secret David Accam and Velko Paunovic didn’t see eye to eye, but no one really saw this trade coming. There’s some speculation that the Quintero deal isn’t as off as we may think, or their might be actually something to the Iker Casillas rumor. Regardless of what the follow-up is, this was one of the biggest trades in club history.

The Men in Red also made a deal with Minnesota United, giving up $175k in allocation, the 15th pick, and a player to be named later. That player was revealed to be goalkeeper Matt Lampson for the rights to the 5th overall pick. With it, they selected Jon Bakero, a center forward from Wake Forest.

Bakaro was voted the MVP of the MLS Combine, and his numbers in the NCAA and the PDL show his proficiency in front of goal. He scored 5 goals in 7 games with Carolina Dynamo, and scored 16 goals and had 14 assists with Wake Forest this past season. The MAC Hermann trophy winner projects to play just under Nemanja Nikolic, where his talent should be able to shine while waiting for the returns of Michael de Leeuw and Djordje Mihailovic.

After trading up to number 5 to take Bakero, N-Rod went and got himself the 10th pick from Real Salt Lake for $85k in GAM. With it, he took Generation Adidas midfielder Mo Adams from Syracuse. He projects to be the understudy of Dax McCarty and Bastian Schweinsteiger. He should add depth to an all of a sudden shallow midfield, with the loss of Juninho and Arturo Alvarez, and injuries to Mihalovic and MDL.

Even after all that, the Fire still had a draft pick remaining. The fire took forward Diago Campos from Clemson with the 38th overall pick in the second round. Projected to be either a number 9 or a number 10, his lack of athleticism is made up for by his guile and game sense. He had a nice year with the Tigers, scoring 10 goals and 9 assists.