Real Salt Lake needed a roster spot to be cleared in order to pave the way for incoming Designated Player Sebastian Jaime. On Monday, the club announced it vacated that spot for the 27-year-old Argentinian forward who signed with RSL last week.
Defender Kwame Watson-Siriboe was traded to New York City FC for a fourth-round pick in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft. The 6-foot-3 27-year-old center back continued to work his way back from a season-ending ACL injury in June 2013 and now he joins former RSL coach Jason Kreis at NYCFC as Kreis and his front office continue to assemble a roster for the eventual inclusion in the 2015 Major League Soccer season.
"I don’t lightly dismiss losing that asset," RSL general manager Garth Lagerwey said Monday. "[Kwame] was our most experienced center back in terms of our back-ups."
Watson-Siriboe was acquired by RSL in June 2012 in a trade from the Chicago Fire in which RSL sent the Fire a fourth-round draft pick — the same return it will get from NYCFC.
"I am really happy to be able to continue my work with Kwame from my time at Real Salt Lake," said Kreis in a release. "He is a player that was great to coach and I’m confident he will be able to contribute to the strength and shape of our back line as we continue to build towards our first game in March 2015."
Watson-Siriboe made 19 MLS appearances with RSL between 2012 and 2013.
"I’m delighted to be reuniting with Jason Kreis and [former RSL assistant] Miles Joseph," Watson-Siriboe said in the same release. "I had a great working relationship with Coach Kreis, I’m looking forward to continuing under his leadership.
"I already know what he expects from his defenders and I am confident that I will be able to contribute effectively from the moment I begin training in January. I feel strong, fit and am excited to start working hard for my new club and for the NYCFC supporters."
Watson-Siriboe’s move East provides a slot for the incoming Jaime, the club’s big midseason splash signing from Chilean club Union Espanola. RSL continues to wait until Jaime’s P-1 Visa is cleared through the U.S. government before he can officially join the club. Lagerwey said the deal with NYCFC shouldn’t come as a surprise as both and Kreis pieced most of the club’s current roster together during their time working together at RSL.
"I think NYCFC is going to be a logical place for any player that we release or trade in the next three years because Jason and I both picked all of our players," Lagerwey said. "Guess who likes all of our players?"
Answer: Kreis. Along with Watson-Siriboe, NYCFC has penned former RSL goalkeeper Josh Saunders to a contract to go along with a roster that features forward David Villa, midfielders Frank Lampard and Andrew Jacobson as well as defender Jeb Brovsky.
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