Nat Borchers traded to Portland ahead of Expansion Draft

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One of a flurry of post-Final deals saw Real Salt Lake deal veteran defender Nat Borchers to Portland, but it wasn’t by the player’s choice.

Real Salt Lake revealed that because the club failed to list the 33-year-old as protected for the upcoming expansion draft, they were keenly aware he would very likely be taken.

So, the club decided if they were going to lose him, they would try to get something for him. But Borchers was not the one pulling the strings.

“Nat didn’t want to go,” RSL GM Garth Lagerwey told the Salt Lake Tribune yesterday. “Nat’s first choice was to stay, but we could not work out a way for him to stay. We want folks to understand that going was not his first preference and our goal was to include him in the process as to where he was going to go.”

According to the report in the Tribune, the club decided on its protected list – which was put together by asset value – and when they learned Borchers would be an early Expansion Draft pick, they shopped around. Lagerwey told the Tribune that he got some offers and let the player decide his future.

“We had three teams that were interested in Nat,” Lagerwey said. “We let Nat decide where he wanted to go.”

Borchers, an eight-year RSL vet, leaves Salt Lake tied with Kyle Beckerman for second on the club’s all-time appearance list with 205, one above Chris Wingert and twenty shy of Nick Rimando’s club record. He’s been in the league since 2003, starting with Colorado and moving to RSL after a two-year hiatus to play in Norway.

It’s no surprise that Portland, who left the door open for clubs to score 52 times last year, were out for a defender. They gave up allocation money for the Tuscon, AZ native, money they got just hours earlier by selling defender Michael Harrington to Colorado. The amount of allocation money is not disclosed.