Amobi Okugo

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Former U.S. Youth International Okugo on trial in Germany

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Unable to find a new home in Major League Soccer, Amobi Okugo is betting on himself to land at a club in Europe.

The former U.S. youth international and first-round draft pick is reportedly on trial with SC Preußen Münster in Germany’s third tier. The club has been in the 3. Liga for the last seven years but this year is mired in midtable, sitting in 12th place after 35 of 38 games.

Okugo is looking to re-start his career after a couple of rough seasons in Portland, filled with injury and mired by long spells on the bench. The 27-year-old played just 14 league games over the past two seasons with the Timbers.

After being selected with the sixth-overall selection in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft by the Philadelphia Union, Okugo’s future looked bright, with appearances for the U.S. U-17s, U-20s and soon U-23s.

But after four seasons in Philadelphia, where the holding midfielder was at times played out of position at centerback, he spent the 2015 season between Orlando City and Sporting Kansas City, the 2016 season between New York Red Bulls II and the Timbers, and then appeared just 10 times for the Timbers last season.

Perhaps a move in Germany, with a future move into the Bundesliga, could help revitalize Okugo’s career.

Timbers sign Amobi Okugo

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) The Portland Timbers have signed Amobi Okugo, who played last season for Sporting Kansas City and Orlando City SC.

Okugo has been in Major League Soccer since 2010, when he was drafted with the sixth overall pick out of UCLA by the Philadelphia Union.

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He joined Orlando City for the 2015 season and was acquired by Kansas City last July.

The 25-year-old defender and midfielder had five goals and seven assist in 135 league appearances, including 111 starts.

Terms of the deal were not released.

In form and rising: Okugo heads to Sporting KC as Orlando picks up Carrasco

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It seemed like a big trade at the time, but Orlando City’s acquisition of Amobi Okugo in December has fizzled in Florida, as the versatile 24-year-old defender/midfielder has been sent to Sporting KC in exchange for Servando Carrasco.

Early in the season Orlando shipped a 2016 second round pick and allocation money to Philadelphia for Okugo, a move that seemed like a lynchpin move for the expansion side. Okugo had played 117 matches over five seasons for the Union, and was talked about as a potential European target.

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So when Orlando nabbed him, it seemed like a coup. Okugo started the first nine games of OCSC’s MLS tenure, but has either been a substitute or unused in all MLS matches since.

Sporting KC got considerably stronger on Monday as the race to come out of a deep Western Conference heats up, while Orlando just saved money. Surely Okugo wanted out, as Orlando hasn’t exactly been swimming in healthy and/or available bodies.

For Okugo, it’s a reprieve from a bad situation. For Sporting boss Peter Vermes, it’s yet another solid weapon in his in form arsenal. KC has the best points-per-game return in MLS.

For Orlando, it’s an asset they weren’t maximizing. Could another signing be on the horizon?

MLS half-day trade window roundup: Very busy day as Timbers, KC extremely active

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There was a decent amount of movement between MLS clubs during Monday’s abbreviated trade window, not all of it trade-related.

And it’s important to note that the trades may not all have hit the news yet, as the deadline for trades to be completed was 1pm ET. They could be announced afterwards, and the trade window reopens after Wednesday’s expansion draft for Orlando City and New York City.

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Portland sent Michael Harrington to Colorado for allocation money, then turned around and sent allocation money to Real Salt Lake for Nat Borchers. The well-liked bearded Borchers, 33, started 32 of 32 games for RSL this season, while the 28-year-old Harrington made 21 starts for the Timbers.

Portland picked up four more players, adding Ghanaian goalkeeper Adam Larsen Kwarasay and Colombia right winger Dairon Asprilla to go with an official purchase of Alvas Powell from his Jamaican club. They also picked up Brazilian defender Jeanderson Salvador Pereira from Santa Rita.

Kwarasay is an eyebrow-raiser, having 21 caps for Ghana and coming from strong Norwegian side Stromsgodset.

Sporting KC went nuts, dealing for Bernardo Anor from Columbus and sending Aurelien Colin and CJ Sapong packing to Orlando City and Philadelphia, respectively.

Columbus has sent defender Josh Williams to New York City FC for allocation money. The 6-foot-2 Cleveland State product saw his playing time dip dramatically under Gregg Berhalter, going from 27 to 14 games played. NYCFC also picked up an international roster slot for 2015 and 2016 from DC United for allocation money.

Philly sent the rights of Amobi Okugo to Orlando City as well. He’s been expected to leave for Europe but could be tempted to stay and play with Collin and Kaka. Orlando is not acting like its just a rights move, and also picked up international roster slots from DC for 2015 and 2016 for allocation money.

DC United picked up defender Andrew Driver and a fourth-round pick in 2016 from Houston in exchange for goalkeeper Joe Willis and defender Samuel Inkoom. The Tally Hall deal is also now official.

Elsewhere, Philadelphia decided to part ways with bruising 33-year-old forward Conor Casey.

Report: Orlando City SC to acquire Amobi Okugo from Philadelphia Union in Monday trade

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From Monday morning until 1 pm ET, MLS teams will be allowed to complete trades of players, draft picks and allocation money in a half-day trade window ahead of Wednesday’s expansion draft.

On Sunday night, details of a significant trade to be completed during this window began to break. According to the Philly Soccer Page, the Philadelphia Union will trade the rights to out-of-contract midfielder Amobi Okugo to Orlando City SC, who would reportedly send allocation money and a SuperDraft pick the other way. The 23-year-old would then sign a new contract with the expansion MLS side.

Okugo, who has split time as a center back and defensive midfielder over his five years in Philadelphia, was the club’s last remaining player from its own expansion season in 2010. Okugo’s future had been very much up in the air after the Union let him play out his current contract. Head coach Jim Curtin even hinted that he felt Okugo would test himself in Europe rather than remain in MLS next season.

Goal.com reporter (and regular news-breaker) Ives Galarcep later seconded the initial report and offered up additional details, though some discrepancy on the Union’s compensation exists.

Just as Galarcep hints regarding OCSC, Monday morning will be an extremely active day full of player movement for all MLS teams. You’ll want to stay tuned to PST to keep up on all the day’s action.