Canada defender Mark-Anthony Kaye (14) and Martinique midfielder Romario Barthelery (22) chase the ball during the first half of a CONCACAF Gold Cup soccer match on July 11, 2021, in Kansas City, Kan. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Charlie Riedel

Canada defender Mark-Anthony Kaye (14) and Martinique midfielder Romario Barthelery (22) chase the ball during the first half of a CONCACAF Gold Cup soccer match on July 11, 2021, in Kansas City, Kan. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Charlie Riedel

Colorado acquires Canadian Mark-Anthony Kaye in million-dollar deal with LAFC

Kaye currently with Canada at the Gold Cup

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — The Colorado Rapids acquired Canadian international midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye in a million-dollar deal with Los Angeles FC on Tuesday.

The Rapids sent LAFC US$1 million in general allocation money and a 2022 international roster slot, getting Kaye and a first-round pick in the 2022 MLS SuperDraft in return. LAFC will also receive additional general allocation money if Kaye reaches certain performance incentives.

The 26-year-old from Toronto is currently with Canada at the Gold Cup.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Mark-Anthony to the club and reinforce our midfield with a player of his quality,” Rapids GM Padraig Smith said in a statement. “He’s been one of the best central midfielders in the league over the last several years and has played a critical role in the success of the teams he’s been a part of.

“We look forward to seeing him integrate with our group as we enter the second half of the season and continue our push for a playoff spot.”

Colorado (7-4-3) currently sits fourth in the western Conference, two points ahead of LAFC (6-5-4).

Kaye signed with LAFC in February 2018 after two years with Louisville City FC in the United Soccer League. Coming through the Toronto FC academy, he also played for two years at York University.

He played 79 regular-season and playoff games for LAFC, starting 72 of those. He was a 2019 MLS all-star selection.

“Mark has been an incredible player and ambassador for LAFC since he helped launch this club in 2018,” LAFC GM John Thorrington said in a statement. “He has grown into a leader on and off the field and will always be remembered as a fundamental building block of our club.”

Kaye has two goals and six assists in 23 appearances for Canada. He and Stephen Eustaquio have been key midfielders for the Canadian men at the CONCACAF championship.

Off the pitch, Kaye serves on the MLS Players Association executive board and is a member of Black Players for Change.

Kaye’s 77 regular-season matches rank fourth in LAFC history. His 71 starts and 17 career assists are third for the club.

General allocation money is money that available to an MLS club in addition to its salary budget. In 2021, that basic allotment was $1,525,000 per team.

Allocation money can be used a variety of ways, including reducing a player’s salary budget charge.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 27, 2021.

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