Source: Fire sends Dominic Oduro to Crew in deal for Dilly Duka
BY SETH GRUEN For Sun-Times Media February 2, 2013 4:35PM
Montreal Impact v Columbus Crew
Updated: March 4, 2013 6:51AM
Though the Columbus Crew publicly had said it intended to shop midfielder Dilly Duka, trade negotiations between it and the Fire lasted a couple of weeks.
Those negotiations ended when the teams agreed to terms on a trade Saturday that sent striker Dominic Oduro to the Crew for Duka and the Major League Soccer rights to midfielder/striker Robbie Rogers, a league source told the Sun-Times. The Fire is expected to announce the deal by Monday.
Duka, 23, is a highly regarded player expected to make an eventual impact with the U.S. national team. He played in 20 games in 2012 for the Crew in a season that was derailed by hamstring and ankle injuries.
Duka already has seen time with the U.S. under-23
team. The hamstring
injury prevented him from joining the team during Olympic qualifying.
Duka clashed with Crew coach Robert Warzycha throughout last season, prompting the team to
begin trade conversations with the Fire and other clubs in mid-January. The Crew then told Duka to stay home in New Jersey and not report to training camp, essentially committing itself to trading him.
While Duka is expected to have to compete for a starting spot, he is the favorite to fill the void left by Alvaro Fernandez, who was loaned to Al Rayyan, a team in Qatar.
In trading the speedy Oduro, the Fire loses a player with the ability to put heavy pressure on defenses toward the end of games. But after starting the 2012 season opener in Montreal, Oduro found himself relegated to a reserve role during the second half of the season, making him somewhat expendable.
Having added depth to its midfield, the Fire now is expected to look to sign another striker.
Rogers, 25, had 13 goals and 16
assists in five seasons with the Crew, mostly as a midfielder. He currently plays for Stevenage FC, a third-division team in England. The Fire has the right of first
refusal should any MLS team want to sign Rogers.