By FRANCO PANIZO
When Danny Mwanga signed a new deal with the Portland Timbers back in December, many thought he was being considered an integral part of the club’s future.
So much for that.
Danny Mwanga’s time with the Timbers came to a close on Thursday, as Portland dealt him to the Colorado Rapids in exchange for a first-round pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft.
The move comes as somewhat of a surprise, given that Mwanga had joined the Timbers via a trade from the Philadelphia Union last summer before signing a new deal to stay in the Rose City, his hometown, on Dec. 11.
“Danny was with the Timbers for a short time, but we appreciate his contributions to the club,” said Timbers general manager Gavin Wilkinson in a statement released by the club. “With Danny being from Portland and having been developed as a player at Westside Timbers, it made this a very difficult decision. He was a great ambassador for the club and the sport in the community.
“It is a good opportunity for him in Colorado and we feel this move is beneficial for all involved. We wish him well.”
The 21-year-old Mwanga, who Wilkinson said was ‘a quality piece for the Timbers going into the 2013 season’ when he re-signed two months ago, is now with his third club in four years. Mwanga, the No. 1 pick in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft, is considered to have plenty of potential but his production with the Union and Timbers left plenty to be desired.
Mwanga will now play under Oscar Pareja, who is heading into his second year as Rapids head coach and is advocating an attack-minded system. Mwanga joins a group of forwards on the team that includes Edson Buddle, DeShorn Brown and Andre Akpan.
What do you think of Mwanga joining the Rapids? See him fitting in well in Pareja’s system? Did Portland get enough in return?
Share your thoughts below.