The league’s newest clubs went into wheel-and-deal mode after Tuesday’s MLS Expansion Draft, with both first-round picks headed to new clubs by the end of the day.
Hours after they picked him with their first selection, Minnesota United traded away outside back Chris Duvall on Tuesday. And later on Tuesday, after making Montreal defender Donny Toia the first overall pick in the Expansion Draft, Atlanta United dealt him to Orlando City SC for the Lions’ natural first-round pick in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft.
Atlanta also traded goalkeeper Clint Irwin back to Toronto FC on Tuesday, in exchange for defender Mark Bloom and general allocation money, after taking him in the third of five Expansion Draft rounds.
As first reported by MLSsoccer.com, Minnesota sent Duvall and general allocation money to the Montreal Impact in exchange for Costa Rican national team attacker Johan Venegas.
Duvall, 25, is entering his fourth year as a pro. He spent the first three seasons of his career with the New York Red Bulls, recording one goal and four assists in 59 regular season games, 52 of which were starts. He appeared in 25 regular season contests, making 20 starts, in the 2016 regular season and played every minute of the Red Bulls Eastern Conference Semifinal series loss to the Impact.
Venegas joined Montreal in August 2015. The 28-year-old appeared in 32 regular season games with the Impact, starting 16 matches and recording two goals and one assist. He added one goal in seven postseason appearances for Montreal. While his numbers in Montreal were middling, Venegas has been solid with the Costa Rican national team. The regular call-up for Los Ticos has seven goals in 30 career caps for the national team, with three goals in 10 appearances in 2016.
The 24-year-old Toia is a four-year veteran of the league, with stints at Real Salt Lake and Chivas USA before spending the last two seasons in Montreal. He had two assists in 17 league matches for the Impact this past season, after career highs of 29 starts and 31 appearances in 2015.
Bloom appeared in seven matches for TFC this year, starting five, and made two postseason appearances as the Reds reached the MLS Cup final for the first time. Irwin started 19 regular-season matches, recording six shutouts, and started all six of Toronto’s playoff matches with three clean sheets.