Analyzing the Ulloa trade with Miami

Outside of standard contract option transactions, FC Cincinnati made their first offseason roster move Monday afternoon when the club traded Victor Ulloa to Inter Miami CF for allocation money, a SuperDraft pick and a Re-Entry Draft slot.

Here’s what the move entailed:

Why it makes sense for the Orange and Blue…

Ulloa was out of contract and wasn’t returning to Cincinnati in 2020, so receiving allocation funds for a player who was going to leave for free is a financial bonus.

Additionally, receiving a Miami SuperDraft pick gives Cincinnati another selection in the college entry draft. Before this trade, the Orange and Blue didn’t have one as it traded its 2020 pick away to Vancouver late last year in exchange for Spencer Richey.

FCC also received the Chicago Fire’s third rounder in the rights exchange for Andrew Gutman, but Cincinnati then traded that to the New York Red Bulls to seal Derrick Etienne Jr.’s loan move.

It’s worth noting Rashawn Dally, who finished with one goal in 12 league matches, was FCC’s third rounder last season. (He was the No. 49 overall selection.)

As for the swap in Re-Entry Draft positioning, it’s not a huge loss for the Orange and Blue.

In the last three MLS Re-Entry Drafts, only eight players were selected in the first round. Because Miami would’ve had the first pick, they could’ve taken Ulloa had he opted into the drafted, but this swap suggests the MLS newcomers might be eyeing another player in that spot. Either way, it’s not a significant loss for Cincinnati.

Why this move makes sense for Miami…

Few players in MLS have been as consistent as Ulloa. Throughout FC Cincinnati’s inaugural MLS season, Ulloa made 26 appearances, scored once and provided two assists. Before his homecoming at FC Dallas on Aug. 31, the center midfielder played in all but two games in 2019.

Inter Miami essentially signed a starting midfielder for only $50,000 GAM, a third-round SuperDraft pick and also received a higher Re-Entry Draft spot. That’s not a high price.

Again, Ulloa would’ve been available at No. 1 in the Re-Entry Draft, but Miami can grab him now and maybe add another player in that spot.

Giving up the SuperDraft pick isn’t a huge gamble. While FC Cincinnati hit on the Dally selection in 2019, only 66% of the third-round picks were even used by clubs to select players. The others were passes. In fact, Cincinnati later passed on its second third-round selection – No. 61 – in 2019, wrapping up its 2019 SuperDraft.