This past week the Union traded for midfielder Wálter Restrepo in exchange for a player loaned to the New York Cosmos for the 2016 season. That player has not been named. Restrepo will join the Union on a one year contract with club options in 2017 and 2018.
Restrepo has played in the NASL the last five years with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, the San Antonio Scorpions, and most recently with the New York Cosmos. He had the most success with the Strikers scoring 10 goals in 51 appearances.
One interesting thing about Restrepo is that the Strikers traded him to the Scorpions in 2014 in exchange for “free lodging and transportation during Fort Lauderdale’s two road trips to San Antonio in 2014.”
Apparently, Restrepo wanted out of the Strikers for a couple of years and was pleased that the team found a way to accommodate him. Fort Lauderdale received no additional cash in the transfer fee, only the hotel rooms, use of a bus in San Antonio and “maybe one team meal per trip. Undoubtedly, one of the most unusual trades in professional soccer history.
Restrepo gives the Union another option on the wings as the Union look for ways to give more service to striker CJ Sapong, especially off the bench. Restrepo will likely come off the bench behind Sebastian Le Toux and Chris Pontius. But he can still be dangerous as he led the NASL in assists in 2012 and was named to the league’s best XI in 2012 and 2013.
Wálter Restrepo may not be the flashiest name but he brings a proven pedigree in American soccer and can surely help the team improve offensively going forward, adding offensive depth in which the Union have sorely lacked.
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