The Colorado Rapids completed a blockbuster trade with Toronto FC on Friday afternoon, acquiring a haul of assets, including top midfield prospect Ralph Priso in exchange for Mark-Anthony Kaye.
In addition to Priso, Colorado receives an international roster slot for 2023, Toronto's natural first-round pick in the 2023 draft, and $1.025 million in General Allocation Money. The Rapids had acquired Kaye from LAFC last July for $1 million in GAM and a 2022 international slot.
The centerpiece of the trade for the Rapids is the 19-year-old Priso, who joined the TFC academy in 2017 before working his way up to his first professional start with Toronto FC II in 2019. Priso signed a Homegrown contract with his hometown club in 2020 and made his MLS debut just ten days later against the Philadelphia Union.
In his 33 appearances for the Reds, Priso recorded two goals and two assists, including a game-winning left-footed strike against Atlanta United on June 25. Priso has also taken to the pitch on the international stage, representing Canada at the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Brazil. His knowledge and feel for the game at a young age makes the midfielder another valuable asset who may contribute this season under Rapids head coach Robin Fraser.
Not only does Colorado acquire a promising and talented player, but potential for future acquisitions in this transfer window, as well. The 2023 international slot and SuperDraft pick prime the Rapids' front office for more flexibility in the coming weeks.
The Rapids' "Drive to Youth" has been evident in recent years, as the club signed Darren Yapi, Seb Anderson, Abraham Rodriguez, Oliver Larraz and Dantouma "Yaya" Toure to Homegrown contracts within the last three seasons. All six players have already made their official MLS debuts in burgundy.
Despite the talent added from the Rapids' academy program, the team has transferred three young players in the last year. Cole Bassett, Sam Vines, and Auston Trusty have departed the club to reach their dreams of playing in Europe. Such is the hope for a club; to train, prepare and play young talent who have the ability to play at the highest levels of the global game.
"As with any transition with with young drivers like Cole, Sam, Auston, we need this next wave of good talent coming through and we believe Priso is as good, if not the best number 6 prospect in the country," said Pádraig Smith, Colorado Rapids Executive VP & General Manager.
After the Rapids' recent results falling short of the team's potential, the club's front office is positive that the acquisition of Priso is a step in the right direction.
Colorado is primed to take advantage of the remainder of the summer transfer window this year, and may use the GAM, SuperDraft pick, and international slot acquired from Toronto in future moves.
"We've gathered the assets that we need to make some of these opening moves that we think are important for us," said Smith. "This is going to be the first of more moves to come."