The Fire announced a pair of transactions Monday, terminating the contract of midfielder Federico Puppo trading defender Austin Berry to the Philadelphia Union for allocation money.
Puppo joined the Fire as a Designated Player in 2012, tallying two goals and an assist in twelve appearances. Despite the high expectations set for him, Puppo was loaned to Defensor Sporting in his native Uruguay in July of the same year. For the 2013 season, Puppo was loaned to LDU Quito in Ecuador.
“Parting ways with Puppo allows us to get closer to cap compliance,” Fire Head Coach and Director of Soccer Frank Yallop said in a press release. “We wish Federico well.”
Berry was the Fire’s first pick in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft after a collegiate career at the University of Louisville, and quickly worked his way into the starting eleven and earned Rookie of the Year honors. A mainstay on the Fire backline for two seasons, Yallop cited salary cap restrictions as a reason for the move.
“This move was necessary in order to get to cap compliant by March 1,” Yallop send in a press release. “We thank Austin for his service to the club over the past two years and wish him the best as he takes the next steps of his career.”
The allocation money received for Berry acts as an increase in the team’s salary cap. According to the MLS Roster Rules and Regulations, the allocation money can be used for four purposes:
- To sign players new to MLS (that is, a player who did not play in MLS during the previous season).
- To re-sign an existing MLS player, subject to League approval.
- To “buy-down” a player’s salary budget charge below the League maximum of $368,750.
- In connection with the exercise of an option to purchase a player’s rights or the extension of a player’s contract for the second year provided the player was new to MLS in the immediately prior year.