Sacramento Republic FC announced today that Mike da Fonte has been transferred to MLS’s Colorado Rapids. Da Fonte’s contract with the Rapids will be for two years.
Although da Fonte’s transfer is unfortunate in that it completes the annihilation of the Republic’s center back corps, the fact that he was under contract with the team for the upcoming season does mean that there will be some form of compensation coming from the Rapids. However, there is no mention of a fee in the Rapids press release and all the Republic release said was that the team received “an undisclosed sum.”
The announcements from both teams were complementary of da Fonte. In the Republic’s announcement, Graham Smith had this to say.
Based on our club values, we have always supported our players and do our best to provide them opportunities to play at a higher level. In this case, Mike da Fonte has been presented with an opportunity to play with an MLS club and we are excited for the opportunity this presents to him and his future by playing with Coach Mastroeni. Mike has developed tremendously in this past year under the guidance of Paul [Buckle] and his staff, and that development is seen in the offer to him from Colorado. But, this is an opportunity that also benefits Republic FC by receiving value back that we can use to invest in our roster and continue the development of talent going into the 2017 season.
Rapids Sporting Director, Pádraig Smith, mentioned that the club first noticed da Fonte during the 2016 pre-season.
Mike impressed in our preseason meeting with Sacramento last year and we continued to track his progress. He provides competition and increased depth to our already strong defensive core. He is a player who we think has the necessary tools to be successful at the next level.
Rapids head coch Pablo Mastroeni was also complimentary of da Fonte, highlighting his pre-USL experience and athleticism.
We are pleased to have Mike join our club for the next two seasons. He is a very athletic central defender with experience in Europe and with two prominent USL sides. We look forward to welcoming Mike to the Rapids.
Today’s announcement is less a surprise and more a confirmation of the rumor that the Davis Enterprise’s Evan Ream started after Republic’s game against FC Cincinnati.
I see some Republic fans noticed Mike da Fonte didn't play tonight...I'm told he's on his way to the Colorado Rapids— Evan Ream (@EvanReam) March 5, 2017
Although this is the first confirmation of where da Fonte was headed, the fact that he was going to leave Sacramento was not exactly a well-kept secret by members of the club. Paul Buckle mentioned on two occasions (once after the FCC game and another in the first installment of our Extra Time with Buckle segment) that there were “positive things” happening with da Fonte.
The move is definitely a positive one for da Fonte, and we at ICS hope he finds success at the MLS level with his new club.
Whether the move is a net positive for Republic FC remains to be seen, however. Graham Smith mentioned that the undisclosed sum the club received from the Rapids could be used to invest in the roster. Let’s hope that it is used to invest in a center back.
What are your thoughts on Mike da Fonte’s transfer to the Colorado Rapids? Sound off in the comments below!