Minnesota United acquired one young reserve team player and dealt away another during Monday's 48-hour trade-window opening.
The Loons traded MLS NEXT Pro's Best XI midfielder Aziel Jackson to new expansion franchise St. Louis CITY SC and added forward Cameron Dunbar as a homegrown player in a trade with the L.A. Galaxy.
Loons technical director Mark Watson said the club considers the two moves a "package deal" in which they're essentially swapping two players in separate transactions.
They'll get $150,000 in 2023 general allocation money (GAM) from St. Louis CITY for Jackson and as much as $75,000 more in conditional GAM if certain performance incentives are met. They'll also get 20% of any transfer free if Jackson is sold outside of MLS.
The Loons sent a third-round pick in the 2023 MLS SuperDraft and $75,000 in incentive-based GAM to get Dunbar. The Galaxy will receive 20% of any transfer fee if Dunbar is sold outside of MLS.
When asked why the team traded Jackson after such a season, Watson said, "The really simple answer is we feel we've gotten better. A.Z. made some strides and scored some goals. We feel we've upgraded the team. We got $150,000 to improve the team, and we feel Cameron is better, more dynamic, an elite athlete. He fits what we're looking for: talented, humble and hard-working."
Dunbar, 20, played this past season mostly with LA Galaxy II, the USL Championship team that will compete in MLS NEXT Pro starting in 2023. He played in 18 regular-season games, including three starts, in the 2020 and 2021 seasons for the Galaxy's first team.
Minnesota United loaned Jackson, 21, to its MNUFC2 reserve team for its 2022 inaugural season. He played 23 games there, scored a team-high 10 goals and had seven assists. He was named to the league's first Best XI team.