The Carolina RailHawks and San Antonio Scorpions have agreed to a trade that sends Costa Rican midfielder Cesar Elizondo to the Scorpions in return for 24-year-old midfielder Danny Barrera.
Elizondo, who arrived in Carolina in advance of their 2013 season, became a regular in the RailHawks’ starting XI, appearing in 12 games this year and earning three assists in 777 total minutes played.
The Columbia-born Barrera, who came to San Antonio last offseason, appeared in 13 games this season and compiled a goal and two assists in nine starts and 830 minutes played. He spent the two previous seasons with the Atlanta Silverbacks, where he was recruited by then-manager Eric Wynalda from amateur side Cal FC. In 2013, Barrera scored four goals and recorded seven assists for the Silverbacks.
“We are excited to add a young and talented player to our squad,” said RailHawks manager Colin Clarke in a statement. “I’ve been following Danny throughout the years and I know he is capable of scoring goals and creating chances for our team. He will fit really well with our locker room and will be an essential part of our roster as we attempt to win the 2014 NASL Championship.”
The trade will undoubtedly face scrutiny from some RailHawks supporters. Elizondo was a popular player whose tenacity and speedy skill set fit well within Carolina’s uptempo offense. On the other hand, Barrera had seen his playing time rapidly diminish in San Antonio—all of his nine starts this year came during the NASL spring season; he didn’t start any of the Scorpions’ five matches to open the fall campaign.
According to a team source, it’s expected that Barrera will arrive at RailHawks camp as early as tomorrow. The RailHawks host the Tampa Bay Rowdies this Saturday, Aug. 9 at WakeMed Soccer Park.
In conjunction with this trade, the Scorpions also announced they are releasing Shaun Saiko from his contract with the club. The reason provided for parting ways with the Canadian midfielder was the need to free up an international roster spot for the incoming Elizondo.
The trade caps a full day of player news for the RailHawks, which previously announced the signing of former Panther Creek High, Elon University and MLS midfielder Gabe Latigue.