Paulson: Timbers Gain Cap Space In Mwanga-Perlaza Trade

PORTLAND, OR - SEPTEMBER 16: Merrit Paulson, owner of the Portland Timbers celebrates with players after their 3-0 victory against the New England Revolution on September 16, 2011 at Jeld-Wen Field in Portland, Oregon. (Photo by Tom Hauck/Getty Images)

In the analysis and commentary on the Danny Mwanga trade for Jorge Perlaza, a great deal of weight was given to the Philadelphia Union gaining salary cap room and a speedy player.

Based upon the Major League Soccer Players Union's publicly released basic salary and guaranteed compensation numbers, Mwanga was making $250,000/$356,250 this year and Perlaza was making $100,000/$115,000 this season.

However, Meritt Paulson, the Portland Timbers Owner and team President, said that the $150,000/$241,250 difference wasn't what it appeared to be to the general public.

"We will take zero salary/cap hit on the Perlaza/Mwanga deal," Paulson tweeted yesterday, "in fact we gain space. example of how misleading public player salary info is."

The Brotherly Game has tried to track the Union's salary cap situation and believed that the team would have around $838,000 in cap space, but based on Paulson's statement that number can't be proven.

Peralaza and Mwanga have both failed to produce this season, as the Colombian striker has no goals or assists this season, while the former number one overall SuperDraft selection has managed only a single assist through the first 11 games of the year for the Union.

The Union were in pursuit of Perlaza heading into the 2011 MLS season, but were beaten to his signature by the Timbers, who put a discovery claim on the then 25-year-old ahead of Philadelphia.

Nick Sakiewicz, the Union's Managing Partner and Chief Executive Officer, told Chris Vito yesterday that he had no knowledge of Philadelphia chasing Perlaza last year, despite numerous foreign media articles linking the two.

After the trade of Mwanga, the Union have only three players remaining from their opening day roster: Jack McInerney, Amobi Okugo and Roger Torres, who was on loan from America de Cali at the time.

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