Fan favorite Chris Rolfe is bound for D.C. United in exchange for allocation money, the Fire announced Wednesday.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Fire coach Frank Yallop said front-line depth and the prospect of more financial flexibility under the league’s salary cap were among the reasons for the move.
“The allocation money that we received in this trade will give us more flexibility and freedom,” Yallop said. “It’s always difficult to part ways with someone who has been part of the club for multiple years, but with our existing depth we felt this was the right move to make.”
Efforts to reach Rolfe for comment were unsuccessful and a Fire spokesman said he was traveling to join his new team.
The trade is the Fire’s second in recent weeks in exchange for allocation money; they sent defender Austin Berry to Philadelphia in late February. Berry returns Saturday when the Union visit the Fire.
The stated reason for that trade was to make room to help construct a new deal for MLS MVP forward Mike Magee, but the Fire’s statement did not allude to that.
Rolfe, the Fire’s third-round selection in the 2005 MLS draft out of Dayton, has had two stints with the team. He spent three seasons with Denmark’s Aalbord BK, scoring six goals in 32 matches before returning to the Fire on April 16, 2012.
He appeared in two games this season, starting one. Rolfe has played in 178 MLS regular-season games, with 48 goals and 22 assists.