Update: Bruce Arena has since clarified the situation by explaining one of the players is getting a green card.
LA Galaxy needed allocation money. NYCFC needed an international roster spot. It was a match made in heaven. Imagine that. Two clubs on opposite sides of the country working together for mutual benefit. Just wonderful.
This trade didn't involve any Target Allocation Money (TAM), which is odd considering the continuing speculation over the need for LA to trade for TAM to make the Giovani Dos Santos deal happen. Perhaps they don't need any more TAM for that, or maybe they're waiting for a different opportunity.
New York City FC don't need any more TAM at the moment, but what they do need (desperately) is a center back. They've had two on trial over the past week: Independiente Medellin's Jefferson Mena and Kaizer Chiefs' Tefu Mashamaite. They announced the signing of Mena earlier today, which means that the trade was specifically made for this player, or they intend on signing both Mena and Mashamaite and needed another slot.
Either way, this remains an interesting trade for both teams. Now that they've traded a spot away, LA Galaxy will need to get rid of an international player in order to make room for Giovani Dos Santos. Whether or not this is the player-for-TAM trade opportunity the Galaxy are waiting for remains to be seen, but it looks like a safe bet. All signs point to either that or the release of Mika Vayrynen, but it's unlikely Bruce Arena will be content with getting nothing but a roster slot out of a player move.
However, rumors have come out of the Panama camp during this Gold Cup that suggest Jaime Penedo is unhappy in LA and with his contract with the Galaxy. If these rumors turn out to be serious, it could be Penedo who is on his way out. The Galaxy have let players walk away from contracts they're unhappy with in the past, with Marcelo Sarvas being a prime example. With a couple of good goalkeeping prospects waiting in the wings, this might not be out of the question for Los Angeles.
Over in New York City, this trade and the acquisition of Jefferson Mena leaves NYCFC with 29 players currently on their roster. The MLS CBA calls for 28, so someone will have to be traded or cut in the coming days. If you caught any of Sunday's match between NYCFC and Toronto FC on ESPN, you might feel like Kwame Watson-Siriboe might be the guy on the chopping block. You may not be wrong.
For LA, the road ahead is clearly laid out: Somebody has to get out of town to make room for Giovani Dos Santos.