The Colorado Rapids made a stunning move Monday, reaching an agreement to sell defender Auston Trusty to Premier League side Arsenal for an undisclosed fee.
Trusty, 23, will remain with the Rapids on loan to start the MLS season and will make the move to the North London club on July 17, the club announced. In Arsenal’s news release, the club said its intention is to loan Trusty to another European club for the 2022-2023 season “to further progress his development.”
The agreement came on Deadline Day, the last day European clubs can buy or loan players until the summer, and typically the busiest day of the transfer window.
Trusty came to the Rapids in 2019 from the Philadelphia Union and has developed into a rock-solid defender during his time in Commerce City. Last season, he led all outfield players in minutes played with 2,970 on the pitch in 33 games, with one goal and three assists. He has been called up to the United States Men’s National Team twice but has yet to make his first cap.
He was the Rapids’ 2021 defender of the year and part of the backline that conceded the second-fewest goals in the Western Conference with 36.
Trusty was traded for $750,000 in General Allocation Money, at the time one of the largest trades in Union history. The Union will now receive 25% of the transfer fee since Trusty was sold outside of the league after Jan. 1, 2022. Per the club’s 2019 release, the percentage would only apply to any amount of allocation money received over what the Rapids paid the Union for Trusty, not the total transaction fee.
“Auston is coming off an exceptional season in 2021 in which he played a vital role in helping us finish atop the Western Conference for the first time in our history,” Rapids general manager Pádraig Smith said in a club statement. “We remain committed to bringing through the top young players from Colorado and across the United States and to providing them with a platform to flourish, achieve success in MLS and earn the chance to make a move to Europe. Auston’s outstanding performances caught the eye of several European clubs over the past 12 months and we are privileged to be part of an organization with the reach and scale of KSE that allows us to help a player of Auston’s potential further his development and career aspirations in Europe.”
Rapids owner Stan Kroenke also is the team owner of Arsenal FC, and while players from the Rapids have trained with Arsenal in the past, this is the first official transfer between the two clubs.
Trusty began his career in Philadelphia, playing for four years on a Homegrown deal. When he made his debut in 2018, he became the youngest player in league history to play every minute across a full 34-game season.
He will now be the third Rapids player sent overseas since 2021.