Lovel Palmer traded to Chicago Fire for allocation money

USA TODAY Sports

Lovel Palmer has been traded to Chicago Fire in exchange for allocation money--the first of undoubtedly several moves for Real Salt Lake ahead of the 2014 campaign.

Palmer played in 17 matches for Real Salt Lake during his single year with the club; he started 14 of those. He proved a reliable backup at both full back positions, spelling for Chris Wingert and Tony Beltran, and at various times winning a starting spot from both of them.

He last played at Portland Timbers, to whom he had been traded from Houston Dynamo in mid-2011, who he joined from Jamaican club Harbour View F.C.

In a club-issued press release, Palmer described his season:

"Real Salt Lake will always have a special place in my heart. I wouldn't trade this last season with RSL for anything. If someone said to me at the beginning of the year that we would do it all over again, that RSL and Sporting Kansas City would be in MLS Cup and Kansas City would win, I wouldn't trade teams. I wouldn't trade the Real Salt Lake experience for the MLS Cup. That's how much being with RSL, being in Salt Lake City and in Utah meant to me. It's a bittersweet moment knowing I won't be in that locker room again next year, but at the same time I'm excited to be with the Fire and stay with [Chicago Assistant Coach and former RSL Assistant] C.J. Brown. Joining Chicago is a very exciting opportunity and I'm really looking forward to being with the Fire."

The move comes somewhat as a surprise, but with RSL in need of room to fit under the salary cap, some trades were inevitable.

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