In a move we've been talking about since before the weekend, Nat Borchers is on his way to Portland in exchange for allocation money.
Borchers, a seven-year veteran of Real Salt Lake, having arrived at the club in 2008 from Odd Grenland in Norway via one of those MLS allocation drafts, departs as one of RSL's longest-tenured players. He appeared in 205 matches for the club, giving him an average of nearly 30 matches played per season. Given many of those seasons were 30-match seasons, that's a remarkable rate.
Borchers also scored a goal in every season he played for Real Salt Lake.
Real Salt Lake general manager Garth Lagerwey in a club-issued press release said they couldn't find a way to work out a deal that would involve protecting Borchers in the expansion draft.
"I know Nat didn't want to leave, but we simply couldn't work out a way to protect him as part of the expansion process. Understanding that staying was Nat's first choice, we were able to at least give Nat the choice as to where to go."
Garth Lagerwey told Salt Lake Tribune reporter Chris Kamrani that there were three clubs interested in Borchers, but his first choice was staying at the club. The expansion draft made that a difficult proposition.
RSL GM Garth Lagerwey on Borchers deal: "We had three teams that were interested in Nat. We let Nat decide where he wanted to go."— Chris Kamrani (@chriskamrani) December 8, 2014
Lagerwey said club could not work out a way to protect Borchers in expansion draft: "Nat didn't want to go. Nat's first choice was to stay."— Chris Kamrani (@chriskamrani) December 8, 2014
Thanks for the memories, Nat. We hope you come back as a coach when you retire.