The Portland Timbers have traded midfielder Eric Alexander to the New York Red Bulls for allocation money.
The Major League Soccer team announced the trade on Monday morning.
Alexander, 24, played in 24 matches for the Timbers last season, starting 14 of them. He had a career-high six assists and received the club’s Unsung Hero award.
He joined the Timbers on Aug. 19 2011 in a trade with FC Dallas. In three MLS seasons, Alexander has played 69 matches, recording two goals and nine assists overall with FC Dallas (2010-11) and Portland (2011-12).
The offseason acquisitions of designated player Diego Valeri and of MLS veteran Will Johnson crowded the Timbers midfield and meant playing time might be difficult for Alexander to find with Portland this season.
Allocation money is funding in addition to a team's salary budget that is allocated to teams by the MLS Competition Committee. The money can be used to sign players or to buy down the amount of a player's salary that counts against the salary cap.
The league does not announce the amount of allocation money given to teams, or the amount of allocation that is traded.
The Timbers resumed preseason training in Portland on Monday. They play their first preseason home match on Sunday, taking on San Jose at 5 p.m.