After a two-week wait for Jamiro Monteiro to arrive at preseason training camp, it now turns out that Monteiro won’t be arriving at all.

The Union have traded him to the San Jose Earthquakes for $250,000 in allocation money for this year, up to $200,000 in incentive-based allocation money for next year, and an international roster slot.

It isn’t a big haul for a midfielder who’s been the Union’s best player since he arrived on loan from French club Metz in 2019. A year later, the Union bought Monteiro for $2 million, at the time the team’s record transfer fee. He proved worth every cent of that, with 12 goals, 20 assists, and all manner of other passing and defensive contributions in 89 games.

But several sources told The Inquirer that the 28-year-old Cape Verdean has wanted to move on for a while. For a time last year, it was because the U.S. border was closed and he was separated from his wife and young children in the Netherlands. There were also suitors in Europe.

Monteiro is in the last guaranteed year of the contract he signed when the Union bought him. There’s also a team option year for 2023. We’ll see if the Earthquakes do anything with that or sign him to a new deal.

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The Union became ready to sell Monteiro once Jack McGlynn and Quinn Sullivan showed their worthiness as pros. Selling Monteiro will give the two academy products the opportunity for much more playing time, and avoid having to deal with a dissatisfied star.

Union sporting director Ernst Tanner confirmed that in a statement when the trade was officially announced on Monday.

“We want to thank Jamiro for his time spent with the Philadelphia Union,” Tanner said. “He has helped reach many club milestones over the last three seasons, and we wish him all the best in this next phase of his career. Depth in midfield is an area of strength for us, and this move not only opens more opportunities for our young, developing players, but creates two open international slots we can use to continue building our roster.”

What the Union do with those international slots — one acquired from San Jose, the other freed up by Monteiro’s departure — will be interesting to watch.

So will be whether the Union ever take the field with a full allotment of three Designated Players at once. The team has never done so in its history, and the wait now continues.

Only once before this preseason had the Union even come close. In 2015, the team had three DPs in the preseason, but bought down Cristian Maidana’s cap hit below the threshold right before the season started.

Monteiro might return to Chester on March 12 when the Union host the Earthquakees in the third game of the season. He should get a warm reception. Then we’ll get more evidence of whether the players meant to succeed him have stepped up.