Sanna Nyassi

Frank Yallop says Nyassi/Duka swap had been in the works for a while

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – After making just two appearances the last month and a half, the announcement that midfielder Dilly Duka had been traded to the Montreal Impact in exchange for Sanna Nyassi on Tuesday came as little surprise.

According to Fire head coach Frank Yallop, the move had been in the works for a bit following a conversation player and manager had at the beginning of June.

“Dilly and I had a talk two months ago and we both decided through that conversation that he wanted to be moved on and get a fresh start,” Yallop told

“What we want to do is be sure that we don’t have a player that doesn’t want to be here. We’ve been trying to do this trade for a little bit and we felt it was a good deal because Sanna is very much a similar player to Dilly. We wish Dilly all the best in Montreal.”

Acquired from Columbus last January, Duka had injury issues that kept him to just five league appearances this season prior to the trade request. Duka last league appearance came as a substitute in the Fire’s 1-1 draw at Sporting KC on July 6.

“He started every game he was available for and then after the conversation it was basically coming to the conclusion that we were trying to trade him. We were waiting for a deal that made sense and this one looked good to me.”

Montreal’s offer of Sanna Nyassi was held up by the fact that the Gambian international midfielder was rehabbing a high ankle sprain. Nyassi last appeared for the Impact in the team’s 4-1 loss on May 24 at Colorado.

The Fire kept tabs on Nyassi’s recovery and felt good enough to pull the trigger on the swap Tuesday.

“He’s back on the field now and he’s probably a week away from full training and being available for us,” said Yallop. “Our physio had video tape, making sure he’s not hobbled and I think it was worth waiting to make sure he was going to be healthy enough to help us out.”

Nyassi began his time in the U.S. playing for the Seattle Sounders in the USL First Division and MLS between 2008-2010. Nyassi moved to the Colorado Rapids in 2011 before being selected by the Impact in the 2012 expansion draft.

Yallop said he’s always been keen on Nyassi and is looking forward to his addition to the club.

“I think he’s exciting, quick and a good dribbler with a ton of pace. He’s a little unpredictable which is good -- I like that. He has traits that make him an interesting player to watch and I’m sure the fans will enjoy him.”

WATCH: Jeff & Kevin talk the busy week ahead for the Fire