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Carolina RailHawks acquire NASL Best XI midfielder in trade with Fort Lauderdale

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

While the New York Cosmos sit idle, most of the rest of the North American Soccer League competition have been working to improve their roster ahead of the 2016 season. On Wednesday, even the typically quiet Carolina RailHawks got in on the action, swinging a big trade to bring in a 2015 NASL Best XI midfielder.

The RailHawks traded for (former) Fort Lauderdale midfielder James Marcelin, a Haiti international who had an absolutely fabulous 2015 season. The 29-year old was so impressive that he was named to the NASL Best XI last season, despite some stiff competition from around the league.

In exchange, Carolina sent the Strikers Neil Hlavaty, a 29-year old midfielder who has been playing in the NASL since its modern inception. He's had spells in Minnesota, Edmonton, and most recently, Carolina, and while he's proven to be a decent midfielder that probably has a very reasonable contract, there's a pretty obvious winner in this deal, and it's definitely not the Strikers.

The Strikers have been busy this winter, but between Wednesday's trade and the Stefano Pinho departure, it's hard to argue that they're a stronger team right now than they were at MCU Park in November. Carolina, on the other hand, look to be moving in the right direction this offseason.