Here’s a couple of takes from the Houston and Salt Lake City players on the Dynamo and Real players who moved to the Seattle Sounders in the Wednesday expansion draft:
Nate Jaqua leaving Dynamo for Seattle
By Bernardo Fallas
Houston Chronicle – November 27, 2008
As expected, the Dynamo lost forward Nate Jaqua to Seattle Sounders FC in Wednesday’s MLS expansion draft.
Jaqua, who re-signed with the Dynamo over the summer after a six-month stint in Austria, tallied four goals and four assists in 14 league games, including 11 starts.
He was one of 10 players picked up by expansion Seattle as it builds a roster ahead of the 2009 season.
MLS teams could each protect up to 11 players from the draft. Jaqua was one of 17 players the Dynamo left unprotected.
Despite being picked up by the Sounders, Jaqua will be eligible to play for the Dynamo in tonight’s CONCACAF Champions League home match against Salvadoran club Luis Angel Firpo.
Jaqua, 27, first joined the Dynamo from Los Angeles via trade in the summer of 2007. He went on to register six goals and two assists in 15 games in helping the team win its second consecutive MLS title.
A free agent at the end of the 2007 season, Jaqua signed with SC Rheindorf Altach of the Austrian Bundesliga for half a season. He said he entertained offers to remain in Europe but decided to return to MLS in July.
Jaqua’s impending move to the Northwest was expected after the Eugene, Ore., native expressed a desire to play for Seattle next season as a condition to returning to MLS and the Dynamo.
Seattle’s picks: Nate Jaqua (Dynamo); Nathan Sturgis (Real Salt Lake); Jeff Parke (New York Red Bulls); Jarrod Smith (Toronto FC); Khano Smith (New England Revolution);
Also: Peter Vagenas (Los Angeles Galaxy); Tyson Wahl (Kansas City Wizards); James Riley (New England Revolution); Stephen King (Chicago Fire); and Brad Evans (Columbus Crew).
RSL loses injury-plagued midfielder in expansion draft
By Michael C. Lewis
Salt Lake Tribune – November 27, 2008
Real Salt Lake lost midfielder Nathan Sturgis to the Seattle Sounders in the Major League Soccer expansion draft Wednesday, two days after unexpectedly switching course and leaving him unprotected.
The team originally had left goalkeeper Nick Rimando unprotected in order to keep Sturgis among the 11 players it was allowed to shield from the expansion draft. But at the last moment – after the league’s announced deadline, in fact – RSL changed its mind and protected Rimando, instead.
Team officials feared the Sounders would select Rimando, even though they already have signed veteran goalkeeper Kasey Keller, in order to use him as trade bait for another player, draft pick or allocation.
In the end, the Sounders did not select any of the other starting goalkeepers who were left unprotected, suggesting RSL might have been safe with its original strategy.
Still, losing Sturgis does not immediately appear to be a crushing blow.
Though he is regarded among the top young American players, he has scarcely seen the field for RSL because of injuries.
The 20-year-old played in only eight games for the team since joining it with striker Robbie Findley in a trade from the Los Angeles Galaxy midway through the 2007 season. He appeared in only three games during RSL’s drive to the MLS Western Conference final last season, and missed the 2008 Beijing Olympics because of a lingering hamstring injury.