Regarded as one of the most promising young goalkeepers in the United States, Chris Seitz has found playing time tough to come by as Nick Rimando's back-up with Real Salt Lake for the past three years.
That will likely change next season.
RSL reportedly traded Seitz to the expansion Philadelphia Union on Wednesday in exchange for allocation money. RSL general manager Garth Lagerwey declined to comment on the matter, but sources indicate it's a done deal and is simply awaiting league approval.
In three years with Real Salt Lake, the former first-round draft pick appeared in just seven matches, finishing with a 1-4-2 record and a 1.86 goals-against average. With Philadelphia, Seitz finally figures to be the No. 1 guy.
The deal was reportedly reached before the expansion draft, and speculation is that RSL agreed to the trade as long as Philadelphia did not select any of RSL's unprotected players in Wednesday's expansion draft.
The 10 players Philadelphia did select in the expansion draft were: Jordan Harvey (Colorado), Andrew Jacobson (D.C. United), Brad Knighton (New England), Sebastien Le Toux (Seattle), Stefani Miglioranzi (L.A. Galaxy), Alejandro Moreno (Columbus), Dave Myrie (Chicago), Shea Salinas (San Jose), Shavar Thomas (Chivas USA) and Nick Zimmerman (New York).
As well as Rimando played this season, and particularly in shootout victories over Chicago and Los Angeles in the playoffs, trading Seitz away is a good business decision. Instead of letting him sit on the bench for another season, RSL now frees up Seitz's salary and also acquires allocation money which boosts the team's salary cap.
That should give Real Salt Lake some leverage as it tries to find a replacement striker for Yura Movsisyan, who has signed a contract with Randers FC in Denmark.
Ironically enough, it has already taken a step toward finding a replacement for Movsisyan. RSL claimed striker Abe Thompson off waivers on Wednesday after Houston let him go at the conclusion of the expansion draft.
MLS teams have the option of keeping or waiving their unprotected players after the expansion draft, and Real Salt Lake opted to retain all of its unprotected players.
Thompson is a five-year veteran of MLS with three different teams. He spent the first 3 1/2 years of his career with FC Dallas but was traded to Kansas City midway through the 2008 season. Midway through this season, Kansas City traded him to Houston, and he appeared in one game with the Dynamo, scoring one goal.
After scoring 11 goals in his first three years, Thompson has scored just four goals in the past two.
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