CHIVAS USA: 3 players gone, Riley in
November, 23, 2011
By Scott French | ESPNLosAngeles.com
CARSON -- Chivas USA played one of the bigger roles in Major League Soccer's expansion draft, surrendering three players and picking up a new right back.
First-year right back Zarek Valentin, the No. 4 overall selection in last January's MLS SuperDraft, was among 10 players the Montreal Impact claimed from rivals' rosters Wednesday, and MLS's 19th club also picked up forward/midfielder Justin Braun and midfielder Gerson Mayen in a trade.
James Riley, whom Montreal grabbed from Seattle, is coming to the Goats, along with allocation money.
The Galaxy did not lose a player in the draft.
Chivas failed to protect Valentin, 20, who “graduated” last week from the Generation adidas program, changing a designation that would have left him exempt in the expansion exercise. Clubs were permitted to protect 11 players, and Montreal -- led by manager Jesse Marsch, a former Chivas USA star -- could take no more than one player off any club's roster.
Valentin, who has enormous potential, started 24 games for Chivas as a rookie, playing in the center and on the right. He came to MLS after winning an NCAA title his sophomore year at Akron. He was listed as Montreal's second choice in the draft, following Houston Dynamo captain Brian Ching, but the order of selection is manufactured; Marsch and his staff made their choices over the two days of intense study and bargaining with clubs around the league.
That's how the Braun/Mayen-for-Riley deal was finalized. A source said Marsch wanted Braun, a former teammate, who was on Chivas' protected list, and Goats coach Robin Fraser agreed to make a deal if the Impact would draft and trade Riley, 29, one of the league's top right backs, to replace Valentin. The seven-year MLS veteran has been a consistent MLS starter sine 2006, his second season, for New England, San Jose and Seattle.
Braun, 24, played in 96 games, 72 as a starter, in four seasons with the Goats, scoring 24 goals, second on the club's all-time list. Mayen (Los Angeles/Manual Arts HS), 22, played in 20 MLS matches in four seasons for Chivas; he spent most of this season on loan to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the second-tier North American Soccer League.
Montreal also selected 6-foot-5 San Jose defender Bobby Burling, a former Loyola Marymount standout who was drafted by but did not play for the Galaxy and spent 2½ seasons with Chivas USA, and Columbus midfielder Josh Gardner, who was with the Galaxy in 2004-06.
The Impact later acquired defender Tyson Wahl (Newport Beach/Newport Harbor HS) from Seattle for allocation money.
Ching, the first name on the Impact's list, said Tuesday he would retire if selected by Montreal. The veteran striker has said he'd like to play at least one more season in Houston, where he is the public face of an organization that is opening a new stadium next season. Marsch likely is talking to the Dynamo about trading Ching back.
The full list:
1. F Brian Ching (Houston)
2. D Zarek Valentin (Chivas USA)
3. M Justin Mapp (Philadelphia)
4. D Bobby Burling (San Jose)
5. M Jeb Brovsky (Vancouver)
6. M Collen Warner (Real Salt Lake)
7. D Josh Gardner (Columbus)
8. M Sanna Nyassi (Colorado)
9. D James Riley (Seattle, traded with allocation money to Chivas USA for F/M Justin Braun and M Gerson Mayen)
10. D Seth Sinovic (Sporting Kansas City)