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Gardner happy to land at SKC as team preps for busy 2013

Montreal's Josh Gardner

Photo Credit: 
Getty Images

It didn't take long for Sporting Kansas City to restore their depth at left back.

On Wednesday, two days after dealing veteran fullback Michael Harrington to Portland for allocation money and declining to pick up Korede Aiyegbusi's option, Sporting acquired Josh Gardner from the Montreal Impact in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft.

"They have a good squad, a good organization," Gardner told MLSsoccer.com by phone. "I'm looking forward to being part of an organization that wants to win."

Sporting, who had already waived left back Neven Markovic before this week's moves, get a CONCACAF competition veteran and left-side versatility in the 30-year-old Gardner. He appeared in the CONCACAF Champions' Cup in 2006 with the LA Galaxy, scoring against Costa Rican side Deportivo Saprissa in his professional debut, and in the CONCACAF Champions League with Columbus in 2011.

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"I'm just looking to vie for minutes," he said. "Obviously, [left back] Seth Sinovic and the other guys on the left side for the last couple of years, and I'm looking to come in and be a team player in any way possible, whether it's a left back or left wing position. Obviously, I'm comfortable in both positions, so as long as we're getting wins and I'm helping the team in any way possible, I'm happy."

Kansas City's run to the Open Cup title in 2012 and qualification for the 2013-14 CCL bode well for his playing time possibilities, Gardner said.

"You look at the regular MLS season. You've got 30-plus games," he said. "Then if you do well in Open Cup, you have another five or six. And now they're going to be playing Champions League, which is quite a few more games. I want to be playing as many games as possible. I'm looking forward to getting back into that tournament, and I hope we show well."

Gardner, who appeared in only six MLS matches with the Impact after being taken from the Crew in the 2011 Expansion Draft, also is looking forward to playing in front of Livestrong Sporting Park's big, supportive crowds.

"When we played there, the fans were crazy," he said. "It was like having an extra player on the field."