Colorado Rapids acquire Carlos Alvarez from Chivas USA in exchange for Nathan Sturgis

Nathan Sturgis and Carlos Alvarez swap teams

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The Colorado Rapids and Chivas USA on Tuesday swapped reserve midfielders as Nathan Sturgis and Carlos Alvarez exchanged teams.

The 26-year-old Sturgis, who joins his 7th MLS club, has started just four matches for the Rapids in 2014, last starting on May 17. The emergence of Spaniard Jose Mari and rookie Jared Watts along with established starters Dillon Powers and Nick LaBrocca meant playing time was hard to come by for the nine-year MLS veteran.

“Nathan is a very experienced player at the prime of his MLS career,” said Chivas USA manager Wilmer Cabrera in a club statement. “I had the chance to meet him and work with him during my time in Colorado, and he was one of the top players on our squad. He’s a very technical and smart midfielder with great vision and good touches and I’m confident that he will help us improve our team at all levels. As a player, as a person and as a leader in the locker room.”

Sturgis will be available for Wednesday night's match at the San Jose Earthquakes (10:30 pm ET, MLS LIVE).

The 23-year-old Alvarez leaves his native Los Angeles after Chivas USA famously made him the No. 2 pick of the 2013 SuperDraft. Then Chivas coach Jose Luis Sanchez Sola announced that Alvarez would be his selection three days before the SuperDraft with Alvarez's father being a former member of the Chivas Guadalajara system back in Mexico.

After playing in 29 matches for the Goats last year, he has appeared in 11 of Chivas USA's 15 matches thus far, but he has yet to log a goal or assist this year.

“Carlos is a dynamic, attacking player who gives our roster further depth and balance,” said Rapids VP of soccer operations, Paul Bravo, in a club statement. “He has a bright future and we’re excited to add him to our group."