Just a year after coming to Major League Soccer from Germany, defender Cory Gibbs is headed back to Europe to join Dutch Eredivisie club Feyenoord Rotterdam. According to Feyenoord's official website, Gibbs has signed deal that would keep him with the club through the end of the 2008/09 season.
After the U.S. international defender impressed the Dutch club in a recent trial, Feyenoord manager Ruud Gullit made an offer to MLS.
"Feyenoord of the Dutch Eredivisie made a transfer offer for FC Dallas defender Cory Gibbs," FC Dallas General Manager Greg Elliott said in a statement. "Head coach Colin Clarke and I met with Cory, at which time he expressed his desire to join Feyenoord as he sees that move as the logical next step in his professional career."In light of Cory's wishes, and following an assessment of the offer, we have given our approval for the transfer to proceed. As compensation for Cory's transfer, FC Dallas will be receiving a significant replacement allocation. While we are disappointed that Cory will no longer be an FC Dallas player, we thank him for his contributions and wish him nothing but the best at his new club." In 21 games with Dallas in 2004, Gibbs helped the club to a vastly improved record. The club, which completed its final season as the Burn in 2004, bettered its 2003 goals allowed total by nearly 20 and narrowly missed out on the Western Conference's final playoff spot, despite recording a 13-point turnaround from the previous season.
The departure of the 25-year-old center back leaves Clarke with a talented but mostly inexperienced defending corps. Steve Jolley and Carey Talley are the veterans of the group and will be joined by a slew of young players who have come to Dallas in recent years, including recently acquired Alex Yi and top draft pick Drew Moor. Clarke also has former first-round picks Clarence Goodson and Chris Gbandi and former U.S. youth international Philip Salyer at his disposal.
Gibbs came to MLS after playing for German club St. Pauli for three years. The defender tallied one assist in 2004 and has made 14 appearances for the U.S. national team. He could make his debut for Feyenoord as early as Sunday against Vitesse Arnhem.
Jason Halpin is a contributor to MLSnet.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.