Chivas USA and the Columbus Crew executed a trade on Friday that sends veteran defender Ezra Hendrickson to Ohio in exchange for a conditional pick in the 2007 MLS SuperDraft. To make room for Hendrickson on the Crew roster, the club waived defender Joel Kitamirike.
Hendrickson joins his sixth MLS team since entering the league in 1997. He reunites with coach Sigi Schmid in Columbus, the two having spent time together in 1999-2003 while at the Los Angeles Galaxy.
"I am happy to be rejoining my former coach," Hendrickson said. "I won three trophies with Sigi and the Crew is at a point where they made a lot of changes and are heading in the right direction. With my experience, I want to come in and help out wherever I am needed."
A native of Layou, St. Vincent, Hendrickson has seen much success in his professional career. The 34-year-old has won two MLS Cup titles, helping the Galaxy to the prize in 2002 and playing a part in D.C. United's fourth championship in 2004. He also has been a member of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines national team for more than a decade.
"Adding Ezra is a big plus for us," said Schmid. "He has championship experience and is a player who I have a long and positive history with and who will be a valuable addition to our team."
Hendrickson hadn't seen any action thus far in 2006 under new Chivas USA head coach Bob Bradley. He made 31 starts for Chivas in their inaugural campaign last season. In his MLS career, Hendrickson has recorded 21 goals and 28 assists. He also has five goals and three assists in 26 contests in the MLS Cup Playoffs.
"We wish 'EZ' the best in his career. He has been a true leader to our younger players and a great contributor to our club, in addition to being a wonderful human being," said Whit Haskel, Chivas USA's senior vice president and general manager. "We thank him for his contribution and wish him well."
Kitamirike was signed by the Crew in January as a youth international. He made one appearance for the club in 2006, playing 19 minutes as a substitute on April 15 vs. the Chicago Fire.
The Crew also announced on Friday that rookie defender Jed Zayner has been placed on season-ending injured reserve and the club has signed defender Chris Leitch.
Jonathan Nierman is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.