With the 2014 MLS SuperDraft just a day away, two MLS teams are changing their draft position and exchanging key contributors in the process.
The Chicago Fire on Wednesday traded defender Jalil Anibaba, the eighth overall selection in Thursday's SuperDraft and a conditional third-round selection to the Seattle Sounders in exchange for defenders Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Patrick Ianni and the 13th overall selection.
Hurtado, 29, played the last five seasons for the Sounders, and in his first MLS season was named a finalist for MLS Defender of the Year and was selected as an MLS All-Star. A two-time MLS Cup champion with the Houston Dynamo in 2006 and 2007, the 28-year-old Ianni joins the Fire after five seasons with the Sounders.
Both defenders were with the Sounders since the club's inaugural 2009 season in MLS, and now become part of its first real offseason overhaul after an underachieving 2013 season in Seattle.
"One of the most difficult parts of this job is losing good people," Sounders minority owner and GM Adrian Hanauer said in a statement. "Jhon and Patrick are both quality individuals who have been with our organization from the beginning. We wish them the best in Chicago."
They will join a Fire team that is being reinvented somewhat by new head coach and director of soccer Frank Yallop.
"Adding Jhon, a former Defender of the Year finalist and defensive All-Star, automatically makes our team better,” Yallop said in a statement. “Along with Patrick, we are adding valuable depth on the defensive side. While this trade addresses a key need, we thank Jalil for his time in Chicago and wish him all the best with his new club.”
Anibaba, meanwhile, made 107 appearances across all competitions for the Fire in three seasons. The 25-year-old scored five goals and added five assists.
"Jalil is a center back who has tremendous upside," said Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid in a statement. "He has been very durable and we expect him to contribute right away."