Rapids, Wizards exchange places

The Colorado Rapids increased the number of selections they will make in Friday's MLS SuperDraft by trading the 16th overall selection to the Kansas City Wizards on Thursday in exchange for the 33rd and 36th overall picks.

Due to a series of conditions based on past trades, new Rapids head coach Fernando Clavijo had just two draft picks at his disposal prior to Thursday's deal.

Coming into the trade the Rapids held the seventh and 43rd overall selections and were conditionally scheduled to give the higher of two second-round picks (16th and 19th overall) to D.C. United as a result of the deal that sent discovery player Alberto Delgado to Colorado via D.C.

Also, as a condition of the trade that sent Rey Angel Martinez to the Rapids from the Chicago Fire, the Rapids had agreed to give the Fire a third-round pick or -- in the absence of such a pick -- a second-round selection. Prior to Thursday's trade, the Rapids had no third-round pick and were therefore due to give the Fire the 19th overall pick.

Thursday's trade alters both of the Rapids' conditional deals with United and the Fire. Since they traded away their previous highest second-round selection, the Rapids will now give United their other second-round pick, the 19th overall. Acquiring a third-round pick allows the Rapids to satisfy the conditions of the Martinez trade, meaning the Fire will now get the 36th overall pick rather than one of the Rapids' second-round picks.

The trade leaves the Rapids with three selections in Friday's draft: the 7th, 33rd and 43rd picks.

The deal puts the Wizards in a good position to follow through on their plan to add attacking players that can contribute right off the bat. Head coach Bob Gansler now has three of the first 16 selections in Friday's draft, the 11th, 15th and 16th overall. The Wizards also have the 24th and 47th overall picks available.

A fifth team may yet be affected indirectly by the Rapids-Wizards trade. If United so chooses, they may send the 19th overall pick to the MetroStars as part of a condition that states United will give the Metros a top 30 pick this year or a top 20 pick in the 2006 MLS SuperDraft.

Jason Halpin is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.

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