Just a day after winning the 2010 MLS Cup, the Colorado Rapids began making offseason moves to ensure another quality run next season.
On Monday, the Rapids traded defenders Julien Baudet and Danny Earls to the Seattle Sounders in exchange for midfielder Peter Vagenas.
Vagenas, 32, started all seven MLS regular season games in which he played, and also participated in three of the Sounders’ CONCACAF Champions League matches.
The Pasadena, Calif. native, known for his distribution and ability to keep the game flowing, saw limited action in 2010 due to a quadriceps strain, but arrives in Colorado with a proven track record. Vagenas has participated in 202 regular season matches, and won two MLS Cups (2002, '05) and the 2005 US Open Cup with Los Angeles.
The veteran should be an important addition to the club as the team readies to participate in the 2011-12 edition of the CONCACAF Champions League.
[inline_node:312851]On the other end, Seattle receive an experienced, physical center back in 31-year-old Baudet (right), and a young left back in 21-year-old Earls.
Baudet, whose career took him through France and England before landing with the Rapids in 2009, participated in 22 games this season (14 starts), including second-half appearances in all four postseason matches.
The Frenchman leaves Colorado with one goal scored in 28 games played since coming to the league in July of last year.
In his first year in MLS, Earls started the season as first-choice left back for Colorado. Midway through 2010, however, the Irish defender and former USL-2 Rochester Rhinos player lost a grip on the spot, which eventually went to Rapids’ midseason signing Anthony Wallace.
In all, Earls made 15 starts in 18 games for the Rapids, with his last participation coming as a substitute against Dallas on Oct. 9.
Seattle’s move to let go of a veteran midfielder to gain two defenders could be in anticipation of losing one or two of their solid core of defenders to expansion clubs Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps in the upcoming Expansion Draft.