TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Signing
The Colorado Rapids announced the signing of defender Tommy Smith via a transfer from English Championship side Ipswich Town on Monday, with the New Zealand international signing a two-year contract with a club option for a third season.
Smith, 27, is the seventh signing for the Rapids this winter and the third Kiwi, with Kip Colvey and Deklan Wynne also arriving in the wake of former All Whites coach Anthony Hudson taking over in Colorado.
“Bringing in someone of Tommy’s caliber along the back line was a top priority for us this offseason,” said Rapids executive VP and general manager Pádraig Smith in a club release. “His experience and leadership will be great assets for us, and we look forward to him joining us in Arizona this week for the start of preseason training camp.”
A left-footed center back who can also play fullback, Smith is a product of Ipswich’s academy who’s spent nearly the entirety of his professional career with the Tractor Boys save a few loan spells.
He holds both English and New Zealand citizenship, and began his international career with England’s youth system but switched allegiance to the All Whites ahead of the 2010 World Cup, where he played every minute of New Zealand’s three matches – all draws, against Slovakia, Italy and Paraguay – in South Africa.
“It’s a very exciting move for me both personally and professionally,” said Smith. “I’m extremely grateful to Ipswich Town for the faith they’ve shown in me over the past 11 years. I’ll certainly miss the club and its great supporters, and will carry on following their progress. I wish them the very best for the future. But looking ahead, the opportunity to join the Rapids – a club who have a very ambitious vision for the future – was too great. I look forward to playing a key role in bringing that vision to life. Our goal is to bring another MLS Cup to Colorado.”