LA began their day early as the club traded an international roster slot for the 2013 season and the club’s natural first round selection in next month’s Supplemental Draft in exchange for the number two slot in Friday’s Stage Two of the Re-Entry Draft.
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According to Galaxy head coach and general manager Bruce Arena the move was made solely so that LA could acquire versatile midfielder Colin Clark with the second pick. A round later, the Galaxy would pick up veteran goalkeeper William Hesmer, effectively ending their draft. LA will have seven days to make a genuine offer to Hesmer and Clark. Even if an agreement cannot be reached, LA will still hold the right of first refusal for both players.
“In both cases, it’s to give us experienced players in their particular positions,” said Arena during a teleconference with local reporters. “Obviously, right now, we have a little bit of a void in the midfield with some players departing and Colin is an experienced player in the league and we’re hopeful that he can come in and add something different to our team and give us depth.
“Will is an experienced goalkeeper in the league,” Arena said of Hesmer. “We have not yet re-signed Josh Saunders so Will is an option for us as we move ahead.”
Clark, 28, spent the last two-and-a-half years with the Houston Dynamo making 44 appearances in MLS regular season and postseason play while scoring five goals and adding three assists.
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Meanwhile, the 31-year-old Hesmer served as the Columbus Crew’s number one ‘keeper from 2007 to 2011 and was a key factor in the Crew’s consecutive Supporters’ Shield winning teams in 2008 and 2009 as well as their MLS Cup 2008 winning side. However, Hesmer missed the entire 2012 season after undergoing a hip procedure in April, but Arena insisted that the goalkeeper is healthy and ready to play.
Arena and the Galaxy were not done there as they dealt forward Edson Buddle to the Colorado Rapids for a first-round Supplemental Draft pick and allocation money. Buddle was limited to just 28 appearances in all competitions during the 2012 season after undergoing right knee surgery in May. Although the 31-year-old forward scored just three goals in 2012 with a single assist, Arena confirmed that the trade was due to salary concerns.
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“It’s unfortunate and in a perfect world, Edson would still be part of our team. The reality of MLS is that it is not a perfect world,” said Arena. “We have salary cap restrictions and other obligations that we need to adhere to. Unfortunately, as is the case every year, you’ve got to make moves to maintain the integrity of your salary cap.”
Although the Galaxy were one of the more active sides on Friday, also losing Chad Barrett to New England and Bryan Jordan to San Jose in the Re-Entry Draft, with more than a month away from the 2013 MLS SuperDraft, Arena has no plans to stop looking for ways to improve the club ahead of next season.
“Whether there’s activity or not remains to be seen, but you’re constantly looking at ways to improve yourself whether that is before the draft or after the draft,” said Arena. “We’re certainly not saying that we’re content where we are and we’re not going to make any more moves. We’re certainly going to look to continually improve our team at every position.”
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/Insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com