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Norwegian exchange gains steam
by Ridge Mahoney, February 11th, 2008 6:45AM



The transfer of FC Dallas defender Chris Gbandi to Norwegian club FK Haugesund has finally been formally announced, though sources said more than a week ago he'd be sold for "about" $100,000. More moves are possible because Scandinavian leagues don't start their seasons until next month and clubs can acquire and register contracted, non-EU players until March 31.

Dallas took Gbandi with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2002 SuperDraft and after missing his rookie season because of a knee injury, he played 111 games. He was on trial at Haugesund, which plays in Norway's second division, during the 2008 MLS SuperDraft, yet the FCD coaching staff assumed he was gone and made moves accordingly.

At least one other former MLS player and perhaps another, are headed in the opposite direction. Under league rules, the last MLS club to hold their rights retains them if they come back to the league from a foreign club.

Several sources confirm former MetroStar and San Jose defender/midfielder Ramiro Corrales is headed back to MLS from Norwegian champion SK Brann. Corrales left MLS as a free agent following the 2004 season.
His MLS rights are still held by Houston, which retains players who were under contract to the old San Jose team before it headed east. However, a source confirms that San Jose and Houston have already worked out a deal to switch Corrales' rights to the new Earthquakes.

Another Norwegian second division club, Odd Grenland, has sold former Rapids defender Nat Borchers back to MLS after buying him for $100,000 three years ago. Grenland fell back into the second division last November after losing a relegation playoff to Bode/Glimt, 4-2, on aggregate. It had won a relegation playoff the previous November to stay in the top flight.

Borchers, 26, came to the first team from the Rapids PDL affiliate, Boulder Rapids Reserve, after not being picked in the 2003 SuperDraft.

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