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Colorado and Dallas swap defenders
by Ridge Mahoney, September 1st, 2009 6:45AM
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[MLS] Former SMU defender Ugo Ihemelu is returning to Dallas to play for the man who coached him in college in a trade of players taken back-to-back in the 2005 SuperDraft. FC Dallas has sent defender Drew Moor, a second-round pick in the 2010 SuperDraft, and allocation money to Colorado in exchange for Ihemelu, who played for FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman at SMU.

"Ugo Ihemelu is a talented player with tremendous speed that will be a key member of our back line," said Hyndman said. "In my time here, we haven't had that natural right back we have needed and we believe Ugo will provide that for us moving forward."

Moor has played both right back and central defender at FCD, and Ihemulu has also played in the middle as well as out wide during his MLS career. A run of injuries has forced Hyndman to juggle his defenders much of the season; George John and Steve Purdy are both regaining fitness; Kyle Davies missed some time with a groin injury, and will leave the team in a few weeks to play at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt.

Ihemelu grew up in Cedar Hill, Texas, and played at SMU before being drafted by Los Angeles as the fifth overall pick in the 2005 SuperDraft. He played in all four playoff games in his rookie season as the Galaxy won the MLS Cup title, and played a total of 58 games (including playoffs) before being traded in 2007 to Colorado, for which he played 54 games. He started all 11 of his appearances for the Rapids this season.

Moor won two NCAA championships (2003, 2004) with Indiana and was claimed in the 2005 SuperDraft right after Ihemelu as the No. 6 pick by Dallas. He played 123 regular-season games and five playoff matches, scored eight goals, and registered two assists. He started 21 matches for FCD this season.

In addition to playing more than 100 games apiece in their six professional seasons, Moor and Ihemelu have represented the U.S. national team. Included in Moor's five caps are two appearances at the 2007 Copa America. Ihemelu earned his second cap earlier this year in a friendly against Sweden.

Two weeks remain until the MLS roster freeze date of Sept. 16, after no trades are permitted and teams are forbidden to add players except under extraordinary circumstances.

 



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