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Timbers swap Moffat for Palmer and Chabala
by Ridge Mahoney, July 22nd, 2011 12:14AM

TAGS:  houston dynamo, mls, portland timbers


[MLS] Eight months after selecting midfielder Adam Moffat in the MLS Expansion Draft, Portland has traded him to Houston. In return, the Timbers acquire midfielder Lovel Palmer -- who, like Moffat, is primarily a holding player – and defender/midfielder Mike Chabala, as well as an international slot for the remainder of the 2011 season. Houston receives Moffat and an undisclosed amount of allocation money.

“Today we acquired two experienced MLS players,” said Portland coach John Spencer in a team press release announcing the trade. “Both Palmer and Chabala give us a great deal of versatility both on the backline and in the midfield.”

Palmer, 26, is a Jamaican international who joined the Dynamo last season and played 26 league matches, scoring one goal and registering one assist. In 16 games this season he scored one goal and was among the team leaders in minutes played with 1,450. He has played 19 times for Jamaica but didn’t play in the Concacaf Gold Cup last month.

Chabala, 27, was a 2006 SuperDraft selection by Houston who was loaned to Portland, then in the USL, during his rookie season. The original member of the Dynamo, which moved to Houston from San Jose after the 2005 season, set a career high in 2010 by playing 25 games during which he scored one goal and contributed four assists. He played in seven games (two starts) this season.

Moffat, 25, had been bothered by injuries while with Portland and was unable to crack the starting lineup with Spencer fielding captain Jack Jewsbury in a central role. Moffat played 100 minutes in four substitute appearances. He came to Portland after playing 44 games in four seasons in Columbus; last year, he hit a career high with 24 appearances (23) starts and scored two goals along with one assist.

“In Adam, we’re getting a player that’s tenacious and has good  distribution in his position,” said Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear. “His qualities should add strength and depth to our midfield.”

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