[MLS TRANSACTIONS]To strengthen its quest to reach MLS Cup for the first time, Seattle has acquired a player who has played in three such occasions.
Scottish-born midfielder Adam Moffat, who played in the last two championship games with Houston as well as the 2008 final with Columbus, has rejoined head coach Sigi Schmid in a trade with the Dynamo. Moffat, 27, helped Schmid and the Crew win the 2008 title, after which Schmid took the Seattle job and Moffat wound up in Texas.
In exchange the Dynamo has received midfielder Servando Carrasco and a 2014 natural second-round SuperDraft pick. Acquiring Moffat gives the Sounders another defensive midfielder to join Shalrie Josephand Osvaldo Alonso, and strips Houston of one of its key players the past few seasons.
“I have known Adam since 2007, when I brought him to the Crew,” said Schmid in a release announcing the trade. “He was a member our MLS championship team in Columbus and brings a fantastic attitude, has experience running the midfield and a great shot from distance. Although it is difficult to see Servando leave, I am excited to welcome Adam to our team.”
Moffat has scored 12 goals and six assists in 110 league appearances for the Crew, Portland and Houston. In playoff action he’s played 10 games, scoring one goal and registering one assist.
This season Moffat has set career highs for appearances (26), starts (24) and goals (3). He came to MLS via the discovery process after playing in Scotland for Elgin City and Ross County.
Carrasco, 25, was drafted by the Sounders out of Cal-Berkeley in 2011 and has played 40 games (22 starts) for Seattle. He played 19 games (13 starts), scored one goal, and recorded one assist for the Sounders this season.
“Days like today are bittersweet, as we lose a fantastic teammate and member of the Sounders family,” said sporting director Chris Henderson in a statement. “That said, we are very excited to bring Adam to Seattle. He has been a part of three MLS Cup final teams and brings tremendous experience to our club.”
Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnearraised the possibility that Carrasco could play on the flank or in the middle for Houston, which is clinging to a fifth-place tie with New England and is also playing in the Concacaf Champions League.
Carrasco joins a makeover during which Houston has acquired its first youth Designated Player, midfielder Alex Lopez, and Jamaican forward Jason Johnson, drafted out of VCU, has begun to see regular playing time.
Lopez recently earned his first MLS assist, setting up Johnson for his first goal, but otherwise last week was a disaster: a 2-0 loss to Columbus and a 4-1 thrashing at home by New York.
“They’re learning on the job as far as MLS goes and what we expect of our players, but I’ve thought they’ve done OK,” Kinnear told MLSSoccer.com. “They’re not overawed by the occasion.”
Of Carrasco, a two-way midfielder who struggled to get significant playing time on a talented roster, Kinnear said in statement, “Servando is a smart player who’s versatile and good on the ball. We also think he is a good player in MLS who can really help us endure a busy schedule. With the games we've seen him play for Seattle, he can play central or he can play wide.”
Midseason moves helped revive Houston the past two seasons and propel it into consecutive MLS Cups. With just two wins in the last seven games and none in the last four, the Dynamo has “bubble team” written all over it, so once again, something had to be done.
Moffat played the full 90 minutes when Houston beat Seattle, 3-1, on Aug. 17. The Dynamo hasn’t won a game since and heads into the home stretch without one of the driving forces of its recent success.
Houston fans must prepare themselves for the possibility one of their key contributors in 2011 and 2012 might help another team reach the summit in 2013.