MLS: First big Kraft deal

The New England Revolution and San Jose Earthquakes, two clubs operated by the Kraft family and run by former MLS deputy commissioner Sunil Gulati, traded international defenders with Costa Rican Mauricio Wright going to San Jose for former U.S. national team defenders Mike Burns and Dan Calichman and a first-round draft selection in the 2001 draft (acquired from Tampa Bay in the trade for Mauricio Ramos). "We feel Mauricio is extremely well suited to anchor our defense," Revolution head coach Fernando Clavijo said. "He has exceptional defensive awareness, superb vision, great technical skill and tremendous speed and athleticism. He is one of the best defenders in our league. " Wright, 29, a native of San Jose, Costa Rica, started 27 games for the Earthquakes last season, making the Soccer America Team of the Week 11 times last season. He earned the Guatemalan Player of the Year award, leading Communicaciones to the league championship in 1998. He played for seven seasons with Saprissa of Costa Rica, leading the club to two league titles and two CONCACAF club titles. Both Burns and Calichman have New England roots. Burns grew up in the Boston suburbs, while Calichman attended D3 Williams. Burns, a starter on the 1998 U.S. World Cup team, and Calichman, who has also played with the U.S., will be in uniform for the Earthquakes' match this Saturday at Spartan Stadium against the Colorado Rapids. "It's a very good trade," Earthquakes Coach Lothar Osiander said. "One (Calichman) will replace Wright at defender and the other (Burns) will move into the midfield. We get a No. 1 pick for the future and we get two starters for one in the present, and that's a good deal. I saw this as a good chance to upgrade the team in terms of getting two starters who can make an immediate difference." Both players have ties to Osiander. Burns played for him in the 1992 Olympics and Calichman played for him with the Los Angeles Galaxy in 1996 and 1997. Burns, 5-foot-9, 160 pounds and 29 years old, was a member of the U.S. World Cup squads in 1994 and 1998. He earned 75 caps for the U.S. National Team from 1992-98. He also competed in the U-17, U-20 World Championships and Olympics, the only player to play in all four competitions. He was an original member of the New England Revolution and an MLS All-Star in 1996 and 1998. In 1997, he was the only MLS player to play every minute of every game. He was a four-year captain of the Revolution. Burns played in eight matches for the Revolution in 2000, starting two. In his five-year career, he has 108 appearances (99 starts), three goals and 15 assists. Calichman, 6-foot, 180 pounds and 32 years old, was a three-year captain for the Galaxy (1996-98) and helped Los Angeles to the MLS Cup final in 1996. He was also an MLS All-Star that year. He was sidelined for much of the 1998 season by a broken right leg. He was traded to the Revolution prior to the 1999 season. Calichman made three appearances for the U.S. National Team in 1997. He was the first American to play in the J-League (1991-93). He made four appearances (four starts) for New England in 2000. In his five-year MLS career, Calichman has made 97 appearances (97 starts) and has one assist.
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