In perhaps the biggest trade in the brief history of Major League Soccer, the MetroStars acquired U.S. national team midfielder Mike Sorber from the Kansas City Wizards in exchange for midfielder Damian Silvera and a first-round pick in the 1998 MLS College Draft.
Sorber, 25, started 23 games for Kansas City last year, notching four goals and eight assists. He started for UNAM in the Mexican First Division in 1995, and has made 57 appearances for the national team. He was with the national team during its recent tour of China and will join the MetroStars on their five-week tour of Italy.
Silvera, who starred at Virginia under current D.C. United coach Bruce Arena, appeared in 15 games last season, with one assist.
"It is an exciting day for our club," said MetroStars GM Charlie Stillitano. "We believe we have strengthened our club with the acquisition of Mike Sorber, who is one of the country's best defensive midfielders. At the same time, it was a difficult decision to part with Damian. He was one of the first players to join the MetroStars, when he was allocated last February, and we just felt with an abundance of midfielders, it would be impossible for him to get the playing time he needs to develop. Damian will be a very good player in MLS for many years."
MetroStars coach Carlos Alberto Parreira is also enthused about the arrival of Sorber. "We believe Sorber will help us to play more of a possession-style of soccer," he said. "I remember him from the '94 World Cup as a player who can help his team win the ball and keep it moving in a positive direction. He should help Roberto Donadoni in the middle of the field.