St. Ledger parlays revival with Rapids into new contract

He wasn’t wanted in Orlando, but Irish defender Sean St. Ledger made his second MLS chance with Colorado a successful one.

The Rapids announced Thursday that St. Ledger, who had been claimed on waivers in August, had signed a new contract at undisclosed terms. According to MLS Players’ Union salary figures his 2015 MLS contract was worth $147,292.

St. Ledger, 30, played a dozen seasons in England for Preston North End, Peterborough and Leicester City before signing an MLS contract last winter to play for Orlando City. He played 15 games for the Lions but was suspended after a road game against New York City FC for missing the team’s flight back to Florida, and was waived a few days later. For the Rapids, he played 12 games, all starts, and registered two assists.

Colorado declined his contract option but has elected to bring him back, presumably at a lower salary.

St. Ledger is an Ireland international with 37 caps and three goals. He was acquired to replace defender Shane O’Neill, the U.S. U-23 defender, who left the Rapids to sign with Cypriot club Apollon Limassol. O’Neil has since moved to Belgian club Royal Mouscron.

“I am delighted to sign a new contract with the Colorado Rapids,” said St. Ledger in a team press release announcing the deal. “I moved mid-season and felt at home immediately. It will be great to have a proper preseason training camp with the group and kick-on in 2016. I am really excited with the plans the club are making for next year.”

The Rapids are re-tooling their back line, which since 2009 has been anchored by centerback Drew Moor. His contract has expired, and he’s among the first class of MLS free agents created by the Collective Bargaining Agreement that was hammered out nine months ago.

Last week Colorado identified the players whose options had been renewed and those declined. Moor was one of 10 players whose option was declined, and as a player at least 28 years old and eight years of service in the league, he is eligible for free agency.

The contract options on three international players -- Maynor Figueroa, Vicente Sanchez and Gabriel Torres -- were also declined. Colorado renewed the contracts of eight players, including keeper Clint Irwin, defender Alex Sjoberg and midfielders Sam Cronin and Dillon Serna.
 
Colorado Roster Moves:
Options renewed: G -- Clint Irwin, John Berner; D -- Joseph Greenspan, Axel Sjoberg, MF -- Sam Cronin, Jared Watts, Dillon Serna; F -- Dominique Badji.
Claimed in waiver draft: MF -- Michael Azira (Seattle).
Signed new contract: D -- Sean St. Ledger.
Options declined: D -- James Riley, Drew Moor, Sean St. Ledger, Maynor Figueroa*; MF -- Nick LaBrocca, Lucas Pittinari, Vicente Sanchez*, Carlos Alvarez*; F -- Charles Eloundou, Gabriel Torres*.
Out of contract: Drew Moor.
*Eligible for Re-Entry Draft.
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