Before one even had time to say soccer, the second phase of Wednesday's inaugural Major League Soccer re-entry draft was complete and both Union players on the chopping block have split.
Union goalkeeper Chris Seitz and midfielder Fred were taken during proceedings that lasted just 14 minutes from start to finish and were open to all 18 MLS clubs.
Seitz, 26, was originially claimed by the Seattle Sounders in a move that seemingly makes way for the Union to announce reported contract negotiations with Colombian keeper Faryd Mondragon. Mondragon, 39, currently under contract for FC Koln (Cologne) in the German Bundesliga, is free to leave the club upon the Dec. 20 winter break. Late last night, Seattle shipped Seitz off to FC Dallas in exchange for a fourth-round draft pick in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft.
Just seconds after being selected, Seitz posted on Twitter, "Hello there, Seattle." Late last night, however, Seitz was beating the Twitter drum again in response to his trade saying: "i had to wait a while to say this but . . . HELLO THERE DALLAS!"
Seitz arrives in the Lone Star State with a six-figure salary, much of which was covered by MLS/adidas given his Generation adidas status. While it's not certain if FC Dallas will attempt to match the $135,500 in guaranteed money Seitz claimed this year, it does have the option to adjust that number in its favor as the clock runs on the draft's 7-day deadline. FC Dallas also boasts MLS All-Star goalkeeper Kevin Hartman.
"It's a learning process for all of us, and for Chris it was a difficult year," said Union manager Peter Nowak via conference call. "Because of his [Generation adidas] status last year, he wasn't on our books, [but] we invested a lot of time and patience and we believed that, at the end of the day, he would stay with us. Next year is his last year in his contract so we'll see what will happen. It could happen that he will be in the re-entry draft again next year if he doesn't come to the expectations everybody is putting on him."
As for Fred, 31, it's New England that answered the call. Selected in the second round, the Brazilian midfielder, who was expected to become a catalyst in central midfield for the Union, accounted for just four goals and added an assist in the 24 matches he started this season. Fred came to the Union in a trade with D.C. United just prior to last January's MLS SuperDraft.
Nowak also spoke in detail about the Union's financial situation and revealed a continued quest in finding a legitimate designated player. Though it was not specified, Nowak appeared annoyed that former Red Bull New York forward Juan Pablo Angel had his rights retained by Los Angeles, forming MLS' version of the Big 3 - on paper anyway - joining Galaxy stars David Beckham and Landon Donovan.
"I'm wondering, you've got three big guns in L.A. right now, how are you going to accommodate three players [currently collecting] over $1 million salary each? Are the rest of the players going to be on peanuts? I don't think this is the way to do the [roster] structuring. It's not my business, but I'm looking at my books and looking at everybody's books and I'm scratching my head as to how it's going to happen . . . It's not just about quality, but you also have to be realistic with your expectations."