The busy offseason for the Seattle Sounders FC continues.
On Monday, the team added a new defender – Marc Burch via the re-entry draft – and said so long to three players – Nate Jaqua, Pat Noonan and Erik Friberg.
Burch, a former member of D.C. United, was taken with the first overall pick. The Sounders, who were to pick 14th, acquired the top spot by trading a third round selection in the 2014 SuperDraft to the Vancouver Whitecaps for the right to swap positions.
Burch is a six-year veteran with 103 career appearances, including 81 starts. He played in 17 matches, starting 11, in 2012. The 27-year-old has three goals and 10 assists in his MLS career and played under Sounders coach Sigi Schmid with the Columbus Crew in 2006.
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The Sounders and Burch still must agree to terms, and if no deal can be reached, the team would hold a right of first refusal.
“Acquiring Marc Burch is good for our club,” Schmid said in a press release. “He can play the left side, either left back or left midfield, or center back. He helps us replace the loss of Tyson Wahl (traded to Montreal).”
Jaqua and Noonan were each taken in the re-entry draft. The New England Revolution grabbed Jaqua with the second overall pick, and Noonan was taken by the Los Angeles Galaxy in the only pick of the third round.
The team announced Friberg had been transferred to Malmo FF of Sweden’s top flight. Per MLS and club policy, terms of the transfer were not disclosed.
Friberg, a native of Gotteborg, Sweden, signed with Seattle last December after playing five seasons in Sweden. Sounders general manager Adrian Hanuaer said the timing was the result of Friberg’s desire to be near his family.
“Erik is starting a young family, and he feels it would be best to do so close to home,” Hanauer said. “This move enables the couple to be near their families and have the proper support.”
Friberg, 25, started 23 regular-season matches and appeared in 26. He had one goal and two assists.
“It’s been a fantastic year for me, one that I will never forget,” he said in a release issued by the team. “I want to thank my teammates, the coaches, the club officials and our supporters for all their help and encouragement.”
Jaqua, 30, made 66 appearances in his three seasons with Seattle. He was named the 2010 U.S. Open Cup Player of the Tournament for his five goals in four games, and scored at least one goal in all three Open Cup title runs. Jaqua had a career-high nine goals and seven assists in his first season with Seattle in 2009.
“Obviously we wish Nate well in New England. It’s unfortunate he won’t be back with our team, but this is a fresh opportunity for him,” Schmid said.
Noonan, 31, joined Seattle in 2010 and made 21 appearances in two injury-marred seasons. Noonan played in 17 matches in all competitions in 2011 and assisted on the winning goal in Seattle’s historic CONCACAF Champions League victory at Mexico’s CF Monterrey. He has scored 41 goals and has 33 assists in 173 appearances over his nine-year MLS career.