The suspense of Major League Soccer’s expansion draft didn’t last long Wednesday for Seattle Sounders FC.
The club expected to lose the maximum of two players, and did – almost instantly.
The Vancouver Whitecaps used the second pick in the draft to select Sounders outside midfielder Sanna Nyassi. Then, Vancouver used the third pick to select center midfielder Nathan Sturgis.
“Sanna’s explosive speed will be missed, and his role in our Open Cup championship will be long remembered,” Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said in a press release.
“Nate was a very important player to our team last year, starting in our central midfield as we turned things around in the second half. We are disappointed to lose them both to Vancouver, and we want to thank them for their contributions to Sounders FC.”
After the Whitecaps selected Nyassi, the Sounders were allowed to remove a player from the unprotected list, and they used that on defender Patrick Ianni.
And after the draft, clubs continued adjusting their rosters. Vancouver sent Nyassi to Colorado in exchange for an international player slot. The Whitecaps and Sounders also worked a deal, with Seattle sending allocation money to Vancouver in exchange for O’Brian White, a 24-year-old forward who had been taken from Toronto in the expansion draft.
White had 33 appearances and 14 starts for Toronto over two seasons and he debuted for the Jamaica national team on Nov. 17 in a friendly against Costa Rica.
“O’Brian is a forward with good pace and size” Schmid said. “He adds another option for us in our desire to be a club that scores goals.”
Nyassi and Sturgis had just completed their second seasons with the Sounders.
Last season, Nyassi, 21, appeared in 24 games and started 14, recording two goals and three assists.
Sturgis 23, appeared in 20 games with 16 starts. He had one goal and two assists, and assumed the primary role on corner and free kicks after Freddie Ljungberg was traded to Chicago.
The Portland Timbers had opened the draft by selecting Dax McCarty, a midfielder from FC Dallas. McCarty was then traded along with allocation money to D.C. United for defender/midfielder Rodney Wallace and a fourth-round draft pick.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Don Ruiz: 253-597-8808 firstname.lastname@example.org blog.thenewstribune.com/uwsports