Crew acquires Herron from Chicago, selects three at MLS SuperDraft
COLUMBUS, Ohio - In a major draft-day trade, the Columbus Crew acquired explosive Costa Rican forward Andy Herron from the Chicago Fire, in exchange for forward Ryan Coiner and the Crew's first-round selection (No. 2 overall) in Friday's 2007 MLS SuperDraft at Indianapolis. Held in conjunction with the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Convention at the Indiana Convention Center, the draft was attended by a boisterous throng of nearly 80 black and gold-clad Crew fans and its first hour was televised live on ESPN2.
The Crew later selected highly touted and versatile University of California-Irvine forward Brad Evans in the second round (No. 15 overall), followed by a pair of fourth rounders, University of San Francisco forward Aaron Chandler at No. 41 and University of North Carolina forward Ben Hunter at No. 49.
"I think we improved our team significantly today," said General Manager Mark McCullers. "We really added some capacity to our attack in picking up Andy Herron. At the same time, we opened up a roster spot and cleared cap space by trading Ryan Coiner and we still have not compromised our ability to sign a Designated Player or a maximum-salary player. I am extremely pleased to have been able to accomplish all of that with our first-round pick."
Herron, 28, has spent the last two-plus seasons in Chicago, totaling 15 goals and three assists in 44 games. He was the Fire's top goal scorer in 2006, with nine, after tallying twice in 2005 and four times in four games in 2004, after signing late that season.
Prior to that, Herron played two seasons (2002-04) for Club Sport Herediano of the Costa Rican First Division, which he helped to the Torneo Clausura title in 2004 while also leading the league in scoring with 14 goals and 13 assists. He spent 1997-2001 with Deportiva Limonense in the Costa Rican First and Second divisions, helping it to a top-flight title in 2001. Herron has represented his country 19 times at the international level and scored four goals.
Evans, a 21-year-old native of Phoenix, Ariz., scored 31 goals in 75 career collegiate games at UC-Irvine, including a career-high 11 as a junior in 2005. He was named Big West Offensive Player of the Year and All-Big West First Team in both 2005 and 2006, Big West Midfielder of the Year in 2004 and NSCAA All-Far West Region second team (2005).
Chandler, a 23-year-old native of Riverside, Calif., scored 28 goals in 75 career games at USF, including 12 as sophomore in 2004, when he was named the West Coast Conference Player of the Year. He was an All-West Coast Conference Second Team selection the following year.
Hunter, a 21-year-old native of Doncaster, England, spent two seasons at North Carolina following a stellar two-year career at the University of Rio Grande (Ohio). As a junior at UNC, he led the Tar Heels in scoring with 31 points, on 13 goals and five assists. At Rio Grande from 2003-04, Hunter totaled 43 goals and 17 assists in two seasons and led the Redmen to the NAIA national title in 2003.
"I am very pleased," said Crew Head Coach Sigi Schmid. "We picked up a proven MLS forward in Andy Herron, a tremendous young talent in Brad Evans and, in Chandler and Hunter, two more players with future potential."
Coiner tallied one assist in six games in his lone season with the Crew.
The Columbus Crew is Ohio's Major League Soccer club, anchoring a diverse sports and entertainment enterprise. One of the league's Charter Members, it will open its 12th season overall and ninth in first-of-its-kind Columbus Crew Stadium on Saturday, April 7, when it plays host to the Eastern Conference-rival New York Red Bulls.
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Major League Soccer Stories from January 12, 2007
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- Rapids Make Nico Colaluca Their First Pick in the 2007 MLS SuperDraft - Colorado Rapids
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