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Sounders FC Loses Two in Expansion Draft

November 24, 2010 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Seattle Sounders FC News Release

RENTON, WASH. - Seattle Sounders FC midfielders Sanna Nyassi and Nathan Sturgis were selected today by the Vancouver Whitecaps FC with two of its 10 selections in the 2010 Major League Soccer Expansion Draft.

Nyassi, 21, was taken with the second overall pick and Sturgis, 23, the sixth. The Portland Timbers chose FC Dallas midfielder Dax McCarty with the top overall selection.

Following the selection of Nyassi, Seattle added defender Patrick Ianni to its protected list. Teams could not lose more than two players in the draft.

Nyassi was the third player signed by Sounders FC on September 5, 2008. After playing sparingly in 2009, the Gambian international blossomed in the second half of this season. He started 11 of the final 13 regular season matches on the right wing and both playoff games. Nyassi scored two goals and added three assists during the final 14 matches, and he scored both goals in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final, a 2-1 win over Columbus.

Taken in the 2008 Expansion Draft, Sturgis achieved career highs in appearances (20, including 16 starts) and minutes played (1483). A five-year veteran, he started 15 of the last 16 games in central midfield, scoring one goal, a penalty kick, and two assists.

"Sanna's explosive speed will be missed and his role in our Open Cup championship will be long remembered," said Sigi Schmid, Sounders FC head coach. "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," added Schmid, "and we want to thank them for their contributions to Sounders FC."

Nyassi, whose twin brother Sainey plays for New England, originally came to Seattle in 2008, signing with the USL-1 Sounders. He contracted malaria twice while growing up in Gambia and has served as the Sounders FC spokesman for the MLS W.O.R.K.S. Nothing But Nets campaign each season. Nyassi was named MLS W.O.R.K.S. April Humanitarian of the Month.

A U.S. youth international, Sturgis was originally drafted 12th overall by the L.A. Galaxy in the 2006 MLS SuperDraft, following two seasons at Clemson. He was traded to Real Salt Lake in 2007. His younger brother Caleb is a placekicker for the University of Florida.

2010 MLS Expansion Draft

RoundPick Team Player Pos Club

1 1 POR Dax McCarty M FC Dallas

FC Dallas protects Daniel Hernandez

1 2 VAN Sanna Nyassi M Seattle Sounders FC

Sounders FC protects Patrick Ianni

2 3 POR Eric Brunner D Columbus Crew

Columbus protects Kevin Burns

2 4 VAN Atiba Harris F FC Dallas

Maximum two players selected from FC Dallas

3 5 POR Adam Moffat M Columbus Crew

Maximum two players selected from Columbus

3 6 VAN Nathan Sturgis M Seattle Sounders FC

Maximum two players selected from Sounders FC

4 7 POR Anthony Wallace D Colorado Rapids

Colorado protects Wells Thompson

4 8 VAN Shea Salinas M Philadelphia Union

Philadelphia protects Chris Seitz

5 9 POR David Horst D Real Salt Lake

Real Salt Lake protects Collen Warner

5 10 VAN Alan Gordon F Chivas USA

Chivas USA protects Mariano Trujillo

6 11 POR Robbie Findley F Real Salt Lake

Maximum two players selected from Real Salt Lake

6 12 VAN O'Brian White F Toronto FC

Toronto FC protects Julian de Guzman

7 13 POR Peter Lowry M Chicago Fire

Chicago protects Dasan Robinson

7 14 VAN Alejandro Moreno F Philadelphia Union

Maximum two players selected from Philadelphia

8 15 POR Jonathan Bornstein D Chivas USA

Maximum two players selected from Chivas USA

8 16 VAN Joe Cannon G San Jose Earthquakes

San Jose protects Tim Ward

9 17 POR Jordan Graye D D.C. United

D.C. United protects Kurt Morsink

9 18 VAN Jonathan Leathers D Sporting Kansas City

Kansas City protects Eric Kronberg

10 19 POR Arturo Alvarez M San Jose Earthquakes

Maximum two players selected from San Jose

10 20 VAN John Thorrington M Chicago Fire

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