The longest-tenured member of the Galaxy, UCLA product Pete Vagenas, was picked today by Seattle in the Expansion Draft.
Vagenas, 30, joined the Galaxy in 2000 and played more than 180 games for the club. His best season came in 2005 when he captained the club to the MLS Cup-U.S. Open Cup double, appearing in 29 of the club’s 32 games that season and scoring a career-high five goals.
But he struggled with injury problems this year – he was not scheduled to go on the club’s trip to New Zealand that begins Monday – and with a $138,0000 a year salary, Vagenas’ move will clear cap room for Coach Bruce Arena as he seeks to rebuild the team.
“Pete’s a champion,” said Seattle Technical Director Chris Henderson. “He’s a guy who has been in the battles. … He’s among the best passers of the ball in the league and probably in the history of the league. … He’s a great competitor. I think his veteran leadership is going to be very important to us.”
His move also adds further fuel to the fire that former Galaxy Coach Sigi Schmid could be reunited with Vagenas in Seattle. Another indicator: Seattle also chose Brad Evans in today’s draft.
Chivas USA was one of four teams not to lose a player.
The full list of players taken by Seattle:
Nate Jaqua (Houston Dynamo)
Nathan Sturgis (Real Salt Lake)
Jeff Parke (New York Red Bulls)
Jarrod Smith (Toronto FC)
Khano Smith (New England Revolution)
Peter Vagenas (Los Angeles Galaxy)
Tyson Wahl (Kansas City Wizards)
James Riley (New England Revolution)
Stephen King (Chicago Fire)
Brad Evans (Columbus Crew)
Seattle has another chance to add players at 1 p.m. today in a waiver draft.
BTW, Sounders FC selection Nate Jaqua will be available to play for the Dynamo in tonight’s CONCACAF Champions League game.
Also: the Galaxy announced today that Fox Soccer Channel will air live at 10:30 p.m. Dec. 5 their exhibition against the Oceania All-Stars.