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Jan. 20, 2006

Columbus deals ex-St. John's star


By Dylan Butler and Michael Lewis Editors

Philadelphia -- In what surely kicks off a flurry of trades league-wide announced Friday, the Columbus Crew have dealt former St. John's All-America defender/midfielder Chris Wingert and goalkeeper Matt Jordan to the Colorado Rapids for a conditional draft pick and a third rounder, according to sources.

The Crew also was ready to pull the trigger on another trade, sending midfielder Kyle Martino, one-time rookie of the year, to Houston (formerly the San Jose Earthquakes) for midfielder Danny O'Rourke, sources said.

These deals are expected to be announced at Friday's MLS SuperDraft.

New Columbus coach Sigi Schmid was looking to make some room under the salary cap, sources said, and the Crew have certainly been busy of late. The team has gotten rid of Edson Buddle, Wingert, Jordan, Martino and Chris Henderson already in a fire sale of sorts.

For Wingert, the 2003 Hermann Trophy winner, it will be a chance to reunite with close friend Kyle Beckerman and former Crew assistant coach John Murphy, who is in the same role under Rapids coach Fernando Clavijo.

Jordan should start in Colorado with Joe Cannon being dealt to Kansas City, according to the Denver Post.

Last year, Wingert, a native of Babylon, L.I. who played for the U.S. Under-23 National Team, started 20 of 27 games for the Crew after 16 starts and 22 appearances in his rookie campaign.

Wingert has played multiple positions on the field, both in the midfield and in the back. He was selected in the second round (12th overall) in the 2004 MLS SuperDraft.

In other developments, former Kansas City Wizards star Prekiu is in the final stages of negotiations to become assistant coach to C.D. Chivas USA coach and former MetroStars coach Bob Bradley, sources said.

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