Paulo Nagamura has been traded to Sporting Kansas City for a 2012 first-round Supplemental Draft Pick. In exchange for the midfielder, Sporting sent Chivas USA the pick they had originally received for Ryan Smith last week. In essence, Nagamura and Smith were traded for one another, although it took two separate transactions to make it happen. Sporting also netted a third-round Supplemental Draft Pick in the Smith trade.
"I am very excited to join Sporting Kansas City. I watched them the entire year during their run to the conference final and I’m happy to be part of the team, add depth to the midfield and fit right in," Nagamura said in a statement. "I will work 110 percent for the team to help reach our goal of winning championships."
In Nagamura, Kansas City basically gets a poor man's version of Davy Arnaud, who was traded to the Montreal Impact on Monday. Nagamura has never displayed Arnaud's scoring touch, but has established himself as a solid box-to-box midfielder during his seven MLS seasons. The 28-year-old enjoyed his most productive spell from 2007-09 when he scored eight goals and had seven assists for Chivas USA. That performance opened the door for him to go to Mexico's Tigres, for whom he played 14 games in 2010 before returning to Chivas USA.
Nagamura has been considerably less productive since returning to MLS. In 26 appearances over two seasons, he has just one goal and one assist. This appears to be just another piece of Chivas USA coach Robin Fraser's rebuilding project, as four players from last year's team have already been traded or lost in the Expansion Draft.
For the latest updates on MLS's offseason moves, be sure to follow this StoryStream. For more insight and analysis of this move, be sure to check out Sporting KC blog The Daily Wiz and Chivas USA blog The Goat Parade.