The Vancouver Whitecaps acquired Etienne Barbara's MLS rights from the Montreal Impact on Tuesday in exchange for recent Supplemental Draft pick Gienir Garcia. Barbara played for Whitecaps coach Martin Rennie while both were with the NASL's Carolina Railhawks last season, a season in which the Railhawks finished with the best regular-season record and Barbara scored 20 goals and had eight assists.
The trade comes less than a week after Barbara went public with his frustrations with the Impact over what he deemed lowball contract offers that prompted him to consider a return to his native Malta. The Impact had acquired Barbara's rights through MLS's byzantine Discovery Process, but were apparently only willing to pay him a little more than the league minimum.
"Etienne is a fast, powerful player that can create goals," said Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie. "He understands soccer in North America and has had a good career in Europe. If we are able to sign him, he will bring versatility to our line-up as a wide midfielder or a striker."
Garcia was one of the more intriguing players available in Tuesday's Supplemental Draft. The former Mexican U-20 player had previously been a member of Cruz Azul's B team and reportedly was one of the more impressive players at the MLS Combine.
For more on this trade, visit Whitecaps blog 86 Forever.