LA trade for rights to veteran defender Hejduk

Ex-Crew, US star reunited with Arena in deal with KC for Sassano

Sporting Kansas City traded the rights to veteran Frankie Hejduk to the LA Galaxy just hours after selecting him in the Stage 2 Re-Entry Draft on Wednesday, and received the rights to former New York Red Bulls youngster Luke Sassano in return.

KC selected Hejduk with the eighth overall pick in the Re-Entry Draft but then dealt the Southern California native to the Galaxy, who had selected Sassano with the 14th overall selection.

Hejduk, 36, reunites with Galaxy boss Bruce Arena, who coached the former Columbus Crew defender at the 2002 World Cup, when Hejduk appeared in four of the team’s five games, including the quarterfinal loss to Germany. Arena also picked Hejduk for the 2006 World Cup roster, but the veteran was replaced after suffering a torn ACL before the tournament.

If he signs with Los Angeles, Hejduk will become the fifth player on the team’s roster who has appeared in a World Cup. The former Bayer Leverkusen man had the option on his contract declined by Columbus after last season, his 11th in the league and eighth with the Crew. Hejduk won an MLS Cup with the team in 2008.

Sassano, meanwhile, appeared in just three games for the New York Red Bulls last season, his third with the club. The 25-year-old defensive midfielder appeared in a career-high 18 games during his rookie season in New York in 2008 and started in the team’s MLS Cup loss that season to Hejduk and the Crew.

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