Looks like all those penalty saves that goalkeeper Nick Rimando made to help Real Salt Lake clinch its first Major League Soccer championship have given the team even more faith in him.
Team officials have traded backup goalkeeper Chris Seitz to the expansion Philadelphia Union, league sources and media reports said, in exchange for allocation money and the promise that the Union would not choose any RSL players in the expansion draft that took place Wednesday.
That means the 30-year-old Rimando will return as the starter next season, without the lingering question about when the club might hand the job to Seitz -- one of the most promising keepers in the country who's seen as a potential heir to the job with the United States national team.
Team officials also claimed forward Abe Thompson from Houston in the waiver draft, landing a potential replacement for Yura Movsisyan, who's on his way to join Randers FC in Denmark after scoring 15 goals in the past two seasons for RSL.
Thompson scored one goal in nine games for the Dynamo and Wizards last season.
But the Seitz deal was the big news, the day after RSL celebrated its championship with a parade and ceremony at the state capitol.
The team drafted the 22-year-old Seitz with the No. 4 pick of the 2007 MLS SuperDraft, but seldom found opportunity to use him in place of Rimando. Seitz played in seven league games the past three seasons.
League sources said RSL received north of $200,000 in allocation money for Seitz -- allocation money can be used to sign other players -- which was about three times as much as several teams dangled in trade offers during the season. Team officials and Seitz all declined to comment until the league officially approves the deal.