Utah's new Major League Soccer team has acquired Colorado Rapids' defender Jeff Stewart in a trade with the league's other expansion team, CD Chivas USA. Chivas selected Stewart in the 10th round of last Friday's expansion draft, but gave him up to Salt Lake in exchange for a youth international player in 2005.
Real general manager Steve Pastorino said the team wanted to land Stewart in the expansion draft.
"We had our eye on Jeff," Pastorino said. "We were hoping to come away with 11 players rather than 10 in the expansion draft; we thought that might be valuable in the right situation."
Stewart, 24, is the 12th player listed on Real's roster. In his two years with the Rapids, Stewart started 27 of the 31 games he was available for. Last year, Stewart sustained a knee injury after playing in just eight games.
"We felt that we could either take a conservative rout in the draft and draft players that are very well known, or you could take some chances on some guys that have great potential," Pastorino said. Stewart, he said, falls into the second category.
"He could start for us and be a stalwart on defense," Pastorino said.
MLS teams this season will be allowed to list 28 players on their rosters. Real will fill its remaining 16 roster places with foreign player allocations, discovery options and in January's SuperDraft.