Seattle trade midfielder King to D.C. for draft pick

Third-year player had yet to appear for Sounders FC

Stephen King, Seattle Sounders FC

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Reserve Seattle midfielder Stephen King was traded to D.C. United for a second-round draft pick in 2011, Sounders FC confirmed today. In a move that was widely rumored on Thursday, the 24-year-old attacking midfielder should have a chance to see time in the D.C. United midfield.

King, best known in Seattle for his U.S. Open Cup heroics in 2009, had not played yet in the 2010 season. His path was blocked by a crowded Seattle midfield that included Pete Vagenas, Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans, and others. Even Nathan Sturgis surpassed him on the depth chart and was given the start in Seattle’s last match against Toronto FC.

With D.C., King joins a struggling team that has lost its first four matches. The third-year player, who grew up in New Jersey, should provide depth in the United midfield, which has been overrun in the early part of 2010.

D.C., which has struggled with injuries, has scored only two goals but has conceded 11. A creative, box-to-box midfielder, King could help. The former Maryland Terrapin scored three goals in Seattle’s march to the 2009 Open Cup title, including two game-winners.

"Stephen is a wonderful guy and we want to thank him for his contributions," said Seattle head coach Sigi Schmid in a statement. "We wish him all the best."

With the open roster space, Sounders FC on Friday also announced the official signing of Colombian Under-20 national-team forward Miguel Montaño, who has been in Seattle camp since March 17. The 18-year-old will be added to the roster now that his P-1 work permit and ITC have been received, and is eligible to play Saturday against Columbus.

On a related note, Raphael Cox, a former University of Washington player with similar attributes, is in Seattle’s camp and is being looked at as an outside back.