Jed Zayner
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SJ, DC pull off trades for defenders Ward, Zayner

A flurry of player activity on Friday afternoon saw two sides looking for defensive help address their needs.

The San Jose Earthquakes acquired former US U-20 international Tim Ward from the Chicago Fire in exchange for a conditional pick in the 2011 SuperDraft. In another deal, D.C. United have acquired Columbus Crew defender Jed Zayner and a fourth-round 2011 SuperDraft pick in exchange for a 2012 second-round SuperDraft pick.

The 23-year-old Ward, who has struggled with injuries in his career, has made 55 appearances in his six years in the league. He made 25 appearances for the Fire since joining the club in 2009, but saw action in only six games this year.

“Tim is someone we think can come in and address some of our depth issues and help us right now,” Earthquakes GM John Doyle said in a statement. “He has been a quality player in this league for a number of years and we feel he will fit right in with us.”

Ward should provide cover for the Quakes, who lost rookie defender Ike Opara to a broken foot. The club estimates he will be out six to eight weeks.

San Jose travel to the Colorado Rapids on Saturday night.

Zayner arrives in DC as reinforcement for a defense that has conceded a league-high 31 goals. The 25-year-old, a member of the Crew’s 2008 MLS Cup-winning side, made eight appearances for the Crew this season.

“He is a hard working, athletic defender who will provide solid cover for us,” United GM Dave Kasper said in a statement. “We look forward to having him join us in training.”

Zayner’s acquisition is the first personnel move since United fired coach Curt Onalfo on Wednesday, replacing him with interim head coach Ben Olsen.

United face the New England Revolution on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium.