Gutierrez is acquired by Chicago, sending John to Kansas City.
(Wednesday, January 11, 2006) -- Diego Gutierrez feels like he's going home.
The Kansas City Wizards traded veteran midfielder Diego Gutierrez to the Chicago Fire today, receiving midfielder Will John and a 2006 second-round draft pick, the 19th overall, in return.
Gutierrez was an original member of the expansion Chicago team and played with the Fire for its first four seasons (1998-2001). John also will experience a homecoming. He is a native of the Kansas City area, growing up in Overland, Kans..
"I missed everything about (Chicago). From the minute we left Chicago, it was always the idea for myself and my family to come back and settle there," Gutierrez told the MLS web site. "I feel there's no better place to play soccer. I truly believe that the fans in Chicago are not only the best fans, but also the most passionate."
John, who played six games, starting two, in his 2005 rookie season, also expressed excitement about the deal. Growing up in Overland Park, John made frequent trips to Arrowhead Stadium to see the Wizards play, starting in the league's inaugural 1996 season. His father Emilio John has been the team's chiropractor since its inaugural season.
"I'd like to thank everybody at (the Wizards) organization that has given me this chance," Will John told the web site. "This is, obviously, a dream for me. It's pretty important to me now to be able to play here at home in front of my family and friends. I looked up to other players when I was here (growing up), and hopefully, eventually, people can look up to me. I think it's a good place for me to grow and I think it's a place where I can succeed."
Gutierrez came to Chicago in 1998 following two major knee injuries, and he wound up playing 13 games, eight of them starts. For the next three years, he was a fixture in the starting lineup. He had six goals and 26 assists in his tenure with the Fire, including 13 assists in 2000.
Gutierrez began his career in Kansas City and was a starter for the then-Wiz throughout the first MLS season before being felled by his knee ailments. He was also a regular for K.C. from 2002-05.
In nine MLS seasons -- he missed all of 1997 -- Giutierrez has played 208 regular-season matches, starting 188, and produced 10 goals and 39 assists. His one goal in 35 playoff games was a big one -- he netted the second tally in Chicago's 2-0 triumph over D.C. United in the MLS Cup '97 final.
Fire coach Dave Sarachan envisions using Gutierrez in the left midfield or defense, though he could fill in centrally. "We're thrilled to welcome Diego back to the Chicago Fire family," Sarachan said on the MLS web site. "In getting Diego back, we're getting a known quantity. He's a competitor and a versatile player that will provide us with a number of positional options this year. Not most importantly, but still very importantly, he's going to bring us additional experience in leadership both on and off the field. He's a player that, quite frankly, knows what it takes to win. He's been a part of championship teams and that's so critical when you're building your roster."
John, who is naturally left-footed, had three goals and two assists in his six appearances in Chicago.
"We feel he's a very versatile player in his attacking abilities," Wizards assistant coach Brian Bliss said on the web site. "He can play wide left, he can be an internal midfielder in an attacking role -- what he did at St. Louis (University) and sometimes for the (United States) under-20s. He can play the attacking guy as a second forward. He can do all three of those things very well. Attacking players don't grow on trees. We can make defenders pretty easily,
"The other thing that's attractive about Will is his left foot. Couple those things together -- his creativity, his attacking ability and his left foot -- it gives you a pretty potent package."
Columbus Crew: Gonzalez, Kitamirike are added
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Columbus Crew announced today the signings of a pair of defenders -- Chilean central back Marcos Gonzalez and Joel Kitamirike, a Ugandan from England.
Both deals are pending approval of their work permits. Gonzalez, 25, will be classified as a senior international and Kitamirike, 21, a youth international.
Gonzalez is a 6-foot-2 central defender who be asked to replace the retired Robin Fraser. He has made five appearances with Chile's national team, and has played in the Chilean First Division (Palestino 2005, Universidad de Chile 1999-2003) and the Argentine First Division (Colon de Santa Fe 2003-2005).
"We are very excited to sign Marcos," Columbus coach Sigi Schmid said in a team press release. "He was heavily pursued by Universidad Catolica as their primary target for the upcoming Copa Libertadores, but chose to join the Crew. We were looking for a central defender to replace Robin and to continue to help with the development of Chad Marshall and we found that in Gonazalez. He has some great experience but is a young player who should have many good years ahead of him in this league."
Kitamirike was born in Uganda, but moved to England when he was four. He was in the youth system of Chelsea of the English Premier League from 2001-2004 and played for Dundee of the Scottish First Division in 2004-2005.
"Joel is a versatile defender who was here for our mini-camp in November," Schmid said. "He can play centrally or on the right and is a young player with great potential."
MetroStars: Lalas is unhappy about Guevara
SEACAUCUS, N.J. -- MetroStars president and general manager Alexi Lalas expressed displeasure that midfielder Amado Guevara played an exhibition match with Motahua, his former club in his native Honduras, the New York Daily News reported.
The MetroStars allowed Guevara to train with Motagua and he set up two goals in a 5-3 victory over Alajuelense of Costa Rica Sunday.
Lalas told the Daily News that Guevara wants to play for Montagua until the Metros begin their season April 2, but that is in violation of his contract.
Lalas told the Daily News that he expects Guevara to report to training camp when it starts February 1. "If Amado Guevara plays (with Motagua), it is without permission from the MetroStars or MLS, let alone (world governing body) FIFA," he said. "I'm certainly not happy. I'm a little irritated and a little frustrated. Our organization has bent over backwards to accommodate Amado Guevara because of the incredible talent he has on the soccer field, (but) Amado is no bigger than any other player on the team and he certainly is no bigger than this team."
"We're not going to bend over and kiss his butt at the expense of having a solid MetroStars team for 2006."
Guevara was unhappy when the MetroStars blocked his plans to try out with Blackburn in the English Premiership in December and the Honduran has reportedly been discussed in trade talks since.
Chicago Fire: Herron suspended for six games
NEW YORK - It took awhile, but Chicago Fire striker Andy Herron was suspended today for six games without pay for his behavior that led to a red card in a 1-0 loss to the New England Revolution November 6 in the Eastern Conference championship match.
Accrding to the MLS Soccer Disciplinary Committee, Herron was disciplined for making "unacceptable physical contact" with the referee Terry Vaughn and assistant referee George Gansner, conduct that led to him being sent off in stoppage time. Adding to the severity of his punishment was the fact that Herron returned to the field after the game.
Herron has the right to appeal under the MLS players' collective bargaining agreement.
D.C. United: Boswell gets U.S. call-up
WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 11, 2006) -- D.C. United defender Bobby Boswell, coming off his rookie season with D.C. United, received his first call-up to a U.S. men's training camp.
Boswell was scheduled to join United midfielders Freddy Adu, Brian Carroll, and Ben Olsen, and striker Santino Quaranta at a training camp in Carson, Calif. today.
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