Pope traded to Real Salt Lake for an allocation
February 1, 2005

Break out the mormons. First Clint Mathis, and now this. The MetroStars have traded Eddie Pope to expansion Real Salt Lake for an allocation and conditional draft picks. Pope, who made the league max, was MetroFanatic's Metro of the Year in his first year with the team, 2003. But he greatly regressed last year, missing a lot of time with injuries and national team duty -- and when he did play, the Metros did not do well, allowing .7 goals a game more (1.83 vs 1.13) than when the supposed best American defender was not in the lineup.

The conditional draft pick situation gives the Metros a choice of taking either Salt Lake's highest 2006 SuperDraft second round pick, or swapping first round picks in this Friday's Supplemental Draft. The Metros, who previously traded their own 2006 second rounder to Real for a junior international slot, must make their decision by Thursday.

Real Salt Lake now has six former Metros on its roster: Pope, Mathis, Brian Kamler, Andy Williams, Nelson Akwari, and Pablo Brenes, plus D.J. Countess, who never played a game for Metro, but was on the squad for a number of months.

The deal, coupled with the trading of Ricardo Clark for an allocation, gives the Metros a lot of money under the salary cap and a lot of money to dabble at the foreign transfer market. Now it's time for Bob Bradley to step up and do better that what he did last year. Speaking of which, what flexibility would the Metros have if not for Sergio Galvan Rey...

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