Marcelo Balboa
Metros get Serna for Chung, Balboa for draft pick
January 11, 2002 (Official Press Release)

The MetroStars today acquired two of Major League Soccer's biggest stars, landing the league's second-leading scorer, Diego Serna, as well as three-time U.S. World Cup defender Marcelo Balboa during two trades with Colorado conducted during today's MLS Dispersal and Allocation Drafts in New York City.

The Dispersal and Allocation Drafts were held as a result of the contraction earlier this week of both the Miami Fusion and Tampa Bay Mutiny.

Miami's Serna, the league's leading point producer (31 goals, 25 assists, 87 points) over the past two seasons, was acquired after the MetroStars traded midfielder Mark Chung and two draft picks to the Rapids in exchange for the fourth overall pick in the allocation draft. The MetroStars used that selection to pick up Serna, who this past year became only the second player in league history to collect 15 goals and 15 assists in a season.

As part of that trade, the MetroStars also sent the Rapids a second-round pick and a third-round pick (originally acquired from Colorado in a trade for Ross Paule earlier this year) in this year's 2002 MLS SuperDraft.

Soon after that deal, the MetroStars sent their own third-round pick in the 2002 SuperDraft to Colorado in exchange for Balboa, a five-time MLS All-Star and one of the most decorated players in U.S. soccer history.

Using the sixth pick in the dispersal draft, the MetroStars also picked up the right to select third overall in the 2002 SuperDraft, a draft slot which originally belonged to Tampa Bay. The MetroStars passed on each of their subsequent picks in the Dispersal Draft.

"We're obviously thrilled with what we were able to accomplish today," said MetroStars General Manager Nick Sakiewicz. "To be able to add a potent scorer like Diego Serna to a lineup with Clint Mathis and Rodrigo Faria, and then to get a born leader like Marcelo Balboa, one of the best defensive players in American history, makes us a substantially better team.

"Let me add, also, that while we're very excited to add these players, we will miss Mark Chung. He was a great player for us, as well as a great person, but we obviously had to trade value to get value in return. Everyone in our organization wishes him nothing but the best in Colorado."

During his four-year MLS career, the 28-year-old Serna has registered 52 goals and 36 assists (140 points) in 100 games. Balboa, who twice won the Rapids' Honda MVP Award and the team's Defender of the Year trophy over the past six seasons, collected five goals and a career-high six assists from his sweeper position in 2001, becoming the first defender in league history to notch 20 goals and 20 assists (24 goals, 23 assists) in a career.

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