A complex swap deal between the New England Revolution and the Colorado Rapids, which has been in the works for several days now, finally reached fruition Thursday.
The Revs send the rights to midfielders Jeff Larentowicz and Wells Thompson to Colorado in exchange for defender Cory Gibbs, net-minder Preston Burpo, allocation money and a third-round draft pick in 2011.
After his contract with the club expired at the end of 2009, New England failed to reach a new deal with Larentowicz. The 26-year-old sought a deal abroad, but a lingering knee injury helped scupper those chances for the time being.
Assuming Larentowicz decides to stay in Major League Soccer, the Rapids would have to come to a financial agreement with him.
Wells Thompson will likely provide cover in the wide midfield roles after Colorado dealt Jacob Peterson to Toronto FC for an undisclosed amount of allocation money.
"This is a player that Preki has been wanting for some time," said TFC director of soccer Mo Johnston. "We're looking forward to bringing him into camp and getting him working with the rest of the players."
The 23-year-old joined the Rapids in 2006 and was named the club's rookie of the year for that campaign.
As for New England, coach Steve Nicol sees his defensive options increased with the swap deal. Burpo, a 37-year-old goalkeeper, has first-team experience with Chivas USA and Colorado and will anchor the defense with first-choice goalkeeper Matt Reis unlikely to recover from a shoulder injury until May.
Gibbs can slot in at left back or central defense, offering pace and experience (Gibbs is 30 and has international experience with the U.S.) to a youthful back line.