Midfielder Ryan Smith heads to Chivas

Updated: November 21, 2011, 6:45 PM ET
By Scott French | ESPNLosAngeles.com

LOS ANGELES -- Chivas USA bolstered its midfield attack during Major League Soccer's four-hour trade window Monday, sending a pair of supplemental draft picks to Sporting Kansas City for Englishman Ryan Smith.

Smith, 25, whose career began with Arsenal, played 26 games in 2010 for K.C., scoring three goals with seven assists, and he featured in six matches this season after returning from offseason knee surgery, then returned to England in June because of family reasons and went on trial with Spain's Real Zaragoza in July.

Chivas coach Robin Fraser said he and assistant Greg Vanney have had their eyes on Smith "for the majority of the year."

"He's definitely a dangerous attacking player," Fraser said. "I think he's difficult for defenders to deal with 1-on-1. He certainly adds something a little different to our attacking group."

Smith, an English youth national-teamer from 2002 through 2006, has played for English clubs Leicester City, Derby County, Millwall, Southampton and Crystal Palace.

The Goats gave up first- and third-round picks in January's supplemental draft.

The short window for trades preceded Monday's deadline for clubs to submit protected lists for Wednesday's expansion draft. The Montreal Impact, who begin MLS play next season, will select 10 unprotected players from the other 18 rosters.

Forward Tristan Bowen, who is on loan to Roeselare in Belgium, is exempt from the expansion draft as a Home Grown Player. Second-year midfielder Blair Gavin and rookie defender Zarek Valentin also are exempt unless they "graduate" from the Generation adidas program. No word yet on that, but Gavin is more likely to move on to a senior roster designation than is Valentin.

The list of protected players will be released Monday afternoon.

Scott French covers soccer for ESPNLosAngeles.com.

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