JERMAINE JONES LEAVING COLORADO
The Rapids have traded Jermaine Jones’ MLS rights to the Los Angeles Galaxy for two draft picks, the team announced Tuesday.
The Rapids received the Galaxy’s first-round pick in the 2017 SuperDraft and a conditional second-round selection in 2018. Los Angeles currently holds the No. 15 overall choice in the 2017 draft, to be held Jan. 13. If it ends up with more than one first-round pick, the Rapids would get the highest choice.
“This was a difficult decision, considering what Jermaine brought to the Rapids during his time with us,” Rapids president Tim Hinchey said in a news release.
The deal does not come as a surprise as Jones has a home in Los Angeles and was seen courtside at a Lakers game last week with Galaxy general manager Peter Vagenas.
“I always said that I wanted to come to Colorado to build something with this group, and that is what we did,” Jones said in a news release. “We proved a lot of people wrong during the course of the year, and playing a part in that was very special.”
Jones played in nine regularseason games in his only season in Colorado, scoring three goals and adding two assists. He missed six games because of suspension, another three while on national team duty and then missed 16 consecutive games with a knee injury suffered July 4.
The 35-year-old U.S. international returned for the playoffs, appearing in four matches, notching an assist in 308 minutes.
Jones is currently out of contract and will need to sign a new deal with MLS in order to play for the Galaxy. Last year he earned $650,000, down from $3.05 million in 2015. He said after the season, he wanted to be back at a designated player level salary.
“With this trade, we gain a lot of flexibility and a chance to get another young prospect through the MLS SuperDraft,” Hinchey said. “During the next couple of months, we will look to continue to add talented players and further develop what is already a solid roster foundation.”
The Life of Pablo. ESPN FC’s Jeff Carlisle on Tuesday reported the Rapids have signed manager Pablo Mastroeni to a three-year contract extension. A team spokesman declined to confirm the report. Mastroeni led the Rapids to their best regular season in team history in 2016 (15-6-13), finishing second in the Supporters’ Shield race and qualifying for CONCACAF Champions League for the second time in team history. Hinchey said last month the club wanted to re-sign the long-time club legend as its manager during the offseason.
Smooth moves. The Rapids left their starting center back Jared Watts unprotected in Tuesday’s MLS Expansion Draft, but only because they knew they wouldn’t lose him. A league source confirmed Tuesday that the trades Colorado made Sunday with Atlanta United and Minnesota United both included a guarantee that the expansion teams would not select a Rapids player.
Jermaine Jones, left, scored three goals and two assists in nine games since joining the Rapids in March.