The Sounders continued their offseason makeover Wednesday, acquiring defender Jalil Anibaba, the eighth overall selection in the 2014 SuperDraft and a 2015 conditional third- round SuperDraft pick, from the Chicago Fire. In exchange, Seattle sent defenders Patrick Ianni, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and the 13thoverall choice in the 2014 SuperDraft to Chicago.
“One of the most difficult parts of this job is losing good people,” said Sounders GM and Adrian Hanauer. “Jhon and Patrick are both quality individuals who have been with our organization from the beginning. We wish them the best in Chicago.”
The 25-year-old Anibaba has started 93 of his 96 appearances for Chicago over the past three seasons. He started all 34 regular-season matches in 2013, scoring one goal with a career high three assists.
“Jalil is a center back who has tremendous upside,” said Sounders coach Sigi Schmid. “He has been very durable and we expect him to contribute right away.”
Anibaba was the Fire’s ninth overall pick in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft. He started 27 matches as a rookie, and appeared in 33 matches in his sophomore campaign.
Anibaba played Santa Clara University, where he earned All-West Coast Conference honors in all three seasons. He transferred to the University of North Carolina for his senior season, helping the Tar Heels to their third straight NCAA College Cup appearance while earning NSCAA Second Team All-American honors.
Ianni, 28, has spent the past five seasons with Seattle, registering 83 appearances with three goals and two assists. The Sounders acquired Ianni in a trade with the Houston Dynamo Jan. 26, 2009, where he spent the first three seasons of his professional career. Overall, Ianni has made 118 appearances (87 starts) with four goals and three assists in eight MLS seasons.
Hurtado, 29, joined the Sounders from Colombia’s Deportivo Cali in 2009. He matched his career high with 27 appearances in 2013. Overall, he made 108 appearances (103 starts) with one goal and three assists in five seasons with Seattle. Hurtado was named an MLS All-Star and finalist for MLS Defender of the Year in 2009.