Crew Trade Ward for Nico

The Columbus Crew have acquired forward Nicolas Hernandez from the Colorado Rapids in exchange for Generation Adidas defender Tim Ward and a third-round pick in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft.Hernandez, 28, is coming off a down year with the Rapids in 2007, scoring just once and adding a single assist in 21 games with 17 starts. In the previous year, it was a different story, as the Argentinean forward racked up seven goals and six assists in 30 games. Nico's performance in his first year with Colorado earned him the team's MVP award.

"He is busy and a very active player who can play a number of positions," said Crew head coach Sigi Schmid. "We felt he was a dangerous player, a good acquisition, and the price was right. We think of him more as a striker, but a striker who can combine well with Guillermo (Barros Schelotto). He's going to have the ability to read what Guillermo is doing and play off that."
Ward, 21, has struggled to see playing time with the Crew defense, appearing in just six games in 2007. He has posted three assists in 30 career games going back to his days with the New York/New Jersey MetroStars in 2005. He has also represented the United States at various youth levels, including at last summer's Under-20 World Cup.

"Timmy is a player who needs to play now," said Schmid. "Looking at the options we have at outside back, we didn't think we could give him the playing time that is appropriate to what he needs."

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