The Philadelphia Union announced Wednesday afternoon that they have traded midfielder Kyle Nakazawa and a second-round pick in the 2013 SuperDraft to the Los Angeles Galaxy. In exchange, the Union received an international roster slot.
Nakazawa was one of the Union's many picks in its inaugural SuperDraft two years ago. He registered 2,006 minutes played in 36 games over the 2010 and 2011 seasons, including 22 starts.
He played for the United States Under-17 national team at the 2005 World Championships. Current Union assistant John Hackworth coached that squad, which also included Jozy Altidore, Omar Gonzalez and Michael and Gabriel Farfan.
Moving to Los Angeles will be a homecoming for Nakazawa, who grew up in Torrance, Calif., and played college soccer at UCLA. In fact, his home town is due west of the Home Depot Center in Carson.
Nakazawa posted a farewell message to Union fans on his Twitter feed this afternoon.
"Thank you to all the amazing fans in Philadelphia!" he wrote. "I'm really looking forward to playing in LA where I grew up and my family is!"
The Union now have nine international roster slots to use. MLS rules allow teams to have a maximum of eight international players unless they trade for additional slots if they choose.
It's noteworthy, though, that the Union currently have only seven international players on their roster. They are defenders Porfirio Lopez and Carlos Valdés; midfielders Keon Daniel, Gabriel Gomez, Nizar Khalfan and Roger Torres; and forward Josué Martinez.
So even if, as has been rumored, the Union are going to sign Colombian forward Lionard Pajoy, they still have another international slot to play with. It will be interesting to see what the Union do with it.