The Portland Timbers have taken Steve Zakuani with the No. 2 pick in the MLS re-entry draft. Also, the Sounders lost defender/midfielder Marc Burch to Colorado, who selected him with the 13th pick.
A total of five players were drafted Thursday, the most in Stage 1 of the Re-Entry Draft in the four years the league has conducted the process. The other players selected were defender Sean Franklin by the D.C. United with the first pick, center back Bobby Boswell by D.C. with the 2oth pick and midfielder Corben Bone by Philadelphia with the sixth pick.
The Timbers struck a deal with Chivas USA to get in position to take Zakuani just minutes before the draft. Portland swapped the 17th pick and defender Andrew Jean-Baptiste to the Goats for the No. 2 pick and midfielder/defender Jorge Villafina.
In Portland, Zakuani will be reunited with his college coach, Caleb Porter. Porter coached Zakuani at Akron, including the 2008 season when Zakuani was the runner-up for the Hermann Trophy.
This is the first stage of the re-entry Process, when clubs can claim players by exercising their current options or extending them a bona fide offer as stipulated by the CBA.
Players that go unselected in the first stage will then be available for the second stage that will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 18 at 3 pm ET, also via conference call. Accordig to league rules, teams will have seven days to make a bona fide offer to the players they select in Stage 2 and if an agreement can't be reached, the club will hold the right of first refusal for that player in MLS.
Any players not picked up after Stage 2 become available to any MLS club on a first-come, first-served basis.