Sport

Impact trade Ricketts to Portland Timbers

LS

Thursday, August 09, 2012    

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JAMAICA international goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts is on the move once again.

The towering Reggae Boy is caught in a direct trade as his club Montreal Impact decided to swop him for Portland Timbers' veteran custodian, Troy Perkins, on Tuesday.

According to the online newspaper Montreal Gazzette, "the Impact decided to make a change and has acquired veteran 'keeper Troy Perkins from the Portland Timbers in exchange for Donovan Ricketts".

Impact Sporting Director Nick De Santis, in a club statement, said they were happy to add Perkins to the group and did not believe Ricketts had a long-term future with the Canadian outfit.

"We would like to thank Donovan for his services with the Impact, but we did not feel he fit into our plans moving forward," said the statement on Tuesday.

However, Portland's interim head coach and general manager Gavin Wilkinson, believes Ricketts' presence will be an "upgrade" to their squad.

Wilkinson told mlssoccer.com that Perkins is a great goalkeeper and fantastic person, but admitted that it was a unanimous decision to trade the American international.

He also pointed out that Ricketts will mentor the club's young 'keepers' Jake Gleeson and Joe Bendik, who will under-study the 6-foot-4 Jamaican.

"Ricketts has accepted that he's a mentor for those two... he is a leader," Wilkinson continued.

"When you have a guy who has played 90 internationals and travelled around like he has and has an understanding of different cultures and has been successful with many teams, we're adding to that.

"We're not taking away from it in any factor or in any way shape or form. We're actually adding leadership to this group through a player who has been there and done that," he said.

The 31-year-old Perkins, who is a MLS Goalkeeper of the Year like Ricketts, has appeared in more than 150 Major League Soccer games over seven seasons, recording 36 shutouts.

He played with DC United from 2004 to 2007 and again in 2010, before being traded to the Timbers later that year. He was named the 2006 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year and has six international caps with the United States.

Meanwhile, the 35-year-old Ricketts, who was in his first season with the Impact, spent four seasons in English soccer before coming to MLS.

He won the Goalkeeper of the Year award in 2010 while with the LA Galaxy, where he starred for three seasons before he was traded to the expansion Impact after the 2011 season.

In LA, Ricketts helped the Galaxy to two Supporters' Shields and last year's MLS Cup title. He also led the Galaxy to an MLS Cup final appearance in 2009 during which he famously came off due to injury.

Ricketts played 24 games with the Impact this season, recording nine wins. He posted his third shutout last Saturday when Montreal beat the Philadelphia Union 2-0.

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