The LA Galaxy today acquired forward Clint Mathis from the New York Red Bulls in exchange for the club's natural third round pick in the upcoming 2008 MLS SuperDraft. Mathis, who was originally drafted by the Galaxy in the 1998 SuperDraft, is the 16th leading scorer in MLS history with 59 goals in his nine-year MLS career. He will join his new Galaxy teammates in Los Angeles this week before heading to Australia with the club on Friday.
Mathis, who will turn 31 on Sunday, was drafted by the Galaxy in the first round (sixth overall) of the 1998 MLS College Draft and went on to appear in 65 games for the club, scoring 15 goals and adding 17 assists. Midway through the 2000 season, Mathis was traded to the MetroStars (now New York Red Bulls) as part of the Galaxy's acquisition of Luis Hernandez. He played the next three and a half years in New York, where he is now the club's all-time leading scorer in all competitions, and with whom he was a finalist for the 2000 MLS Honda MVP Award and was named to the 2000 MLS Best XI.
After a year in the German Bundesliga with Hannover 96, Mathis returned to MLS, joining expansion club Real Salt Lake in 2005 before being traded to Colorado for the 2006 season and then on to the Red Bulls in 2007, with whom he scored six goals and added two assists in 26 games. In the Red Bulls 5-4 win over LA in August, Mathis tallied a goal and an assist, with the goal giving him a team-record 45 in all competitions during his career with the club.
A member of the U.S. National Team, Mathis has collected 46 caps and scored 12 goals since debuting with the National Team in 1998. He was a member of the U.S. squad that reached the quarterfinals of the 2002 FIFA World Cup scoring the American's only goal in the 1-1 draw with the host nation Korea Republic.
The way I see it this could either be Pavon's replacement. The FO may be looking to bring in an experienced striker to anchor down the front rather than risk bringing in another foreigner [like Pavon] who struggles simply adapting to the league.
Either that, or Alexi Lalas & Co. may be working on putting together a trade-bait package to seek the 2nd DP spot now that the pressure is off.
Expect more movement from the Galaxy camp within the next couple of weeks to give an indication of what Galaxy's plans for Cletus are.