RENTON, WASH. – Seattle Sounders FC has acquired defender Jalil Anibaba, the eighth overall selection in the 2014 SuperDraft and a 2015 conditional third round SuperDraft pick from the Chicago Fire, the club announced today. In exchange, Seattle sent defenders Patrick Ianni, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and the 13th overall selection in the 2014 SuperDraft to Chicago.
“One of the most difficult parts of this job is losing good people,” said Sounders FC Owner and General Manager Adrian Hanauer. “Jhon and Patrick are both quality individuals who have been with our organization from the beginning. We wish them the best in Chicago.”
Anibaba, 25, has started 93 of 96 appearances for Chicago over the past three seasons. He started all 34 regular-season matches in 2013, scoring one goal with a career high three assists.
“Jalil is a center back who has tremendous upside,” said Sounders FC Head Coach Sigi Schmid. “He has been very durable and we expect him to contribute right away.”
Anibaba was selected by the Fire with the ninth overall pick in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft. He started 27 matches as a rookie, which ranked second on the team, and appeared in 33 matches in his sophomore campaign.
Anibaba began his collegiate career at Santa Clara University, where he earned All-WCC honors in all three seasons. He transferred to the University of North Carolina for his senior season, helping the Tar Heels to their third-straight NCAA College Cup appearance and earning NSCAA Second Team All-American honors.
Ianni, 28, has spent the past five seasons with Seattle, registering 83 appearances with three goals and two assists. Sounders FC acquired Ianni in a trade with the Houston Dynamo on January 26, 2009, where he spent the first three seasons of his professional career. Overall, Ianni has made 118 appearances (87 starts) with four goals and three assists in eight MLS seasons.
Hurtado, 29, joined Sounders FC from Colombia’s Deportivo Cali in 2009. He matched his career high with 27 appearances in 2013. Overall, he made 108 appearances (103 starts) with one goal and three assists in his five seasons with Seattle. Hurtado was named an MLS All-Star and finalist for MLS Defender of the Year in 2009.
Transaction: Seattle Sounders FC (MLS) – Acquired DEF Jalil Anibaba
Birthdate: October 19, 1988
Birthplace: Fullerton, Calif.
Citizenship: United States
Previous Clubs: Chicago Fire (2011-13)