When he was called on Friday and told that he would be traded from the Houston Dynamo, Adam Moffat was at first dejected. When he learned his destination would be Seattle to play with Sounders FC, his tenor quickly changed.
“I was shocked at first. I didn’t see it coming. Then I was told it was Seattle and that’s a good thing,” Moffat said on Monday after his first training session with his new teammates. “Sometimes you see those trades happening at that point in the season and it’s guys going to a team at the bottom of the table and it’s tough. I’m coming to a great place. It’s amazing the form the team’s in and I’m hoping to add to that.”
Moffat comes to Seattle in a trade that sent midfielder Servando Carrasco and a second round pick in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft to Houston.
What he adds to Seattle’s already potent mix of attacking flare is a no-nonsense approach to the midfield and a veteran savvy beyond his 27 years. Three times he has been on teams that have reached the MLS Cup final, winning in 2008 with the Columbus Crew and falling twice to the LA Galaxy while playing with the Dynamo in 2011 and 2012. That championship experience – he also won the 2009 Supporters’ Shield with the Crew – is a valuable commodity on a Seattle team that is looking for every edge it can get going into the final seven matches of the season.
“Being able to add somebody of Adam’s experience at this point in the season – a guy who has been to MLS Cup finals, a guy who’s got a great shot from distance, who competes, who battles – was something we felt we couldn’t pass up,” Sounders FC Head Coach Sigi Schmid said. “He’s a competitor. He gives us a veteran guy in there as well. He’s a good, hard-working player.”
A former youth player with Rangers and youth international in his native Scotland, Moffat started his professional career playing with Ross County and Elgin City of the Scottish third division. Left with the prospect of hanging up his boots, he took advantage of one more opportunity when he was asked to play for current Vancouver Whitecaps FC Head Coach Martin Rennie with the Cleveland City Stars in the USL-2.
“The third division in Scotland isn’t where you want to be if you want to have a career. Things weren’t looking good for me at the time,” he said.
The decision to play in Cleveland turned around his career.
After a Best XI season with USL-2’s Cleveland City Stars, Moffat signed with Schmid’s Columbus Crew team to close out the 2007 season. He earned a starting spot to begin the 2008 season and things were looking promising for the then-22-year-old midfielder when a torn ACL in his left knee ended his season after just seven matches.
The Crew went on to win the Supporters’ Shield and MLS Cup while Moffat recovered and in 2009 he was part of the Columbus team that won a second straight Supporters’ Shield, though in a limited role as he worked to regain fitness.
In 2010, he returned to a full-time starting role, but it would be his last season with the Crew. After the season, he was selected by the Portland Timbers in the expansion draft. He played only four matches with the Timbers before being traded to the Dynamo, where he again found his form under Head Coach Dominic Kinnear. He had two goals and one assist in 13 matches for the Dynamo in 2011, then last year had two goals and three assists in 23 matches.
In both seasons with the Dynamo, he helped Houston reach the MLS Cup final, falling both years to the LA Galaxy. In the 2012 playoffs, he scored the opening goal in a 2-1 series win over Sporting Kansas City in the Eastern Conference Semifinals and later added an assist on a first-half goal in the MLS Cup final to give Houston a 1-0 lead, though they would allow three second-half goals and fall 3-1.
This season, he already has career-highs with 24 starts, 26 appearances and three goals for a Dynamo side in sixth in the Eastern Conference at 10-10-7.
Now in Seattle, he is looking forward to playing with a new club that is on a five-match winning streak and leading the race to the Supporters’ Shield. He is also excited to play in front of the record-breaking crowds at CenturyLink Field.
“The reputation is the best in the league for sure. The way the organization is run is first class. That’s what you want to play for. Here they look after the players and everyone knows about that,” he said. “The atmosphere is electric and I saw the tempo at the start of that game … it’s unbelievable. It’s such an advantage. I look forward to that, myself.”