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Dynamo trade for Sturgis


Photo by Nick Turchiaro/

Almost six years ago, Nathan Sturgis was a Generation adidas signing, a U.S. youth national team prospect and a player with a bright MLS future.

Five teams later, he hopes to have finally found a long-term home.

Sturgis was dealt to the Houston Dynamo from Toronto FC for a conditional draft pick in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft on Wednesday, marking his second trade in 13 months. The 24-year-old defensive midfielder was picked by the Vancouver Whitecaps in the 2010 expansion draft last November before being dealt to Toronto FC for a 2011 SuperDraft first-round pick that Vancouver used on Michael Nanchoff.

Prior to TFC, Sturgis spent time with the Seattle Sounders, Real Salt Lake and Los Angeles Galaxy, the team that drafted him out of Clemson in 2006. He figures to provide cover for central midfield starters Luiz Camargo and Adam Moffat in coach Dom Kinnear's lineup, and he makes for a solid option during the team's expanded schedule, which will include 2012-2013 CONCACAF Champions League matches.

What do you think of the move? Do you see Sturgis and Houston being a good match for each other?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Except the Dynamo already have Camargo and Moffat signed and really need an offensive central starter/option. Do I really need to stack that three deep?

    It reminds me of Kinnear accumulating Ching, Weaver, Bruin, and Garey last offseason. All big bruisers, and you can only start 2, and you really might want a complimentary speedman instead. It is thus no surprise that Houston struggled for goals, after Oduro was run out of town, until Carr recovered from his concussion in August. I think Carr is overrated but the fact is that Kinnear had so many slow forwards that the mere fact of introducing someone who was……shock……..actually changed the way Houston could be defended, and the offense picked up.

    Same story with Boswell, Hainault, Cameron, Taylor, and Robinson in the back. Bunch of CBs all vying for the same minutes, most of them at a substantial veteran cap hit.

    When you’re hurting for goals it’s kind of goofy to have CBs and DMs for days, all due respect.

  2. I think Kinnear is effective at installing a relatively effective 442 which relies heavily on deadballs and defense. He is an above average coach in impressing this system upon the players whether they like it or not. Where I depart from the conventional wisdom on Kinnearian genius is the post-DeRo approach to offense and the attacking midfield spot in particular as an afterthought. It started when Holden was moved from wing (where he is exceptional) to the middle, in lieu of hiring a DeRo replacement, it continued when Cameron was moved to AM in lieu of a replacement, and it continues to date, when we have 3 DMs signed and no AM. And while some view it as a sign of genius we made the finals, I felt like the finals instead exposed the limitations of a drudging 442 without enough offensive ammo. You can say the same thing about the 1999 team that lost to LA (again) in the semi. It doesn’t matter if we can routinely hold LA to 1 or 2 goals, coming late in the game, if we can’t score ourselves. In two playoff series in three years we’ve not scored on LA. To bypass LA for a title — and I remember when we were hungry for talent and cups and would not have been content with Moffat and Hainault and some of the other mediocrities — the offense has to be upgraded and to spread beyond Davis’ foot. The way that used to happen was having DeRo attacking and Holden out on the wing as a sub. That’s gone and has not been replaced. If we want to actually hold the MLS Cup again, the offense needs to be driven by someone other than one of our three accumulated DMs. Who’s the setup man in the middle? (Trick question, we’re not bothering right now……)

    If you want a further irony, it’s that I’ve seen the same people who gripe about Klinsmann’s multiple DM callups defend the Dynamo approach. Someone has to score your goals and if Boswell is tied for the team lead in goals it’s not a good sign.

  3. Agreed. However this argument would carry more weight if we hadn’t made the finals. I am just going to try and keep my mouth shut and let Dom work this year. Maybe there is only the one Dom and we just don’t get his mad genius. I was howling at some of the decisions last year.

  4. Sturgis’ problems start with staying healthy. Ever since I can remember, he hasn’t been able to play an entire season. I think it has stunted his development. If he can stay healthy, I think he’ll thrive in Houston. That’s a big if, though

  5. Agreed Jake – he did play quite a bit in 2010. If recollection serves, he helped settle the turbulent midfield down and played quite well. He could be a long-term starter somewhere if a coach could overlook the fact that he’s neither quick nor fast, and focused instead on his ability to maintain possession.

  6. I watched Sturgis with the Sounders and although he was a decent player, he was always a step slow, slower than the Sounders other mids (on a par with Vagenas), and often 2nd to the ball.

  7. ^ He’s just the odd man out. He came in under the previous management team and just wasn’t high on the pecking order. In my estimation, he’s an MLS quality guy who you can add to your roster.

    TFC has two designated players and one very strong academy developed prospect ahead of him on the depth chart. It just didn’t make sense to keep him around considering we’re weak at other spots.

  8. “Negative. Nate Jaqua, Pass-back Pete Vagenas, Pat “Never going to win the Caddy Championship” Noonan, and Tyrone Marshall all have a much stronger claim to the worst Sounder yet title.”

    *sigh* you know your club is privileged when this is your list of “worst players ever”.

  9. +1…This is the type of player who should have to step up his game before in MLS before earning a contract. There are too many good players willing to come to the league.

    This reminds me of the Noonan, Cristman signings by LA. Rtetread depth…Nothing to upgrade. MLS needs to lift the cap.

  10. Ho-hum. If the Dynamo want to improve rather than stagnate they need to be upgrading positions rather than stocking depth. I personally think we need one decent AM to help Davis create, not a third DM (after Camargo and Moffat). Can’t win the title if you can’t score, and you can stack DMs up until the authorities involuntarily change your name to Klinsmann but you still may not pitch shutouts.

    There are two Kinnears, one of them got on a roll and pushed Cameron back last fall, made the final, the other signed Garey, Graye, Freeman, Robinson, Koke, Watson, et al in the spring (he’s a genius except when he’s really not) and was digging out of his own hole most of the year. This reminds me of last offseason where I’m supposed to be OK with another retread. And he’s repeating last season’s mistake of signing redundant players, ie, a pile of CBs and back to goal forwards.

    And I know the conventional wisdom is Kinnear needs to stock for the CL but history suggests he is more than content to blow off CL games (or the Open Cup, etc) with undermanned reserve lineups if the MLS season requires it. Also, history suggests he likes to make summer moves so he has all sorts of time to staff for the CL, which starts late next summer.

  11. Negative. Nate Jaqua, Pass-back Pete Vagenas, Pat “Never going to win the Caddy Championship” Noonan, and Tyrone Marshall all have a much stronger claim to the worst Sounder yet title.

  12. Yawn. He sorta stinks. Next to Tyson Wahl, he’s the worst player to ever see the field for Seattle. He did get a lot of minutes for the Sounders two seasons ago, and spent most of them passing the ball backwards. He scored a penalty once.

  13. He most certainly did see the field in Seattle. 9 matches in 2009 and 20 in 2010 with 16 starts. A solid player…good enough to be picked in an expansion draft but not good enough to be protected. At 24 he may still have a chance to improve.

  14. hopefully he has some talent. we needed another guy who can play in the middle, retain possession and work hard. hopefully he’s it.

  15. Sturgis never even saw the field in Seattle. I was surprised to hear he was Gen Adidas. Dom is a hellova coach, so maybe he knows something.


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