In this year's Dallas Burn media guide, Ryan Suarez listed changing diapers at his parents' day-care centers as the worst job he has ever had.
Helping to right a wayward Galaxy ship may prove to be just as unenviable and messy.
Suarez, 25, and a former All-Star defender with Dallas, was the centerpiece of a five-player trade Friday between the Burn and the Galaxy.
The defending Major League Soccer champion Galaxy, struggling at 3-6-7 more than halfway through the season, also received midfielder Antonio Martinez and defender Paul Broome while parting with defender Ezra Hendrickson, the team's MVP two years ago, and forward Gavin Glinton. The teams also swapped picks in next year's MLS draft, the Burn getting the Galaxy's first-round selection in exchange for a conditional pick.
The Galaxy also waived seldom-used midfielder Jose Retiz to clear roster space. The three acquisitions will join the team today in Busan, South Korea, where it will open Peace Cup Korea 2003 play on Wednesday against Nacional of Uruguay.
Galaxy General Manager Doug Hamilton, who did not make the flight for the tournament because he was working on the deal, said he hopes the trade with a Western Conference rival -- the Galaxy is one of six clubs in the 10-team, single-entity MLS operated by Anschutz Entertainment Group while the Burn is one of three run by Hunt Sports Group -- lights a fire under the club.
"I think we have to be honest with ourselves because our fans, our ownership and Southern California in general demand results," Hamilton said. "That's critical. But does it jump-start us? Well, to be honest, if the results [earlier in the year] went our way, we probably don't make this move."
While Suarez, who was recently added to the U.S. national team player pool and made his debut May 26, thrives in a three-defender lineup, Hendrickson, a fan favorite who would celebrate goals by lifting his jersey to unveil a T-shirt with reggae artist Bob Marley's image, played best wide in a four-defender lineup.
Hendrickson's time, though, had been limited in recent weeks by injury and the Galaxy's use of a three-back lineup. Hendrickson, 31, began his MLS career with New York/New Jersey in 1997 but was waived after playing in eight games. The Galaxy signed him that season, and he had 17 goals and 26 assists in six-plus seasons in the MLS.
Broome, 27, had two goals and 16 assists in 87 league games with the Burn. Martinez, 26, will be returning to his hometown of Carson. He played at Cal State Fullerton, has trained with Mexican Club team Chivas of Guadalajara. A creative, attacking midfielder, he had seven goals and 23 assists in 68 games with Dallas.
The speedy Glinton, 24, had two goals and five assists in 31 games with the Galaxy and Retiz, 24, who was in his first season with the club, played in five games.
"This is not a reflection of Wednesday night's game [a dismal 1-0 loss to Colorado]," Hamilton said.
"[Coach] Sigi [Schmid] and I worked together on this and this is a move he felt made us better. We got great value ... but we had to give up good value."
WHAT THE GALAXY GAVE UP:
* Ezra Hendrickson, 31, a member of the Galaxy since 1997 and a starter at defensive midfielder. Had 13 points in 2001, when he was team MVP, but is scoreless this season.
* Gavin Glinton, 24, a spark off the bench at forward but unable to regularly break into the starting lineup in two seasons.
WHAT THE GALAXY GOT:
* Ryan Suarez, 25, a finalist for rookie of the year two years ago and a starter in the All-Star game last year, plays well in the three-defender formation used by Galaxy.
* Antonio Martinez, 26, a former Cal State Fullerton standout, had a breakout season with 10 assists as a playmaking midfielder last year but has only one this year.
* Paul Broome, 27, a veteran defensive midfielder who started 25 games last year.