FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Revolution has re-acquired former goalkeeper Brad Knighton through a trade with Vancouver Whitecaps FC today. Because Knighton (Twitter: @bbknighton) was eligible for the Re-Entry Process, which begins tomorrow, the teams had a 5 p.m. deadline today to complete trades. Knighton also opted out of the Re-Entry Process to facilitate the trade to his initial MLS club.
In exchange for Knighton, the Revolution traded a conditional pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft to Vancouver.
“We’re very pleased to be able to bring Brad back to the Revolution,” New England general manager Michael Burns said. “We rate Brad highly and we did not expect him to be available to us tomorrow with the 12th pick of the Re-Entry Draft’s first round. We’re looking forward to him coming back to New England.”
Knighton, 28, re-joins the Revs after spending the last four seasons with Philadelphia, the Carolina Railhawks (NASL) and Vancouver. After beginning his MLS career in New England in 2007, he spent his first three professional seasons with the Revolution before Philadelphia selected him in the 2009 Expansion Draft, ahead of its inaugural season.
“My family and I couldn’t be more excited to be coming back to New England, where I began my career,” Knighton said. “I had three incredible years here and I couldn’t think of a better city, organization and team to return to. I can’t be happier this worked out.”
Knighton came to the Revolution’s 2007 preseason camp as an undrafted free-agent, and earned a roster spot after a strong training camp. He served as the team’s third-string goalkeeper in 2007 and most of 2008, before he became Matt Reis’ back-up late in 2008 following an injury to Doug Warren. Knighton moved into the back-up goalkeeper role in 2009 – and made his MLS debut on March 28 in a 1-1 draw at New York – before going on to make six starts throughout the year. He went 1-2-3 on the year with a 2.33 goals against average.
After Philadelphia picked him up in the 2009 Expansion Draft, he made eight starts for the Union during their first season in MLS. Knighton went 3-3-1 in those matches, posting two shutouts and a 1.10 goals against average. Philadelphia released him during preseason camp in 2011, and Knighton signed with his hometown Carolina Railhawks of the North American Soccer League, the U.S. second division. He earned NASL Best XI honors that season, making 28 appearances for the NASL regular-season champions.
In 2012, Carolina head coach Martin Rennie was hired as the Whitecaps’ head coach, and he brought Knighton with him to Vancouver. Knighton made 22 appearances – 19 starts – in the last two seasons in Vancouver, posting a combined 1.11 goals against average and five shutouts, while going 9-6-5 in two seasons. In 2013, he went 6-3-2 with a 1.36 GAA in 11 starts.
Vancouver declined Knighton’s 2014 contract option, making him available for the Re-Entry Process, but Knighton opted out of the Re-Entry Process to facilitate today’s trade.
Transaction: New England Revolution (MLS) – Acquired GK Brad Knighton via trade with Vancouver Whitecaps FC in exchange for a conditional pick in the 2015 SuperDraft
Date of Birth: February 6, 1985 (Hickory, N.C.)
Hometown: Richmond, Va.
Weight: 180 lbs.
Previous Club: Vancouver Whitecaps FC (MLS)
Status: Senior Roster
Jersey Number: TBA