Categorized | Transfers

RSL acquires Dema Kovalenko from RBNY

Posted on 29 February 2008 by ASN Staff

Real Salt Lake and the New York Red Bulls today announced a trade between the MLS clubs, with RSL receiving veteran midfielder Dema Kovalenko in exchange for a conditional selection in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft. Kovalenko will accompany his new Real Salt Lake teammates on the squad’s final 2008 preseason camp to Rosario, Argentina, which begins this Friday. The Ukraine-born Kovalenko possesses a green card and therefore will not occupy one of Real Salt Lake’s international player spots.”The acquisition of Dema Kovalenko continues our trend of bringing in veteran American players that have experience playing overseas, in the vein of Ian Joy and Nat Borchers,” said RSL General Manager Garth Lagerwey. “Any American player that is tough enough to survive that overseas experience and comes back to our league is going to be better for it; they will be more determined and, we believe, a credit to our organization. Dema’s a different type of a player than we currently have in our midfield – he’s a hard player, more of a piano carrier than a piano player – and we felt that’s an attribute that would add to the group.”

Real Salt Lake will mark the fourth MLS stop for the 30-year-old Kovalenko, who began his career in 1999 with four seasons with the Chicago Fire before stints at D.C. United (2003-05) and the Red Bulls (2006-07). Kovalenko has started 178 of his 198 career MLS regular season contests, in which he has contributed 36 goals and 36 assists in over 16,000 minutes of play. The hard-nosed midfielder also brings plenty of postseason pedigree to the Wasatch Front, as Kovalenko has notched five goals and three assists in 29 MLS Cup Playoff contests.

Kovalenko has been a part of two domestic championship winning sides, having collected an MLS Cup title with United in 2004 in addition to a U.S. Open Cup ring with the Fire in 2000. In addition to his nine years of MLS service, Kovalenko has had stints overseas with FC Metalurh Zaporizhzhya in his native Ukraine (2005/06) and with FC St. Pauli (2001/02), the former club of new teammate Ian Joy.

Dema Kovalenko
Position: Midfielder
Height: 5’8″
Weight: 177 lbs.
Born: August 28, 1977 in Kiev, Ukraine
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Citizenship: Ukraine
College: Indiana University
MLS Experience: Nine Seasons (1999-2007)
Last Club: New York Red Bulls (2008)
Acquired: Via trade with the New York Red Bulls in exchange for a conditional 2010 MLS SuperDraft selection on 2/27/08

MLS/International Career Notes
2007: Added two goals and one assist … Missed time due to a strained groin and was involved in a car accident, suffering facial injuries … 2006: After brief stint in Ukraine with FC Metalurh Zaporizhzhya, he joined NYRB on Aug. 12 in an exhibition match against FC Barcelona … Made Red Bulls regular season debut on Aug. 16 against D.C. United and started all 12 games to finish the season, notching one assist (at D.C. on Sept. 23) … 2005: In all, the Ukraine native started 23 of the 26 games he saw time in, scored four goals and dealt four assists … Three of his goals came in consecutive games on 8/06, 8/10 and 8/13 … 2004: Kovalenko proved to be a vital part of D.C. United’s offense, quietly tallying 10 assists, tied for second most in the league … 2003: Kovalenko was traded from Chicago to United in exchange for Justin Mapp … Scored six goals on the campaign … 2002: Kovalenko finished his fourth season with the Chicago Fire, starting 23 games … Started in the Pepsi MLS All-Star Game (8/3) at RFK Stadium in the MLS team’s win over the U.S. Men’s National Team, 3-2 … Spent the early part of the season on loan to FC St. Pauli of the German Bundesliga … 2001: Kovalenko finished the season as Chicago’s second-leading goal scorer (8) for the second year in a row … Played all six MLS playoff games, logging 571 minutes, scoring one goal and tallying one assist … 2000: Kovalenko was the Fire’s second-leading scorer with 10 goals and 5 assists in 31 appearances (28 starts) … 1999: Originally a Nike Project-40 midfielder allocated to Dallas, Kovalenko was dealt to Chicago on Feb. 7.

Transaction: Real Salt Lake acquires MF Dema Kovalenko via trade with the New York Red Bulls in exchange for a conditional MLS 2010 SuperDraft selection.

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  1. RSL dumps Kovalenko, drafts goal scorers | American Soccer News Says:

    […] allocation money and a conditional 2011 draft pick. Kovalenko spent only one season in Utah after coming over from New York last February, but was seen as an integral part of the team’s success last […]

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