SECAUCUS, N.J. -- The New York Red Bulls traded all-time leading scorer Clint Mathis to the Los Angeles Galaxy on Monday, getting a third-round pick in the MLS SuperDraft.
The trade sends midfielder Mathis, who turns 31 next week, back to the team where he began his pro career in 1998 and unites him with David Beckham.
Mathis, who has 46 caps with the U.S. national team, including the 2002 World Cup, had six goals and two assists in 26 games with the Red Bulls this season.
"By acquiring this pick, we will now be able to have a selection in every round of the 2008 SuperDraft," Red Bulls technical director Jeff Agoos said. "This allows us more flexibility moving forward."
Mathis is the Red Bulls' all-time leading goal-scorer in all competitions with 45. He broke Giovanni Savarese's record in a 5-4 win over the Galaxy on Aug. 18. He played in 22 of the team's first 24 games, including 18 starts, but fell out of favor with manager Bruce Arena and made only one start after Sept. 9.
He played only in the final four minutes of a first-leg playoff match against New England and then played the final 64 minutes of the second leg, a 1-0 loss, replacing an injured Claudio Reyna. Arena resigned two days after the second leg.
Mathis played with the team from 2000-2003, when it was known as the MetroStars. He earned MLS Best honors in 2000 after finishing with 16 goals and 14 assists. He had a league single-game record five goals against Dallas that season.
Mathis played 2 1/2 seasons with the Galaxy to begin his career, and could be a replacement for Cobi Jones, his former teammate on the U.S. national team who retired after a 12-year career with the Galaxy.