Toronto FC blog is reporting that despite previous reports, including the one on the league's web site, Toronto FC is sending a first round draft pick (their 2nd highest; obtained from Chivas USA) along with Alecko Eskandarian to Real Salt Lake for Jeff Cunningham. Esky has talent but with the type of player he is, he's likely good for 8-11 goals in 30 game season. Even with the draft pick one has to wonder why Real Salt Lake was willing to part ways with their MVP? Cunningham had 16 goals and 11 assists last year. And he already had 3 goals in 7 games this year. What prompted the trade? Was Cunningham too much of a disruption in Kreis' locker room?
What does Toronto FC get out of this? They get a player in Cunningham that has shown he score lots of goals. More so Cunningham partnered up front with Dichio, at least on paper, looks like it should work well. Dichio's aggressive, tough and good at holding up the ball. Combined with Cunningham's pace and ability to get behind defenders it should allow Toronto to better keep their defensive shape and look to those two to counter.
What does this get Real Salt Lake? It looks to be the sort of boldness that Kreis spoke about when he accepted the head coaching position. The spin on this is that it frees up cap space for RSL to bring in fresh blood. And the $70,000 it frees up will help them do that. That's not much with Kreis' retirement freed up another $160,000. That's enough for a major allocation. The problem with that is that the team doesn't have any allocations to use. So why make the move? It could be that the team is resigned to losing Freddy Adu before the 2008 season. If that's the case they may be looking to use their designated player slot when the transfer window opens on June 15th. Who would they move for? Kasey Keller? DaMarcus Beasley? It's not clear either player is ready to come back to the MLS. DMB is still very young. Keller's a great goalkeeper but using the DP on a goalkeeper in a league full of cheap, talented keepers doesn't seem like the best of moves. Have they really already thrown in the towel on meeting their goal of making the playoffs in 2007? Could this be a sign that Real Salt Lake is already looking to rebuild their squad for 2008?