Toronto FC trades Eskandarian
Three days after scoring his first goal of the season, Toronto FC forward Alecko Eskandarian has been traded to Real Salt Lake.
In exchange for Eskandarian, 24, and a 2008 first-round draft pick,Toronto receives Jeff Cunningham, 30, the top scorer in Major League Soccer last season with 16 goals.
"We've been after Cunningham for a long time," Toronto coach Mo Johnston said Tuesday.
"For me, he's someone who has something different in this league.He has pace of probably the fastest striker within the league in terms of being right up front. He can create goals out of nothing, and it was something different that we needed."
Cunningham currently ranks as the fourth all-time leading scorer in MLS history with 90 goals.Capped 28 times by the U.S. national team, he trails Jason Kreis and Jamie Moreno (108 each) and Ante Razov (101).
Playing in his 10th MLS season, Cunningham has three goals this season.
Eskandarian scored his first goal of the campaign in Saturday's 2-1 loss to D.C. United at home.
"It felt good to get a goal but obviously I would have preferred the [win] so it's kind of bittersweet," Eskandarian told CBC Sports Online after the game.
Still dealing with a calf injury, Eskandarian came out of the game in the 60th minute.
Eskandarian was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2003 draft by D.C. United, and he spent four years in Washington before he was traded to Toronto this past off-season.
While Eskandarian was a fan favourite in Toronto, he managed only one goal through the club's first seven games of the season.
"Listen, Alecko is a tremendous player, he'll score goals in this league," Johnstonsaid.
"But when you look at someone like Cunningham, everyone pays a price, and unfortunately Alecko paid the price. Nine times out of 10 you'll keep Alecko, but for me it was something we had to do."