All three Canadian MLS teams made moves Wednesday with the Vancouver Whitecaps selling midfielder Davide Chiumiento, the Montreal Impact dealing forward Justin Braun and Toronto FC parting ways with forward Nick Soolsma.
The Whitecaps sold Chiumiento, a speedy playmaker, to FC Zurich. The 27-year-old Swiss international joined the MLS team in August 2010 after spending four seasons in his native Switzerland — three with FC Luzern, and one with Berner Sport Club (BSC) Young Boys.
"He has family back in Switzerland and he does miss them," Vancouver coach Martin Rennie said after his team's 3-2 loss in Toronto on Wednesday night. "He has the opportunity to go to a big club in FC Zurich who often play in the Champions League and who win the Swiss league or challenge for it.
"He has the opportunity to do that and it's very hard to stand in someone's way when they get that chance to do that. We've loved having him on our team. He's been an excellent player for us. But it's a good chance for him. He's on the verge of the Swiss national team and I think he can get back in there if he's there."
Rennie said he liked having him at the club but the move "made sense for everybody."
Chiumiento had five assists in 16 league appearances this season.
The Impact shipped Braun to Real Salt Lake for a conditional pick in the 2014 SuperDraft. Braun, a native of Salt Lake City, had one assist in 15 games, including five starts, but found himself further down the pecking order with the addition of Italian star Marco Di Vaio.
Montreal, which has given up a league-worst 36 goals this season, also added Swiss defender Dennis Iapichino.
The 21-year-old Swiss under-20 international started in the FC Basel youth system before being loaned to FC Biel-Bienne and FC Lugano. He made a permanent move to Lugano for the 2011-12 season.
Toronto FC said Soolsma's contract had been terminated by mutual consent.
"We had a discussion with him, just a short discussion, and it was best for both parties," said head coach Paul Mariner.
The 24-year-old Dutch international's fall from grace has been remarkable. Soolsma, who signed with Toronto in March 2011, was one of the team's best performers earlier this season.
But an injury and off-field arrest with two teammates in Houston for public intoxication did little to enhance his place at the club.
"Obviously that had a little bit to do with it but it's everything," Mariner said of the arrest without elaborating.
Soolsma made 32 league appearances, scoring three goals and adding seven assists, for Toronto.
Toronto also announced that forward Joao Plata's six-month loan deal with Ecuador's LDU Quito had been finalized.
The South American club did not wait to make it official, introducing Plata at a news conference several days before the TFC release.
The Soolsma and Plata moves will free up salary space to help head coach Paul Mariner reinforce his roster.