Toronto FC continued their massive rebuilding effort, sending leading scorer Maicon Santos to FC Dallas in exchange for 23-year-old midfielder Eric Avila. The move leaves Toronto FC with just five players who finished out the 2010 season with them. The Toros also acquired an international roster spot to offset the addition of Santos.
"We are very happy to add Eric Avila to our club, he is an attacking midfielder that fits into our immediate and long term plans," Toronto FC Head Coach and Technical Director Aron Winter said in a team release. "All of the trades that we have made in the last few weeks have been to acquire players who fulfill a specific need for our team or fit into our style of play philosophy. I'd like to thank Maicon for his contributions to our club and for serving as Captain. We wish him well with his new club."
Since getting a Generation Adidas contract after leaving UC Santa Barbara early, Avila has been a player high on promise, but low on production. The 23-year-old midfielder has started just nine games in four seasons, scoring three goals and registering seven assists in 1,870 minutes (a respectable PP90 of .62). He was having his most productive season, though, with five starts, a goal and two assists.
The move closes another somewhat disappointing chapter in Santos' MLS career. Despite leading the team with six goals -- giving him 12 in 51 career MLS games -- the 27-year-old has been roundly criticized for lackadaisical play and poor judgement. With Dallas, he'll be joining a team currently contending for a Supporters' Shield that is in need of a capable striker.
"We are very excited that Maicon Santos is joining FC Dallas," FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman said in a team release. "He is an established player in MLS. He’s got great size. He is currently the leading scorer for Toronto FC with six goals. Given the way we play and the type of ball movement we get, I believe he will contribute immediately to the team."