Justin Braun is on the move again and this time he's going back home. The mercurial forward, who scored 17 goals during the previous two seasons, was traded from the Montreal Impact to Real Salt Lake in exchange for a conditional 2014 SuperDraft pick on Wednesday.
In their release announcing the trade, RSL made it clear that adding Braun was more about depth than anything else. It seems a significant fall off for a player who had been called into the United States national team camp as recently as late-2010. That was the offseason following his seemingly breakout year, when he scored nine goals and had three assists in 28 appearances for Chivas USA. He followed that up with an eight-goal, five-assist season that included a pair of hat tricks.
At 25, it was a little surprising to see him traded to the Impact for fullback James Riley, but it was largely assumed Braun would be a focal point of the Impact offense. After starting the first three games of the season, though, he slowly faded out of the rotation. He ended his stint with the Impact with no goals and one assist in 12 appearances, including five starts.