Julian De Guzman was traded to FC Dallas from Toronto FC in exchange for third-year midfielder Andrew Wiedeman on Friday. The deal seems almost exclusively designed to open up a Designated Player roster spot for TFC, who is almost certainly continuing to pay the bulk of De Guzman's hefty salary.
Wiedeman, who remains on a Generation Adidas contract after rarely seeing the field during his first three years, is a player with some potential, but one who has shown almost no signs that he's capable of fulfilling it. In three seasons, he's logged just 172 minutes and has yet to register a single point.
The trade marks the end of what was at the time a very ambitious move for TFC to bring in a player like De Guzman, who had been playing in Germany and Spain at the time of his signing. De Guzman's role was never entirely clear, though, as he was neither a playmaker nor a defensive dynamo. Considering he was making nearly $2 million in salary this year, that's an awful lot of money for someone who scored just two MLS goals over three seasons and was benched with some regularity. The assumption now would be that TFC can use that cap and roster space to make another significant signing.
"Losing someone like Julian is never easy but this deal gives us increased flexibility to address areas where we have more pressing needs and opens up a designated player spot for our club," said Paul Mariner, Toronto FC's Head Coach and Director of Soccer Operations. "On behalf of everyone at Toronto FC, I’d like to thank Julian for his contributions to the club and wish him well in his future endeavours."
The hope in Dallas seems to be that free of the DP tag and the expectations that come along with it that De Guzman can regain the form that made him such an attractive commodity in the first place.
"Julian has had a very experienced career, having played in both the German and Spanish first divisions," FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman said in a team release. "He is a central midfielder, a holding midfielder and a very skillful player. He also has a lot of experience playing with the Canadian National Team. He will give FC Dallas an additional veteran that can solidify our possession style of play. He also has a bit of toughness to him that will help us win 50-50 balls and control the central midfield."