The rebuilding of Toronto FC has taken another somewhat shocking turn: Just weeks after signing Designated Player Maximiliano Urruti, they have traded him to the Portland Timbers in exchange for Bright Dike, a 2015 first-round SuperDraft pick and allocation money. The Timbers also acquired an international roster spot, according to the official release.
"We received an offer from Portland that we could simply not pass on," said Toronto FC Head Coach Ryan Nelsen, one of the few people to survive the recent blood-letting. "We feel good about the return we're getting and it made sense for both clubs."
Urruti came to Toronto FC much hyped, having played the past three seasons with Argentine first-division club Newell's Old Boys. The 22-year-old forward had made 56 league appearances and scored 12 goals. He'd also made six appearances in Copa Libertadores. He made two appearances with Toronto FC before being traded.
But he was also the last major signing of the Kevin Payne era, and Toronto FC has made it clear that they are trying to move in a new direction. Payne was, of course, fired as president last week which was the first of several firings that went as high as MLSE COO Tom Anselmi leaving the organization.
For their part, the Timbers said they had been scouting Urruti prior to his coming to MLS.
"Maximiliano is a player we know well, one we feel will be a great fit in our system and scouted extensively prior to him signing with Toronto," Timbers head coach Caleb Porter said in a team release. "He is a quality, young player who has cut his teeth with one of the top clubs in the Argentine first division. Urruti will complement the depth we have in the striker position, and once he is acclimated and match fit, will bring a dimension to the number nine role that we've been looking for."
Urruti is almost certainly an instant upgrade over Dike, who never seemed to fit into Porter's system. Coming off a season in which he scored five goals despite missing a big chunk of the season with an injury, Dike never made a league appearance under Porter. He was the last remaining player from the Timbers' first four signings after moving to MLS.
Urruti likely slots in behind the first line of Timbers forwards, along with the likes of Jose Valencia and Kalif Alhassan.