A move that will shock us all in some form or fashion.
We knew from earlier in the day that Eric Avila would be moved, loaned, sold or something at some point today and that news finally came down. He was sent to Toronto FC in exchange for 27-year old striker Maicon Santos. FC Dallas will also receive an international slot from Toronto FC through the remainder of 2011.
"We are very excited that Maicon Santos is joining FC Dallas," FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman said. "He is an established player in MLS. He's got great size. He is 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."
The surprising part of this move is landing Santos, a big striker that has scored 12 goals in 51 MLS games since joining the league back in 2009. He started off in the league with Chivas USA but then later moved to Toronto last season. He became the first non-Canadian captain for TFC this season when manager Aron Winter gave him the honor back in April. It didn't last long however as he fell out of favor with the Dutch manager.
Edit: Maicon Santos is on the Toronto FC Champions League roster even though he did not play in their first game meaning he is officially ineligible to play for FC Dallas in CONCACAF Champions League play. However, I hear this may be waived, stay tuned on that one.
(read on for more)
In terms of salary, this deal makes sense as both made decent numbers (Avila makes $133k w/ bonuses, Santos gets $126k). If anything Dallas is going to save a little coin on this deal.
At first glance its a weird deal for both sides. Avila doesn't exactly fit Winter's 4-3-3 system while Santos doesn't strike me as a guy that fits perfectly into Schellas Hyndman's system. Thankfully for Dallas, Santos could easily improve around the type of players that Dallas has right now. I don't believe Santos has ever really had the quality surrounding him that he'll have here in Dallas. He's a big guy that has to be able to get on the end of some crosses from Brek Shea and others.
In the end it isn't a sexy deal in the least bit but it is a deal that shows Dallas is continuing to fight to win here this season. It's been well documented all year about how badly Dallas needed a target striker and Santos fits that bill.
I hated seeing Avila go but it was pretty clear that once he returned from the failed loan deal in Mexico that he just wasn't "in it" as much as he used to be here. I don't believe you can say he fell out of favor with Hyndman or that the two had issues with one another, I never got that sense. Avila worked hard and in the end just needed to move on so he could improve as a player. He wasn't going to be able to do that here in Dallas with the current talent around him improving over him.
"For us, it was very difficult to see Eric Avila leave," Hyndman said. "We are going to miss him. He is a great team player. He has scored some very important goals for FC Dallas. He has been a part of this team for almost four years. He has some very good friends and coaches here in Dallas. The problem was he was not getting enough time here and I think Toronto FC really wanted Avila to be a part of their team, which encouraged us to make a trade."
What do you all make of this deal?