In December Toronto traded Nate Jaqua to the LA Galaxy for a partial allocation ($125,000). At the time I thought Sir Mo and Bob Gansler made off pretty well considering Jaqua had made everyone aware he wasn't going to report to Toronto after being selected in the expansion draft. At the time Toronto was compiling a load of allocation money. I was under the impression the allocation money would be used to bring in some proven talent - be it Canadians playing in Europe or solid international players. Yesterday Toronto trades back a partial allocation ($125,000) to the same LA Galaxy for the 10th overall pick in the MLS Superdraft - Andrew Boyens. So as the dust clears on these two trades it ends up that Nate Jaqua was traded for Andrew Boyens.
MLS allocations are prioritized so I'm not sure which allocation Toronto received for Jaqua, nor which one was traded back yesterday to the Galaxy, however even a minor allocation for a player that has declared he would not report to an American based team is somewhat confusing. how many MLS teams would have taken the chance on Boyens (who cited immigration restrictions as a reason) in rounds 1 or 2? The question is would Boyens have been available in round three?
MLS does have a tremendous track record developing NCAA players from New Zealand Ryan Nelson, Simon Elliot now at Fulham and to a lesser extent Duncan Oughton at Columbus have all done extremely well in the MLS. Boyens has been capped by his National Team and by most accounts is a tremendous prospect. Allocations however are extremely valuable and very scarce in MLS, using one on an unproven College player concerns me (not that Toronto has anything to trade with at this point of course).
Nate Jaqua's career may be the biggest benefactor of the David Beckham signing. As a target forward moreover, he can expect to be on the end of many Beckham crosses and set pieces. With the eyes of the world watching the Galaxy this coming summer, Nate Jaqua has a tremendous opportunity to be amongst the leading scorers in the league - which could mean a big payday for the son of a former American football star.
Although we fans now understand the need for a Jaqua style player in LA given Alexi & Frank knew Beckham was on his way, it was the general consensus back in December that the Galaxy overpaid in the trade with Toronto. With the trade made yesterday at the draft, I would suggest LA has turned the tables by collecting the partial allocation back from Toronto and getting Jaqua at the same time.
For now Alexi & Frank get the overall advantage on these two trades.