Tuesday, May 22, 2007

ESKANDARIAN GONE...CUNNINGHAM IN...

Wow. Another shocker. Jeff Cunningham is officially in the fold. Add yet another MLS big name player to the revolving door down at BMO. I just hope Cunningham was made aware of and consulted regarding the trade before he heard the news (see Mulrooney, Guevara).

When news broke of a trade sending Esky to RSL this morning, I immediately thought Toronto was bringing in Toronto native Andy Williams or Jack Stewart who would both count as Canadians on the roster. After all this is a team in need of depth. I could never have imagined Jeff Cunningham was on his way. He is a huge improvement overall on the strikers Mo has brought in thus far. Some believed (including myself) that Cunningham truly deserved to be in Germany last year for the World Cup. He is still a US national team possibility.

That said I feel terrible for Eskandarian. I loved his work ethic, enthusiasm, and how he has reached out into the community. Alecko Eskandarian had quickly and deservedly turned into a fan favourite here in Toronto. Esky was the face of many of TFC's promotional campaigns and even kept his own blog. It was interesting reading his comments to Steven Goff of the Washington Post, regarding how ticked off he was for being mislead by Toronto after being notified this morning of the trade. He made sure to jump the gun on Toronto FC by getting his side of the story out first. He apparently did not want to be traded and was just settling in to life in our great city. He wanted to make sure people understood he didn't ask for the trade, and didn't want Toronto FC to spin it any other way. Let's hope they don't. Although I do understand that some of Alecko's pay was being held back temporarily for taxation complications that surfaced.

Bringing in Cunningham reunites two former Columbus Crew prospects - Edson Buddle the other. They often competed for work, with Buddle eventually kept on in Columbus - a regrettable mistake by Columbus, though they still have Eddie Gaven to show for him thanks to Mo Jo himself.

I still think TFC are lacking that one player that can light up the imagination of the fans. That creative, inspirational player, one who can turn games with one great ball or run, and who can service strikers on a consistent basis. These players of course are not easy to find. Yet someone is desperately needed in the middle of the park to spray balls up to Dichio and now Cunningham. Thus far the midfield, aside from Ronnie O'Brien, is severely lacking. Sure Edu is doing a fine job as a rookie, but Toronto simply does not possess a player in midfield who can turn a match and strike fear in opponents. Carl Robinson, TFC's highest paid player, shows signs of being a very classy player, yet has honestly not been a game breaker for TFC thus far (7 games in). In MLS, anyone making the kind of money Robinson ($315,000) or even Andy Welsh ($205,000) are taking up on the salary cap, they better be worth it. I mean there getting paid more than some of the true stars in the MLS, and that adjustment period they needed to get accustomed to MLS is just about over imo.

With Esky gone, it is clear no one on the roster is safe. I am so very curious to see who Mo will keep around past the "contract guarantee" deadline that is fast approaching. I have a feeling Mo will look to dump some extra salary from the cap, in order to make a move for an international or two in the summer. Time will tell, but Mo who is running TFC like many of us run our fantasy league teams, is far from done!

13 comments:

Still Kicking said...

We have to salute Esky for the effort and the memories. He wanted to be here. Cunningham comes in having to turn the emotions of the fans towards him.
I agree that there is more changes to come. Wish I could see the future.....

Anonymous said...

Is Toronto considering using Cunningham as trade bait to get De Rosario. They don't really need him - if they really are getting Radzinski.

TORONTO FC SUPERFAN said...

Radzinski??? Where did you hear that?? I'm not sure he wants to come home just yet. He likes living in Europe and will explore his options there before returning home imo. Cunningham has quite the reputation - I'm not sure how well he would fit with Kinnear and the Dynamo.

Anonymous said...

Cunningham is not trade bait. He is the striker Mo wanted, and TFC needed. I'm so stoaked about this trade and I'm sure after the next seven games fans will be saying " Esky who?"

Anonymous said...

Cunningham is not trade bait. He's the striker Mo wanted, and TFC needed. I'm so stoked about this trade and am sure after the next eight games fans will be saying "Esky who?"

Anonymous said...

I havn't heard anything about Radzinski coming to TFC either but I have to admit that I wondered given the fact that he is out of a contract come June. It probably won't happen but I won't rule it out completely as Mo has surprised us already so far.

Anonymous said...

ESKY WAS MY #1 TFC PLAYER. I DON'T KNOW IF THIS WAS A GOOD MOVE.

Anonymous said...

i think Esky gave TFC a lot of hussle, but gave up the ball cheaply too often. I am not familiar with Cunningham, but his numbers would indicate a significant improvement.

SandBlastBeachSoccer said...

"I still think TFC are lacking that one player that can light up the imagination of the fans. That creative, inspirational player, one who can turn games with one great ball or run, and who can service strikers on a consistent basis. These players of course are not easy to find. "

You make a great point here!
I just found your blog, good read.

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Anonymous said...

I just wish he'd send Buddle somewhere

www.footyclips.com said...

I've heard rumours of Radzinksi too (his contract is expired) but toronto FC said initial wage request was way to high. MLSE is so fucking stupid, do they really expect a player of his quality to ask for? They should have offered to match his Fulham contract. Out of all the possible owners why did we get stuck with MLSE......

Anonymous said...

How come Andrew Boyens wasn't even on the bench for Toronto this weekend???

Anonymous said...

Although he wasn't the most effective player in the few games he had for us, Esky proved to be an awesome person, and I'm glad to see him score for Real.