December 22, 2006 Toronto FC add Eskandarian in trade (from Staff)

12/22/2006 2:16PM
Toronto FC add Eskandarian in trade
By Jason Halpin / Staff

Alecko Eskandarian was the No. 1 pick in the 2003 MLS SuperDraft. (Tony Quinn/MLS/

D.C. United's active offseason continued Friday, as the club traded forward Alecko Eskandarian to Toronto FC in exchange for a partial allocation.

It's the third major move of the offseason for the Black-and-Red, who sent Freddy Adu and Nick Rimando to Real Salt Lake in exchange for Jay Nolly and financial considerations 11 days ago. United have also made a coaching change, on Thursday promoting Tom Soehn to replace Peter Nowak, who took an assistant coaching position with the U.S. under-23 men's national team.

By trading Eskandarian for an allocation, United have even more cash in their wallet to acquire one or more of the South American players they have been rumored to be courting recently.

For Toronto, the deal brings another proven attacker north of the border. The club already has winger Ronnie O'Brien, playmaker Jose Cancela and forward Edson Buddle in the fold for its inaugural season in 2007.

Eskandarian, 24, departs Washington after four uneven years with the club. He joined United as the top pick in the 2003 SuperDraft after departing from the University of Virginia following his junior year. The 2002 Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy winner, Eskandarian struggled to find a place in then-coach Ray Hudson's lineup in his rookie season, starting just five of his 23 games and averaging 30 minutes per appearance.

In 2004, though, Eskandarian steadily won over Nowak in the former Polish international's first year at the helm of the club. Eskandarian posted 10 goals in 2004, starting in 19 of his 24 appearances.

Eskandarian played a huge role in United's run to the MLS Cup title that season, scoring four goals in the playoffs. Two of those came in the title game as Eskandarian claimed MVP honors in a 3-2 United win against the Kansas City Wizards. The New Jersey native also earned his first All-Star nod in 2004 and scored in the game.

He was also chosen to be an All-Star this past season, when he scored seven goals and added two assists. Eskandarian's selection was as a Commissioner's Pick in recognition of his ability to recover from a concussion that kept him out of action for almost the entire 2004 season. As a result of the injury, Eskandarian, who has battled numerous other minor injuries throughout his career, now wears protective headgear.

Jason Halpin is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.

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