December 22, 2006 Toronto FC trade for Eskandarian (from Canadian Press)

Toronto FC acquire Eskandarian

TORONTO (CP) - Toronto FC picked up some firepower Friday by acquiring forward Alecko Eskandarian from DC United.

The expansion MLS team gave up what's called a "partial allocation," - essentially cash that adds to the United war chest. The 24-year-old from Montvale, N.J., spent four seasons with D.C. United. He had seven goals and two assists in 22 games this year and went to the MLS all-star game as a commissioner's pick.

He played only 12 games in 2005 because of a concussion - he wears protective headgear as a result - but had 10 goals in 2004 when he was named MLS Cup MVP after scoring two goals to help United defeat Kansas City 3-2 in the final.

In all, Eskandarian made 81 appearances (47 starts) for United, collecting 20 goals and seven assists.

"Alecko was a tireless worker on and off the field for this club and it is difficult to part with him," United technical director Dave Kasper said in a statement. "He has been a big part of our recent accomplishments. We are, however, on the verge of signing major contributors and we know that in order to get something of value, we have to give up something of value. This partial allocation further allows us the ability to make those moves."

The five-foot-nine 165-pounder was the first overall pick in the 2003 MLS SuperDraft. He has made one appearance for the U.S. senior team, but has been invited to a January camp by U.S. coach Bob Bradley.

The trade is the latest in a series of moves by United, which has already sent Freddie Adu and Nick Rimando to Real Salt Lake for Jay Nolly and financial considerations and promoted Tom Soehn to coach, replacing Peter Nowak who went to the U.S. under-23 team.

The Toronto roster already includes forward Edson Buddle and winger Ronnie O'Brien.

Head coach Mo Johnston will no doubt look to add up front via the import player route.

In other FC news, the club announced that York University defender Jamaal Smith has been invited to join the expansion team at its main camp in February.

The 18-year-old from Mississauga, Ont., was the lone survivor of Toronto FC's open camp this week that saw 1,000 people pay a $110 tryout fee in a bid to make the club.

"He's living the dream", Toronto coach Mo Johnston said in a statement. "He's got a lot to learn, but he's showed us some talent during the past week".

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