Top Stories

Trader Mo and TFC are ready to deal

Mo Johnston 

When Major League Soccer's coaches and technical directors converge on Ft. Lauderdale, Florida this weekend for the MLS Combine, there will be one man who will be as popular as any of the players on display.

That man is Mo Johnston.

The Toronto FC director of soccer is holding some big cards in this year's draft. Not only does Toronto FC boast the No. 2 and No. 4 picks in a top-heavy draft, but the club is ready to deal both of those picks to bolster their squad with veterans. With half the teams in the league lining up to make offers for those picks, Johnson is already considering several deals that should keep him and his staff busy through the next week leading up to the MLS Draft on Jan. 15th.

So which teams just are lining up to do business with Toronto? Here are five teams sources have identified as being in the mix:

FC Dallas– The Hoops want Omar Gonzalez and are going to need the No. 2 pick to get the 6-5 Maryland centerback (especially now that Marcus Tracy is looking like a doubt to sign with MLS). Schellas Hyndman has the parts to make TFC a good offer, including Canadian defender Adrian Serioux as well as one of two first-round picks of their own.

New England– The Revs hold the No. 10 and No. 15 picks and are looking to move up. The target? With Michael Parkhurst leaving it would make sense to grab Omar Gonzalez if the Revs could, but New England is more likely to go after Toronto's No. 4 overall pick. That would mean going after highly-regarded midfielder Sam Cronin, whose stock has risen considerably in recent weeks. He could be the first senior chosen and might go in the Top Four. The Revs could also go for Maryland winger Jeremy Hall, who would slide right in as a replacement for Khano Smith.

Chicago– If the Fire is ready to part ways with Wilman Conde then it could become a player for one of Toronto's high picks. The teams discussed a trade for Conde last year before it was killed amid concerns that Toronto would turn around and deal him to the Red Bulls. This time around Chicago would probably be more willing to part with a disgruntled player in the final year of his MLS contract. Conde would step right in and anchor Toronto's defense. What would Chicago do with a high first-round pick? Omar Gonzalez would be a target, but another possibility would be UIC playmaker Baggio Husidic.

Real Salt Lake– The Western Conference finalists are looking to move up from No. 12 and Cronin is the target. RSL could also use a natural left winger like Jeremy Hall, but Cronin looks like the safer bet. What would RSL give up to move up? They have a surplus of fullbacks to deal from and could also offer allocation money. (No, Will Johnson is not on the table).

D.C. United– Currently sitting with the No. 6 and No. 7 picks, D.C. is also said to be interested in moving up to assure itself of grabbing Cronin. A play for Gonzalez might make sense for some, but I'm not convinced D.C. rates Gonzalez as highly as some other teams do. D.C. is under the least pressure to deal because it should be able to land two quality players just by standing pat.

Who do you see Toronto making deals with? Who would you like to see your team trade up to get?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Conde would be fantastic but I doubt we’d move him to NY. We need a backline leader at centre half.

    Given that we’re looking for a proven goal scorer as well, I was surprise some veteran scorers like Razov or Ching or maybe Galindo aren’t floating out there as possible trades.

  2. Depending upon how long and for how much DeRo holds out for, Trader Mo might not have as much time and cap space to deal. It sounds like they have good room for 2009 but less for 2010 when allocation dollars come off but DeRo wants more money for more years so until they fit that piece of the puzzle, I don’t see many blockbusters coming down.

  3. Please note that Serioux was traded away the first time havingbeen in New York for a short period of time (months even) and second time for Obrien because he was out for 6 months with a broken leg and Obrien was regarded as one of the best wingers in the league. Thatbeing said we need a CB and more canadians, seems like an obvious trade to me…

  4. Having not read any comments a deal for Conde wouldbe a mistake, why would he play for TFC if he didnt want to play for Chicago. Please let this not happen.

  5. Come on United stay where you are unless you grab a Terp! Don’t get rid of both the 6th and 7th to get a higher pick, it’s not worth it.

  6. TFC07:
    “We got DeRo and soon we will get a DP striker. ”

    Keep hanging on to that dream buddy, it aint happening.

  7. TFC07:

    I don’t really like your guys or Chicago, but I’m looking over your lineup down the stretch and see a team that is, on an individual basis, much worse than what Chicago has.

    Sutton vs. Busch
    Marshall vs. Soumare
    Harmse vs. Conde
    Brennan vs. Segares
    Ricketts vs. Thorrington or Rolfe
    Johann Smith vs. Mapp (note: and I really don’t think much of Mapp)
    Barrett vs. Rolfe
    Dichio vs. McBride

    I realize some of these are unfair. Because TFC needs Canadian players, Sutton and Brennan are going to start unless replaced by other Canadians. Harmse is Canadian too, but he’s not very good. In some cases, there’s no way the Chicago player would be someone TFC could get (McBride, for example).

    It’s not that the TFC players I list are bad players, it’s just that the roughly equivalent Chicago players I mentioned are going to be preferred by virtually everyone in the know.

  8. rednow.red4ever: STFU! Don’t try to address me unless you got something knowledgeable to say to me. If you think TFC (Btw, they didn’t finish last in MLS) didn’t lose a lot of their players because international call ups, you honestly think they’ll not make it to the playoffs? Remember when they had all their players (think of home stretch of beginning of season and end of the season) they were winning most of their games? Of course not…

  9. Ives,

    Do you have inside information that RSL is shopping Johnson? I am hoping that is just some bad speculation on your part. Johnson is a perfect fit for RSL and is only 21. He has as much if not more upside as any midfielder in the draft and he has proven it already.

    I really wanted RSL to trade up and get Tracy. But if he is not there than I think RSL should just stay put and get the best talent they can at the 12 spot. I want either a winger or striker.

    With that said, I think they do have one good trading piece to dangle and that is Rimando. I think it is time to give the reigns to Seitz but Rimando is still a very good keeper. Many teams need quality goal keepers and I think that RSL should get something for him while they can.

    Ives, who is looking for Keepers and what would they give up for Rimando? Is Rimando a valuable commodity in MLS?

  10. TFC07- Baky, Conde, Segares would be obvious ones…

    mo has shown great interest in getting Mapp or Rolfe for the BMB trade, apparently he holds them with some regard…

    im not saying we should trade any other the mentioned above, simply saying that any number of these players COULD start for TFC (not saying they would automatically)

    yes you got DeRo, but you lost a young promising CB for it… TFC have been pitching a DP for some time now, but no names ever pop up…. for TFC’s sake you best hope they use the DP on a striker, seeing DeRo will command the middle

  11. I think Chicago should get two promising midfielders with their top two picks. I’d say Pontius then Jata because they both are big playmakers and have the potential to learn from Blanco this upcoming year. Kyle patterson is also a option but he’s small and most likely can only play outside(no chance at CM).

    Since Grella and Tracy are gone that leaves a lot less to grab for up front, but if we already have Nyarko training for that spot, we should look to get a CM prospect and then grab a potential defender or another CM.

  12. Ives,

    Doesn’t Mo also have a large amount of allocation money to play with?

    I believe he could use allocation money to cover some salary over runs. I don’t see the point of a second DP slot for TFC.

  13. TFC needs at least one CB who can step in right away and lead the D. Are any amount of 1st round picks enough trade bait to pull that off? I doubt it. I’d bet that Mo either makes a deal for lots of allocation money with which to sign a foreign defender or he uses the picks to nab whatever GA kid he’s keen on so as not to dent the cap. He’s probably looking to do a little of both.

    I must admit that when Mo starts wheeling and dealing, it’s usually very interesting.

  14. RSL would be nuts to trade Johnson for the higher spot that has a chance of getting Cronin, especially when Johnson seemed to fit in pretty well with the team. RSL could use another midfielder to take over the right side when Andy Williams leaves (or a left mid and slide Johnson to the right). I could see trading a somebody on defense, but Johnson should not even be considered.

  15. Conde is one of the classiest (um, on the field) defenders in MLS. I hope Chicago deals him for more than draft picks. But the player I would dangle if I were Chicago is Mapp, I think he’s a turnover machine with a pretty high salary, and I bet he’d bolt to Europe if he ever got his game together enough to do so.

    Can’t wait to see what Mo pulls off!

  16. Eugene : “Here’s a deal, NY’s 2nd DP to Toronto if they can send us Conde and Johann Smith. That’s pretty fair and it would suit both parties.”


    TFC might have to use their DP for DeRo anyway so this trade would make sense for TFC.

  17. Here’s a deal, NY’s 2nd DP to Toronto if they can send us Conde and Johann Smith. That’s pretty fair and it would suit both parties.

  18. brett: LOL, you mean the Chicago Fire squad that finished 2nd in the east, 3rd in the league and lost in the eastern confrence finals…. clearly the team that finished last in the east doesnt need any of those players O.o”

    But TFC upgraded their team in off-season. We got DeRo and soon we will get a DP striker. We need just depth and couple quality CB’s. You guys have no one on your team that will interest TFC now. We got enough young players so this draft is kind of useless in TFC’s POV.

    FYI, If MLS follow FIFA calendar, then TFC would have been in the playoffs.

  19. NY DO NOT MAKE A DEAL to move up. This is actually shaping up well. If Chicago deals Conde to TFC, they will likely turn right around and deal him to NY, which would be more valuable than all of our draft picks here. Mo knows that, so what’s the price? I hope it’s not too much for NY to pay. Could be the 2nd DP slot if Toronto is willing to toss something more in there, perhaps allocation bucks or their spot in the allocation order list… but the good news is a deal is definitely doable.

    Seattle should get more clever. With all of these teams hot to get Gonzalez, they should cut off TFC and trade the #1 to Dallas for some combination of FCD’s first round picks and a player. Taking both of FCD’s 1st round picks would be smart because Zakuani is not going to be the single answer in Seattle, being able to pick up more than one good prospect would be more valuable. Maybe they need to trade the #1 for all of TFC’s 1st round picks and then TFC can turn around and trade the #1 again for what they want. Either way, with all the interest in Gonzalez, Zakuani should slip.

  20. SayervilleFC – a right footed player can easily be more prone to playing left wing – it means he’s probably more prone to cutting inside with his left and whipping the ball in with this right

  21. patagonia – Nyarko isnt being fitted for a CM spot… he’s being trained and prepared to run up front… not saying Nyarko wouldnt do well in the middle…

    once BMB & Blanco leave after this season who would you replace them with?? we could in fact replace them fine, but why not get a G.A to fill the role…. with BMB gone, that leaves Rolfe, Nyarko and Carr…. Blanco gone, that leaves Mapp and Thor…. personally id rather have mapp on the wing or bench, thor in the CM or wing spot and have a true playmaker in the middle…

    this is all assuming that Hamlett is still the coach in the long run and if he’s still playing the same formation

  22. As usual, the draft is incredibly over-valued.

    There is no way teams are going to trade starters and draft picks for a single draft pick… frankly, I think it’s doubtful a player who is effective is going to be traded for a draft pick.

  23. TFC07 – ” Please don’t try to get any of Chicago players up. They’re useless in TFC squad. They simply don’t have players that will interest TFC at all. ”

    LOL, you mean the Chicago Fire squad that finished 2nd in the east, 3rd in the league and lost in the eastern confrence finals…. clearly the team that finished last in the east doesnt need any of those players O.o

  24. With losing 2 international spots…and the draft devoid of all but 1 talented Canadian domestic player, Mo HAS to trade the picks. His bargaining position isn’t all that strong because of it, though no doubt strong enough.

    I’d like Serioux back, but Mo has traded him TWICE, he also passed over Will Johnson. I don’t think either decision was good, but I’d be (pleasantly) surprised if Mo admitted he was wrong by bringing both in.

  25. Did Sam Cronin’s agent give you the scoop, Ives? Three teams are really hot to trade up for a non-GA likely d-mid?

    What would the Revs possibly do with Cronin when Shalrie and Big Red are already in the middle?

    Where would RSL put him with Beckerman and Morales locks in their skinny diamond?

    He’s got great potential, but I’d be stunned to see him go before most of the cap-exempt GA guys do.

  26. Mo should try to get Serioux and/or Will Johnson; If not, then at least try to get allocation money. Please don’t try to get any of Chicago players up. They’re useless in TFC squad. They simply don’t have players that will interest TFC at all.

  27. with tracy likely gone, why is fc dallas convinced Gonzo will still be there @ #2? Is Zakuani a lock to go #1? Seems like an expansion team (seattle) would want to shore up its D first.

  28. Oh, this is going to be good. What’s the over / under for Mo pissing this Golden opportunity away? (ouch unintended put with the Golden part).

  29. And also Michael, you have to realize that NONE of these players are a lock. MLS is littered with promising college players who failed in the league.

    It’s not a do-or-die situation for any team (which is a good thing)

  30. Ives,

    Even though he played on the left for Maryland this year, I’m pretty sure Jeremy Hall is actually right-footed. I know he played right mid for the US in the 2005 U17 WC and played a lot of right mid his first couple of years in College Park.

    That doesn’t mean he can’t play left mid in MLS. Part of his allure is his ability to play either side. I just think it’s pushing it to call him a “natural” left mid.

  31. as for the Fire-

    i think a conde trade may not be a bad move… i think CB is fine with us, seeing as we have options ranging from Baky, CJ, Woolard, and Marmol…. i think with Blanco possibly resigning for the last season of his contract, we may try to get Baggio… a playmaker to train with blanco and watch and learn for a season may be what we need… altho i would like to find a RM so Rolfe can go back up top, but thats just wishful thinking

  32. Why would Chicago go for a playmaker when we already have Nyarko sitting on the bench? With Soumare and Segares likely to start attracting attention overseas, losing Conde would mean our D could be seriously depleted if we don’t start anticipating these departures sooner rather than later.

  33. I don’t think RSL would be interested in dealing Will Johnson to move up in the draft. Johnson played fantastically, fit into RSL’s system perfectly, and is the type of player they need (active attacking midfielder). He’s relatively cheap and he’s as young or younger than the players in the draft.


Leave a Comment