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Vancouver keeps on wheeling and dealing


While the rest of Major League Soccer was celebrating Thanksgiving on Thursday, the Vancouver Whitecaps and Toronto FC were completing a trade that served as the last remnant of Wednesday's flurry of trades and the latest step in a very busy week for Vancouver.

The Whitecaps traded midfielder/defender Nathan Sturgis to Toronto FC for the No. 8 overall pick in the 2011 MLS Draft.

The Whitecaps haven't slowed down yet, having announced the signings of three players from its USSF D-2 team on Friday. Vancouver announced the signing defender Wes Knight and goalkeeper Jay Nolly, as well as the addition of Philippe Davies as its first homegrown player.

Toronto FC come away from its trade with a quality defensive midfielder, though the No. 8 overall pick in 2011 is a much higher price than TFC garnered from San Jose when it unloaded former first-round draft pick (and No. 2 overall pick in 2008) Sam Cronin in mid-season. Toronto dealt away Cronin for allocation money because then-head coach Preki didn't rate Cronin, who became a starter for a San Jose side that reached the Eastern Conference Final.

What do you think of Vancouver's moves? Do you like the trade for Toronto FC, or think the Whitecaps made out?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Just heard they signed Robbie Keane…. any truth to this? That would be incredible. I’m not a Whitecaps fan but I think he’d be great in MLS. This could only be good for the league.

  2. Vancouver actually didn’t sell tickets…they sold 15k reservations at like $100 a pop, but then they just released the ticket prices. The cheapest tickets are like $500…they won’t convert all of those. Portland’s 9k is fully sold season tickets.

  3. I don’t think this was a Jurgen deal; Cochrane’s calling the shot’s right now, and I don’t think TFC can afford to do nothing while they wait to fill in the GM and coach positions.

  4. Likely unprotected player chosen sixth in the draft in 2006 for protected played chosen 6th in 2009. All you see is MLS Cup finalist starter traded for bottom dwelling club.

  5. I think TFC management rates their academy higher than what can be found in the draft. We’ve already got academy players on the first team that will be starters in 2-3 years. Better to use that draft pick for the devil you do no than the devil you don’t.

  6. Based on old NASL days, I would think that Vancouver will have huge numbers of fans. I doubt Portland will be that much above MLS average, but you never know.

    I heard Vancouver had 15k season tickets sold and Timber 9k. Neither too shabby considering they have 3-4 months to go.

    Vancouver is counting on big turnout, as their ticket prices are right there with Seattle and LA.

  7. I think Sturgis is a better player than many Seattle fans give him credit for…but…I think Toronto overpaid giving up the 8th pick. Early in the first round you want to pick players with significant upside. I don’t think Sturgis has that much untapped potential remaining.

    On the other hand, Toronto is desperate to get better quickly before those fans burn down the stadium in disgust, so Toronto may be rebuilding for immediate results.

  8. mostly at our own management, cant fault them for having all their ducks in a row. The big IF for me is whether the fans will come out, as well as how the prices will effect the supporters sections, if at all…

  9. Vancouver also opened there store “the new Whitecaps FC store in Metropolis at MetroTown”

    Not a bad 3 days of MLS existence. 8 new players added to the roster including a homegrown player. Plus they picked up some allocation money, draft picks, international slots and they started selling merchandise out of their own store. If they make the playoffs their first season the TFC fans are going to be pissed.

  10. Not sure I agree that Portland is “going the slow route.” I think both teams are doing some smart things, though in slightly different paths.

    Both teams (especially Portland) has really not gone after players in roles you’d expect to be critical ones for a team (Vancouver getting Cannon in goal is the exception): GK, defensive organizer, DM-distributor, AM, withdrawn forward and/or finisher. And both teams are setting themselves up to go overseas and maybe even a DP or two for spots. What they’ve mostly been doing is getting spear carriers and support players. And then piling up draft picks and allocation $ and international slots.

    Portland has been going for a young defense. If you intend to keep players you draft in the expansion draft, well, if you’re a good team very few of them are still around 2 years later (look at Chivas, RSL, TFC, even Seattle). Your best chance is to draft young defenders with athletic ability who might grow into starting ability (or the worth to trade for a starter) in 2-4 years. And Portland has a bunch of those guys. And they then traded for people like Hall and Wallace.

    But the key thing is that neither side went into the draft with rose-colored classes thinking they could build a midfield around Dax McCarty or count on someone like Alejandro Moreno to be your “go-to” striker. So you can look at both teams and go “meh–who’s going to distribute? score? organize?” and that misses the point–they weren’t going to get those guys in the expansion draft. Forcing a round peg into a square hole was like Curt Onalfo trying to turn Santino Quaranta into an attacking midfielder this year instead of just saying “we got no-one here who can play that role in this league so we need to play a scheme that doesn’t require that–rather than force fit.”

    Also, I hope everyone in the States had a happy Thanksgiving.

  11. i think it is pretty cool to see vancouver and toronto making a trade already – thsi will be a great rivalry and will really help canadian soccer.

    as for the trade, sturgis has reportedly played fairly well down the stretch with seattle. from a toronto perspective he can’t be worse than usanov, hsmanovic or any other guys they rolled out last year. at 23, you have to figure he will still improve once he gets established and comfortable at the MLS level. he comes at a decent salary too.

    as for the 8th pick, there are just no guarantees in the draft. it is a bummer to trade picks b/c as a fan of a club it really diminishes my interest in the draft, but they would have been lucky to get a player better than sturgis at that spot and they definately wouldnt’ have got somebody who could help them next year. TFC is very high on a few of their young academy players as well, so they are pretty full on their allotment of 19 and 20 year old players for next year already.

  12. I think Vancouver is doing it right.

    And it’s no coincidence they are loading up on international spots. They clearly have a plan that includes many people from around Europe and trying to contend at the MLS level ASAP.

    Portland, on the other hand, seems to be going the slow route, ala San Jose 2.0.

  13. As a Seattle fan, I thank Sturgis for his fill-in role this year. Some great service, but all around pretty mediocre. He is a decent back-up CDM and will never be more than that. His work ethic is admirable and I wish him the best in Toronto.


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