A busy week in Major League Soccer came to an end on Friday with a series of moves that could help strengthen Toronto FC’s position as it vies for its first playoff berth since joining MLS in 2007.
In the morning, Toronto sent former U.S. National Team midfielder Bobby Convey to the New York Red Bulls, along with a second round pick (21st overall) in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft in exchange for New York’s first round pick in 2014 (15th overall) and a third round pick in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft.
Subsequently, Toronto FC also announced the signing of 24-year-old Brazilian striker Gilberto as a Designated Player. Gilberto was sixth in the top league in Brazil with 14 goals in 24 matches in 2013 and joins Matias Laba in Toronto as the club’s second DP on the current roster and sixth in club history.
He has played on five clubs in five years as a professional, scoring in bunches at all but one stop along the way.
Convey, meanwhile, brings 10 years of MLS experience to New York along with five seasons at Reading in the Championship and Premier League from 2004-2009. He played five seasons with DC United before going abroad, then with the San Jose Earthquakes, Sporting Kansas City and Toronto upon his return. In 204 career MLS matches, he has 13 goals and 36 assists.
A member of the inaugural class at the Bradenton Academy in Florida, Convey started his professional and senior international careers at just 17 years old. He had 46 caps with the U.S. National Team and was on the 2006 World Cup squad.
MORE TRADES IN MLS
In addition to the Convey trade, three more players changed teams, with Sal Zizzo going from Portland to Kansas City, RSL defender Lovel Palmer going to the Chicago Fire and Daniel Paladini moving from Chicago to Columbus.
Zizzo played three seasons in Portland after one year with Chivas USA. He has two goals and eight assists in 70 career appearances, but just 29 starts.
Palmer was a versatile depth piece for RSL on its run to the MLS Cup final this year, starting in 14 of 17 appearances, though it was his missed penalty that ended Real Salt Lake’s season in defeat to SKC in a shootout in the final. He has 96 career appearances in four MLS seasons, starting 84 matches while playing for the Houston Dynamo, Portland Timbers and RSL.
Paladini became a regular with the Chicago Fire after stints with Chivas USA, the LA Galaxy and in the PDL with the San Fernando Valley Quakes and in the USL and NASL with the Carolina Railhawks. He played 58 games over three seasons with the Fire, with four goals and six assists and 30 starts.
That makes 15 players changing teams in 12 trades since Monday in an extremely busy week in MLS that also included five players moving in the Re-Entry Draft.
UW'S PEAY NAMED ALL-AMERICAN
The NSCAA college soccer All-Americans were announced on Friday and UW defender Taylor Peay was named a First-Team All-American. The central defender anchored a Huskies defense that allowed just 17 goals in 22 matches and added six goals on offense as well, helping Washington reach the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament.
The senior from Salt Lake City played one year with the Sounders FC U-23s and will be at the MLS Player Combine in Florida next month.
He was joined on the First Team by another Sounders FC U-23 product in Akron midfielder Aodhan Quinn.
The First Team is goalkeeper Andre Blake (Jr., Connecticut); defenders Peay, Steve Birnbaum (Sr., California) and Alec Cochran (Jr., Wisconsin); midfielders Quinn, Laurie Bell (Jr., Wisconsin-Milwaukee) and Leo Stolz (Jr., UCLA); and forwards Pete Caringi III (Sr., UMBC), Sagi Lev-Ari (Jr., Cal State Northridge), Patrick Mullins (Sr., Maryland) and Harrison Shipp (Sr., Notre Dame).