Justin Braun is on his way to Toronto after the club confirmed that they had acquired his rights from Real Salt Lake in exchange for 2012 SuperDraft selection Aaron Maund. Braun, a 25 year old forward, now joins his fourth club in the span of a year having finished the 2011 season with Chivas USA before being selecting by the Montreal Impact in the expansion draft and later being dealt to RSL.
Toronto is landing a player who was once considered to be one of the top up and coming forwards in MLS but has since seen his stock take a drastic hit. He was unable to make a break through at RSL as he only managed to make 2 league appearances and just 1 start. He added 12 more appearances and 5 more starts while he was in Montreal at the start of the season but the totals are less than impressive as he failed to score in 14 games during 2012.
With Chivas things were a lot better for Braun who was a regular starter in 2010 and 2011 scoring 17 goals over the course of the two seasons and by the time he left the club he was their second leading all time scorer with 24 goals. He even garnered some attention from the US national team being called into a couple of different camps but he has yet to earn a cap.
Now with Toronto, Braun will certainly be looked at to provide more depth in the attack. He is a big bodied forward who should provide much needed support to the often injured duo of Danny Koevermans and Eric Hassli. He should certainly serve as an upgrade over Andrew Wiedeman and Quincy Amarikwa in the short term.
Toronto is not giving up all that much to bring Braun in either as they are shipping out Aaron Maund in return. Maund, the 12th overall pick in last years Draft, was given ample chance to impress with TFC this season but never really got the job done. Mariner experimented with him as a holding midfielder but that was basically a disaster and now his trade to RSL brings that experiment to a much needed end.
This move will most likely be just one part of the puzzle for Toronto FC in the coming weeks as they now have a few spare parts in the attacking department. It is unlikely that Mariner will want to keep six forwards on the depth chart so I would not be surprised if this move was not made in part to setup a future move that sees at least one of the other attackers moved out.