The revolving door just keeps on revolving as it was announced today that club captain (in name if not in spirit) Maicon Santos has been traded to FC Dallas with Eric Avila coming to Toronto. Here's the official notice on the club website.
More later, but I'll say right now that I won't miss Santos and his 89 useless minutes per game. I don't know that much about Avila to be honest, but he's done enough to fall into that fuzzy, 'I feel like he's a good player' category in my head, which is more than I could say about Marosevic and Robinson before they showed up here, so hopefully that's a good sign.
Here's more on Avila from Daniel Robertson of Big D Soccer;
To begin, I want to use a baseball comparison. The Texas Rangers have a player named Chris Davis who hit 17 home runs in his rookie year with the Rangers. He followed that up with a nice sophomore season. Since then he has struggled bouncing between triple A(Where he absolutely dominates) and the majors where he struggles looking nervous and striking out multiple times a game. However, Rangers fans have been very leery of trading him because of the obvious talent he has and if he could just put it all together he would be a force. Eric Avila is the same way.
Avi has scored some wonderful goals including the biggest goal of 2010 for FC Dallas, the stoppage-time winner against Real Salt Lake in the playoffs that proved to be the difference in the playoff series. However, he has never been able to lock down a starting job in Schellas Hyndman’s system. A lot of us, myself included, thought the David Ferreira injury would be the thing that finally opened the door for Eric to grab a starting spot. Long story short, he wasn’t able to do it and looked to be out the door a few weeks ago when a loan move to Mexican side Atlas fell apart.
Eric is extremely gifted going forward with the ball. He plays fantastic through balls and is a threat from outside the box. He is a wonderful offensive sub to bring off the bench when you need to find a goal.
He’s just never been able to do it from a starting position. Avila doesn’t play enough defense for Schellas Hyndman and his slight figure is easily pushed off the ball. When he’s down on confidence, Avila can fall completely off the map during games.
That sounds pretty positive to me, certainly more useful that Maicon Santos, though it does seem like we've traded one mentally fragile player who's not making the most of his ability for another. I like what Daniel has to say about him being a skillful, creative Attacking Midfielder, as we've been lacking one of those all season. Here's how I picture our potential midfield now, Frings as DM, and then have Avila and either Dunfield or De Guzman ahead of him, as I think they would compliment each other very well, Avila as the more creative guy, Dunfield/De Guzman as the box to box midfielder, putting in a lot of hard work to make up for Avila's lack of defence. Or maybe he'll be used as a sub for one of the Frings/Dunfield/De Guzman midfield when we need a bit more creativity. Either way, it's good to have a few decent options, and especially a skilled and attacking option in midfield.
All in all a very good trade.