With the arrival of Will Johnson this past offseason, Toronto FC was looking at a very crowded middle of the park. It was also a very expensive group with Johnson joining Michael Bradley and Benoit Cheyrou in central midfield. The addition seemed to leave Collen Warner as the odd man out in the middle of the park.
So, it should come as no surprise that Toronto FC were willing to deal Warner to open up his roster spot as well as some cap space. With him seemingly being surplus to needs it made sense for TFC to move him to the Houston Dynamo.
In exchange for Warner the club is getting a conditional second round draft pick in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft. It is not much in the way of a return but it will hopefully allow the club to make a corresponding addition with the space that has been freed up by Warner's departure.
Warner was acquired by Toronto in the trade that sent Issey Nakajima-Farran to the Montreal Impact back in 2014. Since coming to TFC he managed to make 51 total appearances, score 2 goals, and pick up 4 assists. At times he was a stabilizing presence in the middle of the park but was never really quick enough to cover all the ground that he was often being asked to deal with.
The deal to trade Warner marks the third time in recent days that TFC have parted ways with a veteran player on a fairly large salary. Hopefully, the series of moves to get Warner, Hercules Gomez, and Luke Moore off the books is enough to allow Tim Bezbatchenko to go out and make an addition or two now as the three departures leave the club looking quite thin at some positions.
With opening day just around the corner it will be interesting to see if management has a corresponding addition in place or if they will start the season with the roster as it currently is.