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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Domino effect begins as Reds ship Kocic and Johnson to Timbers

Another team for Milos!

With all due respect to Justin Braun, TFC has made its first major deal under Kevin Payne's leadership. The long rumoured/now official deal between Toronto and Portland sees Milos Kocic and Ryan Johnson being fitted for hipster lumberjack shirts and skinny jeans while The Reds receive Timbers' First Round SuperDraft Pick (3rd Overall) and hulking backup keeper Joe Bendik "Like Beckham" in return.
While the move doesn't immediately aid the ever-shrinking squad numbers of TFC, this deal can be regarded as the first domino to fall in The Reds' re-building (again) effort. By all accounts the club has a number of irons in the Scandinavian fire that they would like to make happen but were up against the wall in regards to salary cap. Eliminating Kocic and Johnson's wages helps ease that pain.
By acquiring another high draft pick, Kevin Payne & Posse now have some flexibility at next month's SuperDraft. They can keep both picks and pray to the Nativity Baby Jesus that both picks turn into Blue (or Red) Chips and accelerate the youth movement. They can deal one for a warm MLS body and still have a remaining high pick. Or - least likely - deal both away in a major deal or a couple of deals to plug the now increasing holes in the starting eleven. The addition of Bendik, will offer some much needed competition to Freddy Hall as the # 2 keeper and/or allow young Quinlan Roberts the opportunity to go out on loan.
The departing Reds will be met with different emotions from TFC supporters. Milos Kocic was more than a suitable backup keeper, especially in 2012 when Stefan Frei missed the majority of the season. His heart and spirit will be missed by many but the majority will agree that Frei is the superior keeper overall and Kocic deserves a chance elsewhere. As for Ryan Johnson, we may have not seen as mercurial a talent since Amado Guevara was here. All the tools, speed and power to be great... but always just missing that certain spark. That being said, he logged many minutes in his roles at forward/midfield and his departure leaves another big hole to fill. These dominoes better start dropping soon.

UPDATE: According to The Toronto Sun's Kurt Larson this afternoon, Freddy Hall's option is not being picked up by the club. This of course means that Joe Bendik "Like Someone" is your new # 2 keeper - and Reggie Lambe will still send out illegible Tweets. As you were.

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