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Monday, January 27, 2014

Putting the red in Red Bulls - Eckersley sent to New York for pick

Surely you're not that shocked Richard...

Ginga Ninja we'll miss you. Your salary... notsomuch.

TFC confirmed the inevitable today as they shipped one of the few long-serving (ish) Reds to New York Red Bulls in exchange for a 2017 4th Round Pick. Is there a rule in MLS that you have to get something back? Seriously, that is the proverbial bag of balls.

Dealing Eckersley - also TFC's reddest-serving Red - was of course not about getting anything in return but rather setting his hyper-inflated salary adrift. Through no fault of his own, Eckersley was signed to a naive permanent contract after becoming a fan-favourite during his original loan-spell. In MLS math, he was never worth what he was making and his deal has been hampering salary cap movement ever since.

That being said, Eckersley didn't make loud noises about moving from Toronto until the very end, and that was after an odd late-season freezing out under the guise of "injury". We can't help but feel a sensible new contract could have been negotiated but there was something more to it. Did he fall out of favour with Nelsen? Is he one last piece to be exorcised from "the old era"? Until we get to read Jim Brennan's shocking future tell-all book "Beyond the Soul Patch", we may never know.

Eckersley will be looked upon favourably by many TFC supporters but despite his protestations to the opposite, he was "just an ordinary" fullback on a more than ordinary contract. It seems as if Ryan Nelsen and Co. have turned the page on "old TFC" and have decided Ecks was a footnote best left in a bad chapter.

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