Home Featured Six ex-TFC players change addresses in second stage MLS Re-Entry draft

Six ex-TFC players change addresses in second stage MLS Re-Entry draft

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Eric Avila: Selected by Colorado
If Friday was your first day following MLS, all you’d need to do is look at the second stage of the Re-Entry Draft to comprehend just how many players have called Toronto FC home over the club’s relatively short six-year existence.

Of the 14 players taken in the second stage, six can claim that they’ve spent part of their careers at Toronto FC.

From the 2012 roster, TFC lost central defender Ty Harden and midfielder Eric Avila. Harden, who began the season as a starter in central defence, spent the majority of the second half of the season on the TFC bench. He moves to San Jose. And Colorado chose Avila with the sixth pick overall.

Conor Casey, who played with TFC in 2007, went to the Philadelphia Union. As the main scoring threat in Colorado, Casey was named MVP of the 2010 MLS Cup, which was held at BMO Field. New England nabbed Chad Barrett, the ex-TFC forward who spent part of last season in Oslo, teaming with Canadians Lars Hirschfeld and Tosaint Ricketts at Valerenga. New England also got Hunter Freeman, who spent part of the 2008 season with TFC before heading to Scandinavia.

Dan Gargan, the master of the long throw who was a fan favourite in Toronto, was picked up by San Jose, where he and Harden can swap TFC stories, provided they both come to contract agreements with the Earthquakes.

The second stage of the draft allows teams to select MLS veterans whose options weren’t picked up or whose contracts expired in 2012. In the second stage, teams sit down and negotiate with the players. In the first stage, teams must bring in selected players at a salary comparable to what they made in 2012. In the second stage, teams and players can negotiate deals with new parameters.

TFC selected former Chivas USA defender Danny Califf with its first overall pick. The team announced it had come to terms with Califf on a contract shortly after the draft. In the early 2000s, Califf was one of the best defenders in MLS, in spells with Los Angeles and the San Jose Earthquakes. He then spent five years in Denmark, before making a celebrated return in 2010 to MLS with the Philadelphia Union. In 2012, he was traded to Chivas USA. At 32, he can still eat up the minutes, but as he’s aged some more flaws have crept into his game — and he isn’t the shutdown defender he used to be. Still, he offers a veteran presence on a backline that desperately needs a leader.

“Danny Califf is a proven defender in our league, and a player with a lot of character. Our defenders are young and we expect Danny to provide important leadership as we change the culture of our team,” said Toronto FC President and General Manager Kevin Payne in a release issued by the team. “We’re thrilled to have him on our team. We look forward to welcoming him and his family to Toronto.”

Toronto FC also announced that it had re-signed defender Jeremy Hall and striker Andrew Wiedeman. Wiedeman was acquired from FC Dallas in 2012 in the deal that sent Canadian Designated Player Julian de Guzman to Texas.

Wiedeman truly had a woeful spell with TFC. According to The 11’s research, in 15 games played for TFC —he played the full 90 in just two of them — the team’s goal difference was a stunning -14 in the time he was on the field. (see our metrics HERE)

No longer a DP, de Guzman went unselected in the re-entry draft and is now a free agent.

The Whitecaps were also affected by moves. John Thorrington, who had the worst goal-difference of any player on the Whitecaps (see our metrics HERE), was picked up by D.C. United.

Meanwhile, the Whitecaps picked up Paulo Jr., who lit up division-2 in 2009 and 2010 with Miami FC, but scored just four goals in 36 matches for Real Salt Lake after coming up to the first division.He did spent part of last season on loan to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, where he scored and added an assist in three starts for the NASL squad.

The Montreal Impact did not make a pick.

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