Teams: Toronto FC, Fiorentina, Barça
Toronto selects, deals Canadian Serioux
By Peter Mallett
Globe and Mail, November 18, 2006
It turned out to be the homecoming that never was for Canadian midfielder Adrian Serioux.
Serioux, a member of the 2006 MLS Cup champion Houston Dynamo, was the lone Canadian selected by Toronto FC coach Maurice Johnston in yesterday's Major League Soccer expansion draft, but he also became the first player to be traded in franchise history.
Toronto FC dealt the 26-year-old Toronto native and Canadian national team member to FC Dallas for two-time MLS all-star midfielder Ronnie O'Brien.
"We are disappointed to lose Adrian but it was something we had to do to make Toronto FC a better team," Johnston said during yesterday's expansion draft conference call. "We are very excited to have Ronnie on our team and as a coach I have been trying for 2½ years to secure his signature."
A native of Bray, Ireland, O'Brien is a five year MLS veteran, who has also played with Italian legend Juventus and England's Middlesbrough.
Johnston rated O'Brien as the best right-side player in the league and someone who will greatly improve the team's fortunes when it kicks off the regular season as the league's 13th franchise in April.
"Like everyone else we selected today, Ronnie fits the bill for us and will blend in well." Johnston said.
Serioux, who once played with the Toronto Lynx of the United Soccer Leagues and Millwall of the English League Championship could not be reached for comment.
Serioux was in the starting lineup for the Dynamo in last Sunday's MLS Cup penalty-kicks victory over the New England Revolution, but bruised his knee during the game and was not part of Canada's squad for Wednesday's 1-0 exhibition loss to Hungary in Budapest.
Late yesterday, Toronto also traded three more draft picks, midfielder Danny O'Rourke (New York Red Bulls) and goalkeeper Will Hesmer (Kansas City Wizards), to the Columbus Crew in exchange for an undisclosed amount of cash.
Ten-year veteran and MLS career goal-scoring leader Jason Kreis was sent back to his original team, Real Salt Lake, for cash.
"I'm very excited about the other guys we are bringing on board, too -- it's a great feeling to be able to build this team from scratch," Johnston said.
Other Toronto selections included Los Angeles Galaxy's Brazilian midfield playmaker Paulo Nagamura and Chicago Fire striker Nate Jaqua, who led the team in goal scoring last season, with eight. The selection surprised many around the league, as Jaqua has clearly stated his desire to be traded from the MLS to a top-flight European club.
Other Toronto FC selections are midfielders Jose Cancela (New England Revolution), Rod Dyachenko (DC United), and defenders Ritchie Kotschau (Columbus Crew) and Tim Regan (Chivas USA).
So what's Toronto FC going to do with all that "cash"?