Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Wrath of Con: Cagey Kreis Hustles Mo

Mo Johnston and Toronto FC fleeced hapless Steve Pastorino and Real Salt Lake last year, nabbing negligently unprotected alltime MLS goalscoring leader Jason Kreis in the Expansion Draft and extorting an allocation in exchange for his rightful return to Utah. A neat little grift from the Great White North. Kreis, however, exacted sweet revenge this week, hoodwinking Toronto into swapping Alecko Eskandarian and a First Round SuperDraft pick for Jeff Cunningham in a sting that'd make Henry Gondorff and Johnny Hooker proud.

Like most scams, on paper, this looks like a square-deal for Mo and The Mounties. Cunningham is one of the most prolific strikers in the history of Major League Soccer and Esky is struggling in the Land of Maple Syrup (YouTube). But look closely. Cunningham's teams have compiled an uninspiring 113-114-56 record in his 10-year MLS career. Even bad teams score goals, and Cunningham, age 30, has led plenty of bad teams in scoring.

The 24-year-old Eskandarian, on the other hand, scores goals for good teams (YouTube), including an MLS Cup Most Valuable Player performance for DC United in 2004. DC were 51-39-34 with Esky, made the playoffs all four years and in addition to the MLS Cup crown, won the Supporter's Shield in 2006. Toss in the SuperDraft pick and the fact that Esky's dad is one of our favorite Cosmos players of alltime, and this is a freakin' steal for Jason Kreis and Real Salt Lake.


pate said...

This is about the most upbeat post I've seen on the Cunningham for Esky trade. I'm not entirely sold on it yet, but I'm starting to see more of a silver lining.

riles said...

As long as Esky adjusts to the shock of being dealt again, this will be a big upgrade for Real.

REB said...

Great post. Esky will work great with RSL's midfield. Plus he's got some great years ahead of him.

riles said...

A rising young star for a fading veteran striker is always a good deal.