I’ve sat on this story all weekend, I blame the SuperBowl for that.
Late Friday afternoon FC Dallas tweeted out that they were interested in trading for forward and Designated Player Eric Hassli from Toronto FC. Yeah, the club actually tweeted out that they were in talks with another club about a specific player. You don’t see this out of Dallas that much, so it was a bit of a shock.
NEWS: #FCDallas is in talks with Toronto FC and close to finalizing a deal to bring Eric Hassli to Dallas.
— FC Dallas (@FCDallas) February 1, 2013
Today the two clubs made it official with Toronto landing a conditional second round draft pick in 2014.
So needless to say that on Saturday after the scrimmage with the University of Memphis me and other reporters in town were curious about this move. And as you would have it FC Dallas manager Schellas Hyndman was quick to give his two cents on the deal.
“We’re hoping that it all does come true,” Hyndman told reporters. “Because one of the things we said is the sale of Brek should give us an opportunity to go get some players we need. You take a look at today, we need finishers. With Blas [Pérez] being gone as much as he is, we need somebody to carry that along.”
“He’s a goalscorer,” said Hyndman. “He’s a player that will be in the right place in the right time and if he’s not scoring goals, he will be creating goals for players.”
On the surface this deal screams fun for reporters like myself. For one most know that if you don’t play into Hyndman’s system he will find a way to get you out of town. Hassli isn’t a player that has done particularly well in MLS with the four coaches that he’s had to deal with. But then again it is hard to judge his performances with two pretty bad teams as well.
In Vancouver he went through three coaches before getting shipped off to Toronto in the middle of last season. There he dealt with Paul Mariner but also with injuries. The French forward scored five goals and added five assists in 25 games split between the Vancouver Whitecaps and Toronto FC last season after a 10-goal campaign in 2011.
Is this move bad for Dallas? Heck no. If they get him cheap – which I assume they will considering their history of deals with Toronto – he’ll fit in nicely to the 4-4-2 set up that Dallas is pushing to go with this season. Dallas needs a striker that is at the level of Blas Perez too. With Perez likely to miss a good chunk of this season with the Panama national team, Hyndman and his staff knew that the new Brek Shea money that they got had to be spent first on a striker.
But back to the hot headed Hassli for a moment. Some figure he won’t fit in well in Dallas because of Hyndman. I say hogwash to that. Look at what he’s had to deal with in Canada the last two seasons. Coaching changes, poor midfields behind him, lack of service and in Toronto a bad front office deal. In Dallas he’ll get service from the wings and in the middle from David Ferreira, not to mention that Perez is also a good facilitator of the ball too.
Does this make Dallas an instant contender if it goes through? No, but it does make them a heck of a lot more interesting this season. In a year where they lack a face of the franchise now that Shea is gone, making a gamble like this is the way to go.