He scored the first ever goal for the Vancouver Whitecaps of the MLS but French striker Eric Hassli appears to have scored his last for the club. The latest in a series of moves for the Caps sees them send Hassli to rival Toronto FC.
The Whitecaps, who just added two designated players, Scottish internationals Barry Robson and Kenny Miller, jettisoned their third, Hassli, on Friday in exchange for a 2014 MLS SuperDraft first-round pick and an international player-slot through the 2013 season.
The rangy striker began his life as a Vancouver Whitecap as a coveted forward, and his 10 goals last season were second to Camilo's 12. He might have scored more but his temper on the pitch earned cards, sending-offs and suspensions, one this season coming earlier this month after his fifth yellow card.
Whitecaps: Finding MLS trading partners
The 6' 4", 31-year-old scored just twice in 2012 and with the emergence of Darren Mattocks, was relegated to a second-half substitute. But coach Martin Rennie says Hassli will be missed. “Trading Eric has been a difficult decision and we really appreciate all that he has done for the club," Rennie said. "With the emergence of our young strikers and recent additions, we felt that this is the right time to make this move. We wish Eric the best of luck in Toronto.”
The Whitecaps have made a flurry of moves of late. Davide Chiumiento was dealt to FC Zurich of the Swiss Super League, the team Hassli played for prior to coming to Vancouver, and Sebastien Le Toux was traded to the New York Red Bulls for midfielder Dane Richards.
Hassli will be joining former Whitecap defensive midfielder Terry Dunfield, who also scored in that first MLS game for the franchise. That game came against Toronto, where Dunfield was traded last July.