Toronto FC trade fan favorite Plata to Real Salt Lake
Toronto FC continued to remake their 2013 roster on Wednesday by shipping out fan favorite Joao Plata to Real Salt Lake in exchange for a second- round pick in the 2015 SuperDraft.
The diminutive Ecuadorean attacker was one of the most exciting players for Toronto FC in MLS and the CONCACAF Champions League during an otherwise dismal 2012 campaign for the Reds.
Shortly after former manager Paul Mariner took over the reins in Toronto last summer, the 20-year-old Plata was loaned back to his former club, LDU Quito, for the rest of the 2012 season.
“While Plata is a player our fans enjoyed watching, he did not figure in our plans moving forward,” TFC president and GM Kevin Payne said in a club statement. "It made sense for our club to move him for value as we can continue to build the team we want. We'd like to thank him for his contributions to the club and wish him all the best with his new team."
Plata joins a Real Salt Lake side that reconstructing attack around Costa Rican national team star forward Álvaro Saborío. Gone are former forwards Paulo Jr., Emiliano Bonfigli and former RSL staple Fábian Espíndola.
"We are happy to add a fast, young forward with MLS experience," Real Salt Lake GM Garth Lagerwey said in a club statement. "We believe that Joao can become an impactful member of our team as we continue to work to restock our forward group."
Plata will join RSL for the club's California leg of their preseason and work out with the rest of the squad for the first time in Irvine, Calif.