Toronto FC continued to shake up their roster in hopes of climbing into postseason contention on Thursday, engineering two separate trades that landed promising midfielder/forward Ryan Johnson from the San Jose Earthquakes and midfielder and Canadian international Terry Dunfield from the Vancouver Whitecaps.
The Reds also acquired allocation money and an international roster spot from the Earthquakes in exchange for veteran forward Alan Gordon, midfielder Jacob Peterson and defender Nana Attakora. They gave up allocation money and future considerations to Vancouver.
The moves are a clear sign that head coach Aron Winter is keen on a change of personnel for a TFC team that has won just one of its last five games and is currently seventh in the Eastern Conference. They also plunged headfirst into the Designated Player market last month, signing former German international defender Torsten Frings and Dutch striker Danny Koevermans.
And now the Reds have reinforcements in the form of Johnson and Dunfield, two offensive stalwarts for their respective clubs this season.
Johnson has appeared in at least 27 games each of the last three seasons for San Jose and has 12 starts this year, and posted a career-high 11 goals during the 2009 season. He has two assists this season and enjoyed a breakout campaign with the Jamaican national team during last month’s CONCACAF Gold Cup, helping lead the Reggae Boyz to an unbeaten record in the group stage before they lost to the United States in the quarterfinals.
Johnson also tallied eight assists last season for San Jose, serving as a valuable offensive asset as the Earthquakes reached the Eastern Conference Championship.
Dunfield has started 11 matches this season for Vancouver, notching three assists and a goal while periodically serving as the team’s captain. A Vancouver native who is a fan favorite in his hometown, he also has six caps with the Canadian national team and started all three group-stage games for Canada during the Canucks’ early exit from the Gold Cup. He also scored his first international goal during a Gold Cup tuneup against Ecuador at BMO Field in Toronto last month.
"[Dunfield] is a passionate player and he will fit in well," Winter said in a statement. "He has played well this season for Vancouver and we have seen firsthand what he is capable of."
Gordon, meanwhile, will suit up for his fourth MLS team since 2010 after scoring four goals in eight games for TFC this season. While he’s battled injuries this year, he logged 90 minutes in Toronto’s 2-0 loss to Houston last Saturday, his first action since June 15. A fixture with the LA Galaxy beginning in 2004, he was traded to Chivas USA midway through last season and eventually taken by Vancouver in the Expansion Draft, but he never played for the Whitecaps.
Instead he was traded back to Chivas USA before the Goats eventually dealt him to Toronto in March for midfielder Nick LaBrocca. He has 21 goals and 16 assists in 116 career regular-season appearances.
Once considered a future star for Toronto, Attakora has appeared in 56 games for the club since their inaugural year in 2007, and logged a career-high 24 starts on the TFC back line last season. Injuries have limited him to just six appearances this season, however, and he hasn’t played since June 4.
Peterson has started 13 games in the Toronto midfield this season, and appeared in 25 games last year after coming over via trade from the Colorado Rapids.