Former Toronto FC president and general manager Kevin Payne scouted Argentine forward Maximiliano Urruti for more than a year before he was able to finally bring him to Toronto in August, but with Payne now gone, his prized import is on his way out, too.
TFC traded the 22-year-old attacker to the Portland Timbers on Monday in exchange for forward Bright Dike, a first-round pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft and allocation money. Toronto also give up an international roster spot through 2013 in the deal.
Toronto FC will receive the Timbers’ lowest first-round pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft, should the Timbers acquire a second first-round pick in that draft.
Urruti appeared in just two games off the bench during his brief time in Toronto, and went as an unused sub during the Timbers’ 4-0 win over TFC on Saturday night. He logged a total of 37 minutes on the field for the club after shining with Newell’s Old Boys of the Primera División de Argentina and scoring 14 goals combined in league and Copa Libertadores play for the club.
“Maximiliano is a player we know well, one we feel will be a great fit in our system and scouted extensively prior to him signing with Toronto,” Timbers head coach Caleb Porter said in a statement. “He is a quality, young player who has cut his teeth with one of the top clubs in the Argentine first division. Urruti will complement the depth we have in the striker position, and once he is acclimated and match fit, will bring a dimension to the number nine role that we’ve been looking for.”
Payne – who told reporters he followed Urruti even before he joined Toronto as the man in charge of a franchise rebuild last November – was relieved of his duties last week.
“We received an offer from Portland that we could simply not pass on. We feel good about the return we’re getting and it made sense for both clubs,” Toronto FC head coach Ryan Nelsen said in a statement. “We’d like to welcome Bright Dike to Toronto FC and wish Maximiliano all the best.”
Dike, 26, suffered a torn ACL during the preseason and has not played for the Timbers this season. He finished with five goals in 12 games last season, his best run in MLS so far after successfully making the transition from the team’s second-division days in 2010.
“We truly appreciate all that Bright has given to the club and this community in his four years in Portland,” Timbers general manager Gavin Wilkinson said in a statement. “Bright is a tremendous professional and, as one of the club’s first MLS signings, has been a great ambassador for the Timbers. We sincerely wish him all the best and he will be missed.”
Toronto FC return to action on Wednesday at home against Chicago, while Portland take on Chivas USA in Los Angeles on Saturday.