TORONTO – Another day, another trade for Toronto FC.
Early Friday morning, Toronto swapped wingers with the Columbus Crew and brought in Dominic Oduro in exchange for Alvaro Rey. The trade is the third for the club in a busy spring that has seen Collen Warner and Luke Moore also join the team in recent weeks.
“Dominic’s a guy that has proved in the league that he can be pretty devastating,” TFC head coach Ryan Nelsen told reporters at training Friday. “He’s a nice age, he’s got good MLS experience and can play a couple of positions. He’s going to be a valuable asset to our club.”
In exchange, Toronto FC sent Rey to the Crew and Nelsen wished the Spanish winger well in Ohio, saying he hopes he can “flourish” in Columbus. Rey joined Toronto FC in the middle of the 2013 season, but Oduro is a player Nelsen is also very familiar with.
“I’ve liked Dominic Oduro since he hurt us several times last season, to tell you the truth,” Nelsen said. “We know his character really well, we know who he is. We know that, when we scouted Columbus, he was one of the guys you worried about. You worry about Dominic Oduro. It’s a nice feather in our cap that we’ve got a guy like him that can pose different problems.”
Oduro is well known in MLS for his speed and goalscoring ability, two characteristics that Nelsen identified as beneficial to his team.
“Pace always helps, doesn’t it,” Nelsen said. “It’s always nice to have probably the fastest guy in the league on your team, and a guy that scored double-figure goals in the league. It helps. He can play right midfield, he can play striker. It’s just another weapon in the arsenal that we’re trying to build.”
That pace is something captain Steven Caldwell has dealt with a few times since joining the team. The defender told reporters on Friday that he was excited to have Oduro join the team and give them another attacking option to work with.
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“We’ve got a lot of speed, but we’re talking about the fastest, or one of the top three fastest guys in the whole league,” Caldwell said. “He’s been a dangerous opponent of ours since I’ve came here, scored a couple of goals and been a real thorn on the side. If we’re defending for long periods and we have Dominic on the park, we know he can break with such pace that he can cause any side problems.
“He stretches teams which is important for us to create space for other players."
Oduro is also known for his eccentric hairstyles, whether it be died Columbus yellow or shaved and colored to look like a slice of pizza. Despite the creativity up top, funky hairstyle isn’t something the hard-tackling Scottish captain is necessarily opposed to.
“That’s entirely up to him,” Caldwell said, with a laugh. “I don’t think I’ll be joining him on any of the fashion choices but we’re not interested in his hair, we’re more interested in his talents on the pitch!”