Real Salt Lake coach Jason Kreis had to do something. Winless in his first three matches as a rookie coach and coaching the only team left in MLS still without a victory, Kreis decided to trade star striker Jeff Cunningham to Toronto FC in exchange for fellow striker Alecko Eskandarian and a 2008 first-round draft pick. Cunningham was the league's leading scorer last year, with 16 goals and 10 assists.
"For me, it's about combinations, it's about chemistry, it's about a team atmosphere," Kreis said after the trade. RSL is 0-3-4, dead last in the league standings. "It's about building a team mentality, about building a competitive mentality, and it's about guys who all want to pull for each other for the right reasons, to win games and championships...[Cunningham] just doesn't fit into our plans."
The Deseret Morning News also points to what Kreis isn't saying (directly anyway): the arrival of Eskandarian for Cunningham frees up an extra $65,000 in cap room, which when added to the nearly $300,000 vacated when Kreis retired and Luis Tejada was released, gives RSL a hefty pile of cash to spend on new players. On Wednesday, prior to the Cunningham trade announcement, Kreis had said the team was looking to bring in three additional players. It now has some $120,000 to spend on each of them.