Toronto FC continued its rebuild Monday, sending veteran forward Dom Dwyer and its third overall pick in Tuesday's MLS SuperDraft to FC Dallas in exchange for US$50,000 in general allocation money.
Dallas promptly waived Dwyer, using its one permitted off-season buyout of a guaranteed contract.
In essence, the trade is a salary dump for Toronto. While the 31-year-old Dwyer made a modest US$81,375 last season, his pay balloons to more than US$300,000 in 2022, according to a source not authorized to speak publicly on the deal.
Dallas gets a high first-round draft pick at a relatively modest cost.
Prior to joining Toronto last May, Dwyer spent nine seasons with Sporting Kansas City and Orlando City. Then TFC GM Ali Curtis called him "a powerful attacking player that has experience scoring goals in this league."
It seemed a good fit at the time. Due to the pandemic, Toronto was training in Orlando where Dwyer had a home, and the club needed depth at striker.
"There's a lot of hunger here and desire. I want to repay the faith that the coaches and GM and (Toronto) football club have shown in me by signing me … I think I have plenty more football in me,'' Dyer said after joining Toronto.
He earned a contract after a trial with the club that was interrupted on the fourth day when he tested positive for COVID-19, forcing him to leave the group and self-isolate.
But while an abrasive presence on the field, Dwyer registered just one assist in 14 league appearances (including six starts) in TFC colours.
Dwyer, whose 2020 season with Orlando was cut short by a knee injury, came to Toronto having scored 83 goals in MLS in regular-season and playoff action.
He had 67 goals in all competitions for Sporting Kansas City, with Orlando digging deep into its pocket to acquire him in July 2017. Orlando sent $400,000 in general allocation money, $500,000 in targeted allocation money as well as up to $700,000 in future allocation money based on Dwyer's performance.
According to the MLS Players Association, he made $1.5 million with Orlando in 2019 and $1.64 million in 2020 (although there were some cuts in salaries and bonuses last year due to the pandemic).
Dwyer won the MLS Cup with Sporting Kansas City in 2013.
Born and raised in England, Dwyer came to the U.S. for collegiate soccer after spending time in Norwich City's academy. Kansas City took him 16th overall in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft out of the University of South Florida.
Dwyer gained American citizenship in 2017 and earned four caps with the U.S. national team.
Dwyer's departure leaves Toronto with forwards Jozy Altidore, Jordan Perruzza and Ifunanyachi Achara under contract. It's expected the club will part ways with Altidore, a designated player, to make way for the July arrival of Italian star Lorenzo Insigne.
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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 10, 2022.
Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press