Timbers trade Cronin, receive DC United keeper Troy Perkins
The Portland Timbers have traded former starting goalkeeper Steven Cronin to DC United for Troy Perkins and allocation money. DC United will pay part of Perkins’ salary in 2011.
“Today, we’ve acquired one of the best American goalkeepers in MLS,” said Timbers head coach John Spencer. “With his valuable MLS experience and proven leadership, Troy has the ability and character to make a huge impact in Portland.
Even though Cronin had spent the past two years with the club, Perkins is a known commodity in the league and is only a year older.
Perkins was the second highest-paid keeper in the league last year at $200,000, behind Seattle’s Kasey Keller.
Steve Cronin served the Timbers well in the second division, but this is still an upgrade. Goalkeeper is one position where I’m happy to see the Timbers trade up in experience. Perkins may have struggled in his 2010 campaign, but DC United was known for a poor defense and his long resume makes up for an off year. With DC United, Perkins was the goalkeeper of the year in 2006, and has a career goals allowed average of 1.22. He also won the Norwegian Cup playing for the top flight division there. Cronin did have some success at the MLS level in a short stint with DC, but struggled in the past playing for the Galaxy.
I’d like to hear how fans are feeling about this. There’s bound to be some people who are upset to see their starting keeper gone.
A surprising move by the Timbers management. I guess you always have to stay on your toes. I assumed Cronin was a lock to be on the roster heading into the start of the 2011 season. Perhaps the biggest surprise is that the team gave up allocation money in the deal to get Perkins.
So, what does this tell us about the strategy/mindset of the management as they assemble this team? First, they aren’t going to shy away from spending money when they feel it’s worth the price. Not only did they give up allocation money in order to make the deal (as opposed to another contract), but Perkin’s talent comes with a much higher cost. Also, the Timbers are clearly targeting talent who already come with MLS-level resumes. Perkins has more experience against top competition than Cronin does and although he’s coming off a down year, he’s young enough to return to form with a quality backline defending him once again.
It’s sad to see Cronin go, but overall, as a Timber fan, I’m excited about this move. It shows how serious Merritt Paulson and the organization is about building a winning product in the Rose City. And that’s something I’m not surprised by at all.
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