TFC wheels and deals

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 7:34 AM ET

Goal-starved Toronto FC have added some much-needed offensive punch in striker Jeff Cunningham, one of the finest finishers in MLS history.

Cunningham, whose 93 career goals rank him fourth on the league's all-time list, was acquired yesterday fromReal Salt Lake for forward Alecko Eskandarian and a first-round MLS Superdraft pick in 2008.

The deal makes sense for Toronto FC, which has found the back of the net just six times in seven games.

But that didn't stop Eskandarian, one of the league's more flambuoyant players, from ripping his former organization in an interview with the Washington Post.

"It hurts," said Eskandarian, 24, who was shipped out just three days after scoring his first goal of the season for FC.

I feel like I was deceived. I'm sure they'll put a spin on it and say that I wanted to leave but that's not the case."

To be fair, Toronto FC coach Mo Johnston had little choice.

His team is in the midst of an awful schedule that features four MLS games in 15 days plus tonight's international friendly against Portuguese powerhouse Benfica at BMO Field.

Adding to Johnston's woes is the fact that he is about to lose five players -- albeit temporarily -- to their international sides.

Goalie Greg Sutton and defenders Adam Braz and Marco Reda leave this weekend to join the Canadian national team on a stint that will see them play a tune-up match against host Venezuela, then the team will head to Miami for the Gold Cup tournament.

Defender Andrew Boyens (New Zealand) and midfielder Carl Robinson (Wales) also are poised to join their respective national teams, leaving 2-5 Toronto FC in need of a boost.

Enter Cunningham, who won the MLS Golden Boot with his league-leading 16 goals last season.

"We've been after Cunningham for a long time," said Johnston of the veteran forward, who already has three goals this season.

"Listen, Alecko is a tremendous player. He'll score goals in this league. But when you look at a guy like Cunningham, everyone pays a price and, unfortunately, Alecko paid the price."


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