TFC acquires Hassli from Whitecaps

Vancouver Whitecaps Eric Hassli (L) fights for the ball with New York Red Bulls Jan Gunnar Solli...

Vancouver Whitecaps Eric Hassli (L) fights for the ball with New York Red Bulls Jan Gunnar Solli during the second half of their MLS soccer game in Vancouver, British Columbia June 20, 2012. (REUTERS)

KURTIS LARSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:34 AM ET

TORONTO - Toronto FC announced late Friday it acquired forward Eric Hassli from the Vancouver Whitecaps in exchange for TFC’s first pick in the 2014 MLS draft and an international roster spot through December 31, 2013.

Hassli, whose total compensation for the 2012 season is close to $800,000, will be considered a Designated Player and will occupy an international roster spot with the Reds.

“Adding a player of Eric’s ability gives an immediate improvement to our club,” said TFC head coach Paul Mariner. “He has had a lot of success in this league.”

The deal comes a week after tragedy struck when TFC’s leading scorer, Danny Koevermans, suffered a season-ending ACL tear against the New England Revolution. That injury, along with the club sending Julian de Guzman to Dallas this month, opened two Designated Player spots Mariner hinted would be filled by at least one "bossman" at the back.

Still with a year left on the deal he signed midway through last year, the addition complicates Koevermans' status with the club, especially if TFC's front office follows through with the plan to add a pricey defender.

Hassli, 31, joined Vancouver from Swiss Super League club FC Zurich for the start of the 2011 season. In 44 MLS appearances, Hassli scored 12 goals and added five assists.

“With the emergence of our young strikers and recent additions, we felt that this is the right time to make this move,” said Whitecaps head coach Martin Rennie.

The Frenchman also scored three goals in eight Canadian Championship matches for Vancouver.


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