We've been hearing the rumors for what seemed like months, but as of today Eric Brunner has departed the Portland Timbers for Houston Dynamo. It's a move that probably won't shock many fans as Brunner did not see much playing time in 2012 due to various injuries as well as David Horst coming into his own as a competent defender.
A source close to the matter has informed us that the trade was preferred by Brunner who wanted to get first team playing experience. The Portland Timbers, for their part, did not expect to give Brunner more playing time in 2013, but knew that he was still valuable enough to trade. So, while some of you might not be happy about this, at least the Timbers were able to make a smart financial move.
Additionally, this could mean that Futty Danso will remain with the squad. While he's doubtful to get much first team experience in 2013, he's a solid choice on the bench and costs far less than most players.
Full press release below:
PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers today announced that the club has acquired allocation money from the Houston Dynamo in exchange for defender Eric Brunner. Per club and league policy, terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
"Eric is a great person and quality player, and these types of decisions are never easy," said Gavin Wilkinson, Timbers general manager. "We very much appreciate his service to the club over the past two seasons, both on and off the field. The opportunity in Houston for Eric is one that he is excited about. He is well-liked and will be missed."
Brunner, 26, appeared in 13 matches for the Timbers during the 2012 campaign and scored one goal; his season was limited due to injuries. Brunner, who was selected by the Timbers in the 2010 MLS Expansion Draft from the Columbus Crew, appeared in 45 games and scored four goals over two seasons in Portland, setting MLS-career highs in both games played (32) and goals (3) in 2011.
"I’d like to thank Merritt Paulson, Gavin Wilkinson and the entire Timbers organization for allowing me to be a part of the start of the MLS franchise; it’s been an honor," said Brunner. "I am fortunate to have made life-long friendships and I’d like to thank the fans for their commitment and support. It has been a pleasure playing for you. I am excited for my new endeavors in Houston and appreciate all that’s been done."
In total, Brunner has played in 84 matches and scored six goals during his four-year MLS career.