I've stated before that Eric Alexander made the most sense for a possible trade and it now appears that that is exactly what is happening. Ives Galarcep, no stranger to getting it spot on with regards to Portland Timbers trades before they're announced, is this morning reporting that Alexander will be heading to the New York Red Bulls in exchange for a bit of allocation money. Ives is reporting that amount is $75,000, though Portland will be paying a bit of his salary this season.
If true, it would probably come as a bit of a shock to many Timbers fans. Despite seeing limited playing time, Alexander was well liked in Portland and was seen as a depth player for the Timbers' bench. Without him, the Timbers' leader in assists in 2012, the midfield is most assuredly weaker.
But let's turn to a bit of speculation on this. Why would Portland trade Eric Alexander at all? It's well known that the Timbers have a glut of young midfielders who are eager to make an impact. They also have a serious need for a centerback player (Silvestre anyone?). With Eric Alexander having a bit of value behind his name, he simply made for the logical choice for trade. The Timbers would be able to use that money, and his now reduced salary (if the rumor is correct in that part) to bring on Silvestre or another centerback.
Still this is just a rumor and the Portland Timbers have no yet announced anything.
[via Soccer by Ives]
What do you think of the possibility that Eric Alexander will be traded to the New York Red Bulls?
UPDATE: This has been confirmed by the Portland Timbers.
PORTLAND, Ore. - The Portland Timbers today announced that the club has acquired allocation money from the New York Red Bulls in exchange for midfielder Eric Alexander. Per league and club policy, terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
"We would like to thank Eric for his service to the club, he was first class both on the field and in the community," said Gavin Wilkinson, Timbers general manager. "He was a tremendous part of the club during his two seasons in Portland, and we wish him well."
Alexander, 24, played in 24 matches (14 starts) for the Timbers last season, recording a career-high six assists and receiving the club's Unsung Hero award. He first joined the Timbers in a trade with FC Dallas on Aug. 19, 2011, and, in total, appeared in 30 games over his two seasons with Portland. A veteran of three MLS seasons, Alexander has played 69 matches, recording two goals and nine assists overall with FC Dallas (2010-11) and Portland (2011-12).