(Friday, November 17, 2006) -- The question is: Did Jason Kreis ever consider packing?
Hours after the striker was selected by FC Toronto in the league's expansion draft, Major League Soccer's all-time leading goal scorer was dealt back to Real Salt Lake for a partial player allocation.
Toronto, which selected 10 players in today's draft, traded four of those players almost immediately. First, the new club acquired midfielder Ronnie O'Brien from FC Dallas for midfielder Adrian Serioux, who started Sunday for the Houston Dynamo in its triumph over the New England Revolution in MLS Cup 2006.
"I consider Ronnie the best right-side player in America," Toronto coach Mo Johnston said.
Then, FCT sent midfielder Danny O'Rourke and goalkeeper Will Hesmer to the Columbus Crew for another partial player allocation. Soon after, Kreis was sent back to the team with which he spent the last two seasons, following nine years with the Dallas Burn (now FC Dallas).
One of a dwindling number of players from MLS's inaugural 1996 season, Kreis has 108 regular-season goals, three more than forward Jaime Moreno, who has 105 for D.C. United, a club he joined midway through the 1996 campaign.
In 301 career regular-season games -- 278 starts -- Kreis also has 74 assists, 10th all-time. He has started 18 of his 22 playoff matches, contributing four goals and two assists.
O'Brien has spent five years in Dallas, recording 12 goals and 35 assists in 101 regular-season appearances.
Johnston indicated that others selected in the expansion draft are on the market, particularly striker Nate Jaqua, who has spent the last four seasons with the Chicago Fire, primarily a starter in the last three.
"I spoke to him yesterday. He's a commodity at the moment," Johnston said. "I want to invite him up here and let him see the organization, see the stadium, sit him down and give him the plans for the upcoming year."
The one player who fits most into Johnston's plans is playmaker Jose Cancela. "I think he's a wonderful talent," Johnston said of the playmaker. "Obviously, the minutes that he received (with New England) weren't up to his standards. When someone possesses that sort of ability you have to pick him. He's not up for (trade) talks."
Toronto entered the expansion draft with one player signed -- Canadian international midfielder Jim Brennan, who agreed to a multiyear deal with the club in September. Johnston said he expects to sign as many as four Canadian national-team members next week.