Of all the places to send him. Sure, Toronto had an opening and a desperate need for a forward, after Danny Koevermans’ season was ended by a torn ACL. And, sure, a long goal drought had put Hassli in Martin Rennie’s doghouse, rendering him an overpriced (and expensive) late-game sub on most nights. But nobody deserves Toronto.
It sucks to lose such a character. This is the guy who scored the first MLS goal in Whitecaps history after flying in from Switzerland just a week before. The guy who, after only three MLS games, had scored three goals and been sent off twice (once for celebrating one of his goals). The guy who bought in to this city and this country, got married, bought land, always had time for the fans and even got a maple leaf tattooed on his arm.
He’s the guy who did this:
To me, it doesn’t matter who got the better of this trade. It doesn’t matter that he scored 3 goals in his last 30 or so games, or that he was constantly whining about the shitty officiating, or that he might thrive in Paul Mariner’s formation. I’m having trouble seeing past one of the reasons I fell in love with the Whitecaps being traded away for a draft pick. I know it isn’t rational, and I’m sure I’ll get over it as I get to know some of the new personalities on the team, but right now it feels like this team got a lot less likeable.
I’m going to miss the way Hassli seemed never to score a goal unless it was in the most dramatic way possible, and I find myself wishing him success in Toronto, so long as it’s not against us. Best of luck, Eric.