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Eric Hassli to FC Dallas? Makes sense for all

Feb 3, 2013, 9:04 AM EDT

Portland Timbers v Toronto FC Getty Images

FC Dallas needs another striker. Toronto FC has a surplus of target men and has made no secret of its constrained salary cap situation.

So reports that FC Dallas and Toronto are in talks for well-paid French striker Eric Hassli rate low on the shock meter.

Hassli is the youngest (but probably least valued) of Toronto’s three DPs, including Torsten Frings and Danny Koevermans. Koevermans and Hassli are similar in the styles, although an injury to Koevermans will keep the Dutchman out of action a while longer.

But TFC president Kevin Payne has been working hard to improve the team’s jammed up salary cap situation. Trades last month, including one on draft day, helped Payne and TFC gather up a bunch of allocation money to possibly create some room under the cap. But Payne clearly still wants more maneuvering room for moves ahead, and that means moving one of the pricey salaries.

What he told reporters last week about the team’s trio of DPs, plus defenders Darren O’Dea and Richard Eckersley taking up such a significant chunk of the salary budget: “We have to figure out how do we make that work, or is there any wiggle room to adjust that. It’s hard to have the percentage of your cap tied up in five players that we had and still put an effective team on the field.”

FC Dallas has not been deep at striker since 2007, the last year Kenny Cooper and Carlos Ruiz played together, backed up by Dominic Oduro.

Dallas is flush with cash now with its two-thirds share of Brek Shea’s $4 million transfer fee. Don’t be surprised to see this one happen.

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