Timbers Acquire Perkins to Start in Goal

COLUMBUS, OH - JUNE 26: Goalkeeper Troy Perkins  of D.C. United warms up before a game against the Columbus Crew on June 26, 2010 at the Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

The Portland Timbers made a move to upgrade in goal yesterday by swapping keepers with D.C. United, sending Steve Cronin to the nation’s capital in exchange for Troy Perkins.  It was the two club’s second trade of the offseason; during the expansion draft D.C. sent Portland Rodney Wallace for first overall pick Dax McCarty from Dallas.

Perkins is the big name in this deal, but his departure from the District is not surprising.  During his first stint with the Black-and-Red he was a star, being named 2006 Keeper of the Year and was an All-Star as recently as 2007.  Not bad for an undrafted free agent who beat out Nick Rimando for the starting gig in 2006.  After spending the next two years overseas, Perkins returned to MLS and was reacquired by Washington for a first round Superdraft pick and Fred.  He even had seven caps with the national team!

But as any United fan can tell you, that Troy Perkins was absent this season.  Perkins started 22 games this season, but it was mainly by default as Hamid battled multiple injuries and Perkins looked nothing like his previous stint in DC.  In a team with many weaknesses, Perkins was one the team could temporarily overlook during the season but not after.  Further complicating his stay was the fact that he was the second highest paid keeper in MLS, making $200,000 last season.

From a Timbers’ perspective, the move allows them to acquire a veteran keeper who was almost on the U.S. World Cup roster in 2010.  If he can find the form that allowed him to be so highly regarded only a few years ago, Portland will have a solid defense.  In addition to Perkins, they’ve acquired Rodney Wallace from D.C. United and signed former Arsenal defender Kerrea Gilbert.  And the move won’t hurt their cap number next season, as D.C. is on the hook for his 2011 salary.

For United, the move clears the way for Bill Hamid to take the starting job, but gives the club a veteran backup who costs a lot less than Perkins.  Steve Cronin is a veteran who played for the Galaxy and Quakes before spending last year with Portland.  He also knows the team – he was on loan to D.C. in the 2009 season, starting two matches.

Looks like a good trade for both teams, but what do you think?

6 Responses to Timbers Acquire Perkins to Start in Goal

  1. kickit says:

    I wonder what does this mean for Marcus who play for the Wolves in England. He stated that he would like to go to the Northwest, Portland or Vancouver, Seattle’s not an option because of Keller. I guess Vancouver his only choice now.

    • Charles says:

      You do know that Keller just announced his retirement after the year ?
      That MH has already won a title with Seattle ?

      I would be shocked if he is not a Sounder in the 2012 season.

  2. paulsepp says:

    Good take on the trade, I think you are right on. One thing you left out is the supporters perspective in which Cronin had many fans. He was unveiled as on of the original four players signed for MLS. Then last week he and his wife walked the runway showing off the new MLS kits. There are some supporters who are turned off by this move.
    I understand why management made the move, but I wanted to add what I have been hearing from some people here in pdx.

    • Charles says:

      I hope for your sake he is not your version of LeToux.

      The “original” players that I watched through the years of USL and then make MLS, always have a special place in my heart, even if they are a little overmatched sometimes.

  3. Jason says:

    DC is only on the hook for a portion of Perkin’s salary and only for 2011. You also left out that Portland gave up even more allocation to DC, which is the larger part of the deal. Cronin is more of an add-on considering Hamid became the #1 goalkeeper for DC last year and only gave up the spot due to injury.

  4. Charles says:


    You saw Perkins a lot more when he was in his prime, so you can imagine him recovering this year. From where I sit, Portland blew this one giving up allocation dollars for him.

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