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?

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