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07-21-2012, 06:48 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Vancouver
Country: Canada
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Whitecaps fan/season tix holder here--but I come in peace. I actually lived in TO for the first few years of TFC's existence and supported them for a time (loved going to see games in your section(s)), so I still have a bit of a soft spot for you guys, so I'll try my best to give as balanced of a perspective as I can.

Hassli has been extremely clutch for the caps. scoring what are probably the 4 most important goals in our MLS existence-- our first MLS goal, the world-class goal against Seattle later that year, a clutch extra-time winner against San Jose this season, and that rocket-volley he scored against TFC in the Amway game this year. Based on those 4 goals alone, he will forever be a legend for whitecaps fans. But apart from just a couple clutch goals this season, he has been quite ineffective and deservedly lost his spot in the starting 11. He is definitely strong, and has a rocket of a shot, and when presented with the opportunity he can score highlight-reel goals. But he's not very fast and often relies on others creating opportunities rather than making them for himself. He also relies on his strength rather than positioning to fight for loose balls, which often ends up with unnecessary fouls being called against him. He is also prone to emotional & unnecessary yellow/red cards. His first touch has not been very good this year, and he doesn't really have enough quickness to run past defenders. And for a big man he is pretty poor in the air (apparently he suffered a bad head injury in the past playing in europe...). I think it was clear to most 'realistic' whitecaps supporters that he was great to have as a sort of 'super sub' off the bench to help push for a late goal, but from a salary-management perspective it doesn't make sense to be paying DP money to someone to come off the bench late in the game.

That being said, I still think you guys will love him. He has a bit of Dichio mojo in him... he oozes intensity and his finishing can be world class with the right service. TFC's schedule and roster situation suits him well since it looks like he will be your go-to striker, so with increased opportunity he should be able to score some goals. But for all the TFC fans presuming you're getting a top-flight MLS DP striker will probably be a bit disappointed. I love the guy, but I would be surprised if a MLS team would renew his contract for DP money next year. I was hoping the Caps could decline his option for next year and renegotiate a non-DP contract for next year as more of a depth/secondary striker with a penchant for scoring clutch goals. Giving up a 1st rounder+international spot might be a bit steep...I was expecting we would get even less just to free up his salary and DP slot, but I guess draft picks are always a crapshoot. But considering the fantastic memories he's given to Caps fans I'm happy he's going to a club with a decent fan base, and where he'll see more opportunity to try and lengthen his career. Best of luck to Eric and I hope you enjoy watching him score some memorable goals... just not against the Caps!

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