Toronto FC trades De Guzman to Dallas John Molinaro July 13, 2012 Julian de Guzman’s sometimes brilliant, sometimes pedestrian tenure as a member of Toronto FC is over. De Guzman’s agent told sportsnet.ca very early Friday morning that TFC has traded the Canadian midfielder to FC Dallas. De Guzman’s agent confirmed the transaction in a text message sent to sportsnet.ca precisely at 2 a.m. ET. He offered no other details about the deal, such as who or what Toronto was getting in return for the veteran midfielder. Sportsnet.ca immediately contacted Toronto FC seeking a comment, but the Major League Soccer club did not respond. A 31-year-old native of Scarborough, Ont., De Guzman became Toronto’s original designated player when he signed with the Canadian club in September, 2009. He was in the final year of his current contract, which was set to expire this December. This past week, de Guzman told reporters that his agent and TFC were in the early stages of contract discussions. De Guzman said he hoped to stay in Toronto, but added “we’ll just have to wait and see how both sides feel about it.” De Guzman leaves the team having scored two goals and recording eight assists in 65 league appearances since making his MLS debut on Sept. 19, 2009. His last outing for the Reds came in Wednesday’s 3-2 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps in which he played 60 minutes before being substituted out. The Canadian was TFC’s second-highest wage earner, making $1.9 million US this season, according to the MLS Players’ Union website. Toronto still has two other DP players under contract in German midfielder Torsten Frings ($2.4 million US) and Dutch forward Danny Koevermans ($1.5 million US). The trade might be a signal that Toronto has plans to sign new talent, as de Guzman’s departure could free up some valuable salary cap space, depending on the terms of the trade with Dallas. De Guzman began his career playing in France as a member of Olympique Marseille’s youth team before making his pro debut for FC Saarbrucken in Germany’s second division during the 2001-02 season. In 2002, he joined Hannover 96 and ended up playing three seasons for the German club before moving to Spain three years later when he landed with Deportivo La Coruna. It was in the Spanish first division that his career really began to take off, earning a reputation as a talented two-way midfielder in La Liga and being named Deportivo’s player of the season for the 2007–08 campaign. De Guzman played for Canada at the 2001 FIFA World Youth Championship in Argentina, before graduating to the senior side the following year. He made his debut for the Canadian national team in January, 2002 and has been a mainstay for Canada ever since, scoring four goals and earning 56 caps. He was voted Canadian player of the year in 2008, and was named the MVP of the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup when Canada lost to the United States in the semifinals. Interestingly, perhaps no other player in Toronto FC history divided opinion such as de Guzman. He had a legion of staunch critics who felt he was overpaid and did not live up the designated player tag, and failed to duplicate the top form he demonstrated in Spain. His many supporters were just as unwavering in their belief that the Canadian added a touch of class, quality and skill to a TFC team that often struggled to be competitive on the field. Toronto FC’s first game without de Guzman will be on Saturday on the road against the New England Revolution.