FRISCO, Texas – FC Dallas has acquired Brazilian forward Maicon Santos from Toronto FC pending receipt of his P-1 Visa, in exchange for midfielder Eric Avila, the club announced today. FC Dallas will also receive an international slot from Toronto FC through the remainder of 2011.
“We are very excited that Maicon Santos is joining FC Dallas,” FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman said. “He is an established player in MLS. He’s got great size. He is the leading scorer for Toronto FC with six goals. Given the way we play and the type of ball movement we get, I believe he will contribute immediately to the team.”
Santos has started 15 games for Toronto this season, scoring a team-high six goals and one assist. His 52 shots this season are also a team-high for Toronto FC.
The 27-year-old Santos joined Toronto FC on July 9, 2010, from Chivas USA. Now in his third MLS season, Santos has scored 12 goals and four assists in 51 games. The Paracambi, Brazil native played professionally in Brazil, Tunisia, Libya and Israel before joining MLS. He made his professional debut with Rio de Janeiro-based Madureira Esporte Clube in 2004, playing with the Série C club for two years.
Leaving FC Dallas is Avila, who has scored three goals and seven assists in 63 games. Acquired in the second round of the 2008 MLS SuperDraft with the 19th overall pick, Avila has one goal and two assists in 13 games this season.
“For us, it was very difficult to see Eric Avila leave,” Hyndman said. “We are going to miss him. He is a great team player. He has scored some very important goals for FC Dallas. He has been a part of this team for almost four years. He has some very good friends and coaches here in Dallas. The problem was he was not getting enough time here and I think Toronto FC really wanted Avila to be a part of their team, which encouraged us to make a trade.”
The 23-year-old is best known for scoring FC Dallas’ most-important goal of the 2010 season in the 88th minute of a 2-1 win over Real Salt Lake in the first leg of the Western Conference Semifinal. A native of San Diego, Calif., Avila enjoyed a breakout season in 2010, tying a career-high for appearances in a season with 18 and tripling his career-high for shots taken in a season with 15.