D.C. United's trading of Danny Cruz to the Philadelphia Union in exchange for striker Lionard Pajoy took many people by surprise, not least Cruz himself, who spoke to the Washington Post's Steve Goff following the announcement of the trade.
Just spoke with Cruz: "I wasn't playing much, I was obviously unhappy, but didn't ask for trade. I didn't expect it this morning"— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) August 16, 2012
Cruz: "I'm thankful to DC, no ill-will. Excited to join Philly with their unbelievable fan base" Driving up today, return to DC Sat/Sun— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) August 16, 2012
Goff had earlier tweeted that Cruz had been upset at a dropoff in playing time as this season had gone along.
Over at SB Nation's D.C. United blog Black and Red United, reaction to the trade was more ambiguous.
Cruz was considered one of the best "locker room guys" on a tight-knit squad, and following the Olympics Najar had drawn some interest from European clubs. On a team that can be a bit soft defensively, Cruz adds bite and fearlessness that few in MLS can match ... However, Pajoy's resume and performance have left some observers (including yours truly) skeptical. Consider MLSsoccer's headline: "Philadelphia deal struggling Pajoy to DC United for Cruz."
Some United fans were even less enthused by the trade, as this Wikipedia screenshot from SB Nation's Philadelphia Union blog Brotherly Game shows. Cruz and Pajoy will be available for selection by their respective new bosses in Sunday afternoon's meeting between the rivals, which can be seen on NBC Sports Network, with kickoff at 5:00 p.m.
For more on D.C. United, visit Black And Red United. For the Philadelphia perspective, check out Brotherly Game. And for more on the beautiful game, check out SB Nation's soccer hub.