MLS club FC Dallas finalized the transfer of popular midfielder Juan Toja to Romanian club FC Steaua Bucaresti today. Terms of the deal were not immediately released.
Toja, a two-time MLS All-Star, had been the subject of transfer rumours for the past couple of weeks.
Toja joined FC Dallas from Argentinian club River Plate in February of 2007. In his short time with the club, he accomplished a lot on the field. In his first season with FC Dallas, he scored six times in 27 matches and was voted the club's Most Valuable Player.
"I want to thank FC Dallas for giving me the opportunity to play here, and giving me the opportunity to live my dream of playing in Europe," Toja told mlsnet.com. "I am very excited for this opportunity. I want to thank my teammates, and wish them nothing but the best for this year and beyond. I also want to thank all the fans for all of their support."
The move will deal a blow to Dallas' playoff hopes. Dallas is currently fourth in the Western Conference, and if the playoffs were to start today, they would be in. But, Chivas is tied with Dallas on points and has two games in hand. Colorado is also just a single point behind Dallas, having played the same number of games.
Losing a playmaker of Toja's caliber will most likely hurt Dallas' chances this season yes, but FC Dallas will be given two-thirds of the transfer fee (with the rest going to MLS.) Dallas can use the money to buy player allocations, or to improve their first team or youth programs. In the long run, the transfer fee may prove to be very beneficial.