Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Philadelphia Union trade Lionard Pajoy to D.C. United

The Philadelphia Union have traded much-maligned forward Lionard Pajoy to D.C. United for midfielder Danny Cruz.

Philadelphia Union trade Lionard Pajoy to D.C. United

The Union traded Lionard Pajoy to D.C. United Thursday for midfielder Danny Cruz. (Michael Perez/AP file photo)
The Union traded Lionard Pajoy to D.C. United Thursday for midfielder Danny Cruz. (Michael Perez/AP file photo)

The Philadelphia Union have traded much-maligned forward Lionard Pajoy to D.C. United for midfielder Danny Cruz.

Cruz is a four-year MLS veteran. He spent the first three seasons of his career with the Houston Dynamo, where he became a regular presence on the right wing. The Petersburg, Va., native was traded to United this past offseason.

Union manager John Hackworth told the team's website that Cruz "is a young and very healthy player with a lot of youth national team experience."

"I think [Cruz will] be a real asset to us – both now and for years to come," Hackworth added.

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You can learn more about Cruz in this profile by the Washington Post's Steve Goff.

Union manager John Hackworth has coached Cruz before, with the United States team at the 2007 FIFA Under-17 World Cup. That squad also included Sheanon Williams, Zac MacMath, Brek Shea and the late Kirk Urso.

Hackworth's 2005 U.S. Under-17 squad included Gabriel and Michael Farfan, Omar Gonzalez, Jozy Altidore, and former Union players Kyle Nakazawa and Brian Perk.

As for Pajoy, it is no stretch to say that the Union have not gotten a sufficient return on their investment in him.

Touted upon his arrival as the replacement for Sébastien Le Toux, the Colombian simply has not delivered the goals that were expected of him. Whether paired up top in a 4-4-2 or on the left side of a 4-3-3, Pajoy has scored just five goals in 20 games.

Most noticeable has been his tendency to lay the ball off for other players to run on to and shoot. That has some value, but not when you're supposed to be the player who's doing the shooting.

It's very interesting that the team to which Pajoy has been traded is the team that the Union will face this weekend: D.C. United. We'll see if Pajoy and/or Cruz line up against their former clubs Sunday evening at RFK Stadium.

As part of the deal, the Union also sent an international roster slot to D.C. so that they could take on Pajoy.

The trade will save the Union some money. Cruz's annual guaranteed compensation is $106,500, compared to Pajoy's $195,000.

Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
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The Goalkeeper is your home for the latest news about the Philadelphia Union, Major League Soccer, U.S. national teams and the rest of the world's most popular sport. It's also a place for fans to gather and celebrate the culture of soccer and its unique place on the sports landscape.

Reach Jonathan at jtannenwald@phillynews.com or 215-854-2330.

Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
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