This afternoon, the Red Bulls' confirmed reports from over the weekend that they'd acquired 24-year-old right back Richard Eckersley from Toronto FC.
In exchange for Eckersley's services, the Red Bulls send a 2017 SuperDraft fourth round pick across the border.
The Englishman has, according to a statement from Andy Roxburgh, a "good soccer brain" and "will certainly compete for a starting role in our team."
The Red Bulls' press release makes no mention of Eckersley's salary -- hardly surprising -- or a rumored buyout that sees TFC pay a chunk of his salary and helped the Red Bulls get him for an apparent bargain.
The rumor, as reported by Dave Martinez at Empire of Soccer...
From a salary standpoint, the deal is akin to the Heath Pearce trade with Chivas USA. Toronto will pay out a large portion of Eckersley's hefty final contract year while New York take on a "significantly" smaller amount. Sources explain his combined wages for 2014 would see Eckersley paid "DP money" thanks in part to a back-ended restructuring of his 2013 contract. The total number is likely in the neighborhood of $350-400k a year, though one source believes it is closer to $450k.
To make this deal happen, Toronto will pay Eckersley the lion's share of his guaranteed salary, while New York pays anywhere from $100-150k for his services. A buyout clause in Toronto's original deal means their share will not count against the cap. For New York, the bargain-basement wages allow the team to bring in a quality player under a stretched salary cap.
Toronto was quick to deal Eckersley, who was paid $210,000 in base salary last year, as the team's new front office regime works to completely remake one of the league's most unfortunate organizations.
That means bringing in guys like Michael Bradley and Jermain Defoe and getting rid of guys like Eckersley, who was well paid during a period when the team had their mouths firmly glued to the bottom of the league standings.
Eckersley will be locked in a position battle with Kosuke Kimura, who restructured his deal this winter, and possibly draft pick Chris Duvall, who the team was high on after his performances with Wake Forest.