When word came down this morning that Luis Silva would be heading from not-the-capital of Canada to D.C., I immediately reached out to Duncan Fletcher, the managing editor of SB Nation's Toronto FC site, Waking the Red, to get his thoughts on the acquisition. Read his full take below - in short, he's not thrilled with the move from the Reds' side, but he doesn't seem to have been too enamored with Silva. (All Canadian spelling is Duncan's.)
This one definitely came as a shock to TFC fans, without knowing how much allocation money is coming back it seems at first glance like we gave away a good piece of our future for nothing much. The truth is though that Silva really hadn't done that much at all this year, having much less of an impact than he did in his rookie season.
I wouldn't say that's entirely his fault though as there doesn't really seem to be a natural place for him in Ryan Nelsen's team. Most people would say his best position is attacking midfielder, but we haven't used a straight number 10 at all, and he played mainly as a secondary striker this year. That's something he did quite well last season, looking very good playing off Eric Hassli, but Robert Earnshaw doesn't really provide that big body to match up with and thus Silva didn't really get anything going. We've also tried him occasionally as a wide midfielder with very limited success.
What are his strengths? Well despite no goals this year, I'd still say finishing. There were times last season when he looked lethal when given a chance, a natural goalscorer, but this year for whatever reason he's been a bit more hesitant. In the right position, given the right chances, with some confidence he's a potential 10 goal scorer in a full season. Also, passing, he's got a decent touch and can thread a nice through ball here and there, though I'd call him tidy rather than spectacular. If he's got the right players to link up with and play off he can look quite pretty out there, it'd be good to see him get an extended shot in the number 10 position.
As for weaknesses, he's not that strong, or fast (when he was one of 3 TFC players arrested in Houston last year, he's the one who tried to run away and got caught, which is a fun story) and has never looked like the type of player who'll change a game on his own. Doesn't seem to have the mentality to take a game over, and given his dropoff this year, you have to question his desire to really push himself and grow as a footballer. Has he reached his peak? I doubt it, but he's 24, there can't be that much more upside and he doesn't look the type who's determined to find it.
Defensively, I wouldn't go as far as to call it a weakness, but it's not a strength, he's not a guy you'll really notice busting his ass to get back on defence, but also not someone whose laziness you'll be cursing.
Set pieces: Meh. Don't remember him ever trying to score from a free kick to be honest, and his corners are so-so. TFC haven't had anything resembling a set piece specialist in ages, perhaps forever, he certainly wasn't the answer there.
All in all, I'm sad to see him go, but not as angry as some TFC fans are. In the right place at the right time, he could be a decent MLS level player for sure, but he's not all that versatile, and not quite good enough in his best position to really justify that specialisation. Maybe it's just a sophomore slump and he can bounce back and come back stronger, if so then this could well be another move that comes back to bite TFC in the ass. That wouldn't surprise me at all.
So, now that you've had a few hours to think on it, what are your thoughts? Worried that he might not have the work ethic that Ben Olsen demands? Where do you see him fitting into the XI at RFK? You know where to let us know.