Toronto’s acquisition of Nathan Sturgis from Vancouver should not come as a surprise since the Reds waived five players yesterday.

Given the clear out of “Red Star Toronto” (coined by Steve Sandor when the TFC lineup included Martin Saric, Raivis Hscanovics and Maxim Usanov), TFC needed to refill its squad.

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The Sturgis move, like many in yesterday’s expansion draft, seems calculated. Vancouver traded several of its drafted players, including former Toronto striker O’Brian White, within 24-hours to other MLS clubs wanting their services. Unless another transaction takes place, White will be wearing Seattle emerald in 2011.

What may raise eyebrows about the Sturgis trade is the first round draft pick (8th overall) spent to bring the midfielder to Toronto.

But considering that Sturgis himself was a 12th overall pick, just 23-years old and already with six years of MLS experience, Toronto isn’t taking a gamble. This is not a player with an ‘upside’ but rather an established (yet young) midfielder, who can step in and help straight away. Toronto needs that more than the potential of a drafted youngster - Reds have an academy to fill that demand.

[inline_node:5446]Whoever gets selected at eighth overall in January’s MLS SuperDraft by Vancouver, could be an U.S. Under-20 international player – just like Sturgis was a few short years ago. Given his age and experience, Sturgis provides both the future and the present.

Over the last season in Seattle, Sturgis has developed into a dead-ball threat. He can pick out a man from long set-pieces and corners, two offensive areas where Toronto needs to improve from last season. They still need to find a delivery target up front for Sturgis, but the last 18-hours indicate that this is something the TFC brass could already be mulling over.

Incidentally, my first ‘contact’ with Sturgis came at BMO Field at the 2008 home opener when he was playing for Salt Lake. The stadium was short staffed so I signed up along with current TFC account executive David Barker for the role of stretcher bearers.

Sturgis has the distinction of being the first player to be carried off the pitch at BMO Field during league play after sustaining what I recall may have been a hamstring injury. He can reminisce on this dubious trivial fact when our digital department gets a hold of him after American Thanksgiving.

Here's hoping for a successful and upright future for Sturgis in Toronto.

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