Payne Acquires Talent & Cash

What you need to know about the way Kevin Payne runs Toronto FC is the following.

In the past, the team was managed with an eye to the salary cap.

Now, the salary cap is managed with an eye to the team.

It’s not that he hasn’t got a use for the two Canadian players the team selected, Kyle Bekker with the third overall and Emery Welshman sixteenth. Payne figures both players can help the team this year.

But Payne didn’t just get players. He swung a series of snakes and ladders moves. First he snagged Bekker. Then he dealt the team’s fourth pick to Vancouver Whitecaps in exchange from the 10th pick and allocation money. Bekker then flipped the number 10 pick to Seattle for the 16th pick and more allocation money.

So he ended up with two players, plus enough allocation money to possibly land an additional player.

“There are different ways we can use it,” Payne said. “We certainly have the ability to stretch our salary cap.”

“This increases our salary cap by 20 per cent,” he said.

An Oakville native, Bekker, 22, spent the past four seasons at Boston College. He played 80 games and scored 17 goals while adding 22 assists. He was named to the All-ACC first team in 2011 and 2012 and has earned four caps for the Canadian under-22 program.

“He’s demonstrated, particularly at the combine that when you put him into an attacking position he’s a dangerous player,” Payne said. “He’s never going to be the fastest player on the field but he’s got a very fast brain. He’s a guy who has a chance to probably help us right away.”

Welshman, 21, scored 13 goals and added 11 assists over the last two seasons at Oregon State.  Payne said he saw him as a potential late game substitute who could add some speed and offence.