TORONTO — It’s been five days and three teams since Raheem Edwards celebrated winning the MLS Cup final with Toronto FC.
The 22-year-old wingback from Mississauga found himself — briefly — a member of Los Angeles FC when he was taken with the fifth and last pick of Tuesday’s expansion draft. LAFC promptly flipped Edwards and Finnish defender Jukka Raitala, taken fourth from Columbus, to Montreal for star defender Laurent Ciman.
On Monday, Edwards was celebrating a championship in a Toronto victory parade. Before dinner time Tuesday, he found himself a member of the Montreal Impact, TFC’s fiercest rival.
“My head’s all over the place,” Edwards told the Canadian Press on Tuesday night. “It’s been a whirlwind obviously … A lot of emotions, but I’m ready to work wherever I go and it’s Montreal, so I’m ready to work for Montreal.”
Montreal shed salary in the deal, with Ciman, 32, making US$661,666 this season.Edwards earned $53,000 and Raitala, 29, $161,670.
“The salary cap plays a part in every move that you make within this league,” Impact technical director Adam Braz told a media conference call. “I also think when you look at age, that’s factor as well.
“Raheem Edwards is really young and has a bright future, a lot of upside and potential. (New coach) Rémi (Garde) has done really well in his past with young players, helping them come through. And Raitala is an experienced left back that came into the league with Columbus and showed that he can do well in a new environment and helped Columbus have a good season.”