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Nov. 17, 2006
O'Rourke taken by Toronto, shipped to Crew; Red Bulls interested in Buddle for Regan

Midfielder Danny O'Rourke was chosen by Toronto F.C. in the MLS expansion draft.
Midfielder Danny O'Rourke was chosen by Toronto F.C. in the MLS expansion draft.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
By Michael Lewis Editor

Danny O'Rourke's tenure with Toronto F.C. lasted barely past the length of a regulation soccer match Friday.

Only hours after he was plucked from the New York Red Bulls in the MLS expansion draft, O'Rourke and former Kansas City Wizards goalkeeper Will Hesmer were shipped to the Columbus Crew for a partial allocation.

In a conference call 90 minutes after Toronto made its 10 selections, coach Mo Johnston indicated there were several deals on the horizon.

When asked about why he chose O'Rourke and former MetroStars defender Tim Regan via the draft, Johnston replied said that within 24-48 hours "your question will be answered. I can't go into anything.

"Right now I am looking at different options in terms of trades. Just keep watching."

Johnston said he had as many as six possible trades in the works.

One could involve Regan, who could be back playing at Giants Stadium. The Red Bulls were pursuing trading for the veteran defender by danging forward Edson Buddle in front of Toronto, according to league-wide sources.

A deal could be completed soon, one source said.

According to another league source, Red Bulls coach and sporting director Bruce Arena wants to deal Buddle, who experienced a miserable season.

Unless Johnston has plans to deal Regan, picking the defender was definitely a head-scratcher considering he was released by the coach in late February.

"Tim Regan knows what I think of him," Johnston said. "Tim Regan is a wonderful person, a good soccer player. Played a lot of minutes. Had a wonderful season for Bob Bradley."

Speaking of wheeling and dealing, former Red Bulls midfielder Adrian Serioux (Houston Dynamo) also was chosen.

Toronto then turned around and dealt Serioux and a first-round draft choice in the MLS SuperDraft to F.C. Dallas for midfielder Ronnie O'Brien.

That was the second time within eight months that Johnston dealt away Serioux, a Canadian international that appeared to be a perfect fit in Toronto. In March, the Red Bulls traded Serioux, who was in impressive during training camp, to the Houston Dynamo for O'Rourke.

In a conference call, Johnston said he was trying to obtain O'Brien for the past two or three years while he was with the Metros/Red Bulls. There were talks involving the Red Bulls possibly dealing midfielder Amado Guevara to Dallas for O'Brien earlier this year.

"Ronnie O'Brien adds a different dimension," Johnston said. "To me, he's the best right midfielder in America.

"I've got to make the right choices for Toronto F.C. You can ask the other 12 coaches. They'll tell you Ronnie O'Brien is a wonderful player."

On the local end, Levittown, L.I. native and Columbus Crew defender Ritchie Kotschau also was selected. Kotschau played 26 games last season.

The complete expansion list:

1. Paulo Nagamura (Los Angeles Galaxy)

2. Danny O'Rourke (New York Red Bulls)

3. Jose Cancela (New England Revolution)

4. Adrian Serioux (Houston Dynamo)

5. Nate Jaqua (Chicago Fire)

6. Rod Dyachenko (D.C. United)

7. Jason Kreis (Real Salt Lake)

8. Tim Regan (Chivas USA)

9. Ritchie Kotschau (Columbus Crew)

10. Will Hesmer (Kansas City Wizards)

Toronto will begin play in April.

Michael Lewis can be reached at
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