The Columbus Crew announced today that it has acquired midfielder Tony Tchani from Toronto FC in exchange for defender Andy Iro and midfielder Leandre Griffit. As a Generation adidas player, Tchani will not count against the Crew’s salary cap this season. Per club and league policy, no further terms of the deal were disclosed.
A 22-year-old native of Douala, Cameroon, Tchani was drafted by the New York Red Bulls in the first round (No. 2 overall) of the 2010 MLS SuperDraft. In his first professional season, he appeared in 27 matches, starting 17, scoring a goal and adding three assists. Tchani made his MLS debut as a second half substitute in 1-0 win over Chicago on March 20, 2010 and his first MLS start in 4-0 loss to San Jose on May 8 of the same season. He recorded his first career MLS goal vs. the Crew on May 20 and his first career assist on a Rafa Márquez goal at Toronto on Aug. 21.
Tchani began the 2011 season in New York, appearing in two matches with one start, before being dealt to Toronto FC on April 1, as part of the trade that sent Dwayne DeRosario to New York. At Toronto he started in 13 matches, logging 1,032 minutes and scoring one goal – again against the Crew, on April 23, in the 1-1 draw at BMO Field.
“Tony is a very good young player who we have followed for a long time, and we are thrilled to have him,” said Crew head coach Robert Warzycha. “He is a good passer, he’s calm on the ball and he can get forward. He is going to help our team.”
The 6-4 midfielder is a product of the University of Virginia where he spent two years before entering the MLS SuperDraft. During his tenure at UVA he helped the Cavaliers win the 2009 NCAA Men’s College Cup, was a First Team All-America selection by the NSCAA, earned spots on the ACC and NCAA College Cup All-Tournament teams and earned 2008 ACC Freshman of the Year honors after recording nine goals and three assists.
Iro leaves the Crew after appearing in 58 league matches and recording five goals and one assist since 2008. Griffit, who joined the Crew in the middle of the 2010 season, appeared in four league matches and recorded his lone MLS goal against Houston on July 24, 2010.
Born: April 13, 1989
Hometown: Norfolk, Va.
2010 Team: New York Red Bulls
How Acquired: Acquired via trade on July 15, 2011
Professional Experience: Toronto FC (2011), New York Red Bulls (2010-2011
Columbus Crew (MLS) – Acquired M Tony Tchani from Toronto FC in exchange for D Andy Iro and M Leandre Griffit.