For such a talented, versatile and hard-working player, Eric Alexander is having a hard time establishing MLS stability.
The 24-year-old midfielder is on the move to his third MLS club, the New York Red Bulls. He was traded from Portland for allocation money (amounts are never disclosed in trades.)
Alexander was an important piece of Dallas’ 2010 MLS Cup runner-up, filling in admirably at central midfield or along the outside in his rookie season. He was playing regularly in 2011 but traded in mid-season to the Timbers. (FCD got Jeremy Hall in the trade; he started twice and was traded to New York a few months later.)
Alexander led the Timbers in assists (six) last year despite starting just 14 matches. He’s a solid two-way midfielder, good in the tackle and not bad in possession.
Presumably, the Timbers would have liked to keep such a versatile and inexpensive man, even if he wasn’t a perfect fit for the 4-3-3 that new manager Caleb Porter wants to play.
But the allocation money (whatever it was) can be used to help Porter find a center back, still the team’s vulnerable spot. Former Manchester United man Mikael Silvestre, currently out of contract but training with the Timbers, could surely help stabilize the position, but even at age 35 the former French international won’t come cheap.