Atlanta, Montreal trade four stars
The Montreal Impact and Atlanta Silvebacks have come to agreement on a four-player trade of forwards that sends Fabian Dawkins and Jason McLaughlin from the Atlanta Silverbacks to Montreal in return for Mauricio Salles and Daniel Antoniuk.
Dawkins, a 25-year old Jamaica native, spent the last two seasons with Atlanta. In 2005, he finished second in goals and points in the USL First Division, with 15 goals and 34 points in 2,163 minutes of play. Last year, after missing the beginning of the season because of an injury, he played 708 minutes and tallied five points. From 2000 to 2005, Dawkins played in Jamaica with first division club Village United FC. He is also a member of the Jamaican National Team.
McLaughlin, a 24-year old American, played his first season in the USL last year with the Atlanta Silverbacks. He finished third on the team in points, with five goals and two assists in 2,041 minutes of play. Previously, with the University of Alabama-Birmingham, McLaughlin had tallied 15 goals and 13 assists, in 2000, 2003, 2004 and 2005.
"I am very pleased with our new acquisitions," said Montreal Impact head coach Nick De Santis. "We needed speed up front and Dawkins will bring this dimension to our team. He has the natural ability to get behind defenders. McLaughlin is a versatile player that can play as forward or right midfielder. He is strong physically and has a great work rate. He constantly created problems for us when we played against Atlanta last year."
Salles has scored 34 goals in his three USL seasons, while Antoniuk has scored 20 goals in his four USL seasons. Both franchises have assumed the player's existing contracts; Salles has two years remaining on his contract, while Antoniuk has one year remaining.
"Although I was pleased with both McLaughlin and Dawkins, I'm very excited to work with Antoniuk and Salles. They are both extremely experienced players in the league and proven goal scorers," commented Head Coach Jason Smith.
Daniel Antoniuk began his USL career in 2003 with the Portland Timbers. His biggest season came in 2005 when he scored 13 goals and recorded 28 points -- good enough for 4th place in the league's goal-scoring and point rankings. He was also named to the USL All-League Second Team for his performance during the 2005 season.
Antoniuk played three seasons with the Portland Timbers before joining Montreal for the 2006 season. He played in 20 games for the Impact, missing four due to a concussion; he scored three goals during the 2006 season.