TORONTO - Ghanaian midfielder Latif Blessing, who never seemed to find his place with Toronto FC, has been traded to the Houston Dynamo for US$75,000 in general allocation money plus up to $200,000 in additional allocation money if certain performance-based metrics are met.

Toronto acquired Blessing and a 2023 international roster slot last July in the trade that sent Canadian midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye to the New England Revolution.

The 27-year-old Blessing made just seven appearances in all competitions for Toronto last season when he was sidelined by both a concussion and lower-body injury. He has not seen action this year.

Blessing made US$665,000 last season, eighth-highest among TFC players. His departure opens up salary cap space and an international roster spot for Toronto.

Toronto declined comment on whether there were salary considerations in the deal.

ā€œLatif is a proven winner in our league, whose positional versatility will be invaluable as we continue to navigate the busiest competition calendar in club history,ā€ Dynamo GM Pat Onstad, a former Canadian international goalkeeper who was once TFC's chief scout and manager of football partnerships, said in a statement.

Prior to New England, Blessing spent five seasons (2018-2022) with Los Angeles FC, where he made a combined 167 appearances across all competitions and won two Supporters' Shield titles (2019, 2022) and one MLS Cup (2022).

Blessing was one of the first players in LAFC history, acquired from Sporting Kansas City via the 2017 MLS expansion draft.

Blessing joined Sporting Kansas City ahead of the 2017 season and scored in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final to help Kansas City defeat the New York Red Bulls 2-1.

Blessing has 17 goals and 25 assists during his MLS career.

Born and raised in Accra, Ghana, Blessing started his pro career in 2016 with Liberty Professionals and was named the Ghana Premier League Player of the Year after leading the top-flight with 17 goals.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 14, 2024