Avila joins Iro, Chappel with Toronto FC

Is former UCSB soccer assistant coach Leo Chappel pulling some strings at Toronto FC?

First Andy Iro and now Eric Avila.

Chappel, who is working as a scout and assistant coach with the MLS club, has been reunited with the two former Gaucho stars through trades. They were last together on the  Gauchos’ 2006 College Cup championship team.

In a trade with FC Dallas, Toronto picked up Avila on Tuesday in exchange for Brazilian forward Maicon Santos and an international spot that expires at the end of the season.

Avila, 23, was in his third year at FCD. He had played in only 13 games this season, scoring one goal and recording two assists. Last month, the club tried to work out a loan deal with Mexican First Division team Atlas but it fell through.

In his Dallas career, Avila played 63 games, scored three goals, and contributed seven assists.

“For us, it was very difficult to see Eric Avila leave,” said Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman. “The problem was he was not getting enough time here and I think Toronto FC really wanted Avila to be a part of their team, which encouraged us to make a trade.”

TFC coach Aron Winter said, “We are very happy to add Eric Avila to our club, he is an attacking midfielder that fits into our immediate and long term plans.”

TFC obtained Iro in a trade with the Columbus Crew two weeks ago.