Colorado Rapids trade Clint Irwin to Toronto FC amid Tim Howard link

The Colorado Rapids traded goalkeeper Clint Irwin to Toronto FC on Monday amid talk of their interest in signing Tim Howard from Everton.

In exchange for their starting keeper of the past three seasons, Colorado receives targeted allocation money, a third-round pick when the MLS SuperDraft resumes on Tuesday, and a conditional first-round pick in next year's draft.

The move comes three days after sources told ESPN FC that the Rapids are attempting to acquire U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard from Everton.

Last week, the Rapids acquired the top spot in the MLS player allocation ranking from the Chicago Fire, giving them the inside track among MLS sides to land the veteran goalkeeper.

"The PAR ranking is probably the most significant draft-day deal we've done in this club's history," Rapids general manager Paul Bravo said on the Rapids Podcast last week. "We've done it for a reason."

Howard is under contract with his Premier League club until 2018, but Everton manager Roberto Martinez recently said it was "impossible to say" whether Howard would return next season.

Irwin, 26, won 30 games in his 92 appearances for Colorado with 25 clean sheets and was an MLS All-Star last season.

"Improving our defence has been a stated priority for our club this offseason," Toronto FC general manager Tim Bezbatchenko said in a statement. "Bringing in Clint helps to solidify our defensive group, and with Clint on board we are confident in our collection of goalkeepers across the first team and TFC2.

"We are very excited about what Clint will add to our group and look forward to his quick transition into our team, which is aided by his familiarity with Drew [Moor] in Colorado."

Last month, the Rapids signed Irwin's backup Zac MacMath to a permanent deal after he spent the 2015 season on loan from Philadelphia. The only other keeper on Colorado's books is John Berner, who spent last season playing in the USL.