Unless you have been living under a rock for the last two weeks, you will have known Toronto FC have sold their most important player of all-time, Sebastian Giovinco. The Italian is Toronto’s all-time leading goal scorer (83), but the club will need to find someone else to score and create goals now. Reports indicate Toronto made between $2 million and $3 million with Giovinco’s sale. But with him gone, who will take his place?
Toronto FC: Alejandro Pozuelo on the radar
Twenty-seven-year-old Spanish attacking midfielder Alejandro Pozuelo is on Toronto’s radar. The midfielder currently plays for Belgium’s Genk, who he joined in 2015 from Spain’s Rayo Vallencano. Pozuelo’s contract at Genk runs until 2021, so Toronto will need to pay a transfer fee or work out a loan deal. One source has Pozuelo’s transfer fee valued at €8m.
It could cost Toronto a fee closer to €10m or more to pry Pozuelo away from Genk. He has scored seven goals and tallied 18 assists in 36 matches this term. Like Giovinco, Pozuelo would be joining Major League Soccer from a league that is seen as far more competitive. Genk lead the Belgian First Division and is in the Europa League last-32. The Belgian club may not be willing to sell Pozuelo easily.
Toronto FC: Terrence Boyd joins the Reds
While a transfer for Pozuelo is in the works, Toronto has announced the signing of United States international Terrence Boyd. The striker is one of those US internationals brought into the national team set-up by former manager Jurgen Klinsmann. Born in Germany to an American military serviceman father and a German mother, Boyd spent his formative soccer years in Germany.
Boyd has played for a number of big German clubs or their second teams. He has Borussia Dortmund II, Hertha Berlin II, and RB Leipzig on his resume. As far as strikers go, Toronto have got a player that could fill the Giovinco void.
Although Boyd hasn’t been a prolific goal scorer in recent seasons, he banged in 20 goals in 38 games in 2013-14 for Austrian club Rapid Wien.
Toronto FC: Champions League
Toronto will resume its CONCACAF Champions League campaign on February 19th against Panama’s Independiente. The Reds are one of four MLS teams in the competition’s last-16, which gives MLS fans hope that a club from the US or Canada could finally win the tournament.
Unlike the other big teams in the tournament – of course that means the Mexican clubs – MLS sides are in preseason currently. Last year, Toronto took the competition incredibly seriously, and that is why the club struggled in league play once the domestic campaign started.
The biggest question is how manager Greg Vanney’s squad will look when it faces Independiente. In addition, fans will wonder how seriously Toronto will take the competition this season. Will the tie be used as a preseason warm-up or will Vanney aim to reach the quarterfinals? Toronto should prioritize the Champions League, but then again, will its front office want another subpar league season?
Toronto isn’t in a rebuilding phase, but the club’s future may depend on just how far it goes in this seasons Champions League.