Tim Leiweke, who knows a thing or two about signing stars after his spell at the LA Galaxy, is the new president and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd. (TFC’s owners) and he is ready to make a splash.
Forlan, who played for Uruguay in the recently completed Confederations Cup, is expected to join Toronto FC as a designated player this week, in a multiyear, multimillion-dollar deal.
Leiweke told the Globe and Mail the move is part of a strategy to lift the MLS club out of the league cellar.
While Forlan brings name recognition to Toronto, is he a good signing for the franchise? Toronto has a terrific, knowledgeable fan base, and they don’t have a problem attacking fans. So far this season, they have averaged 19,347 fans a game, which is 88.5% of capacity. So the signing of Forlan will not really boost attendance.
TFC and MLS will promote the fact that Forlan was winner of the Golden Ball at the World Cup in 2010, but that was three long years ago. In the last two season, Forlan has played 54 games for Inter Milan and Internacional, scoring 17 goals.
Since the World Cup in 2010, Forlan has made 30 appearances for Uruguay, scoring 5 goals. By comparison, in the 33 games before that, Forlan scored 13 goals for his country, so clearly his numbers are going down.
He is clearly a player on the downward side of his career and I just don’t think that investing millions of dollars per year, in a multi-year contract for an aging 34-year-old striker is a good move on the pitch for Toronto.
Forlan seems to me to be repeating the signings of Torsten Frings, Eric Hassli and Danny Koevermans, 30-year-old signings who struggled to live up to their press releases in MLS.
What do you think about TFC signing Diego Forlan, good move or not?