When Toronto FC went all in last summer and signed Michael Bradley, Gilberto, Julio Cesar and Jermain Defoe I expected the move to send them into the MLS Cup. But it all went wrong in Toronto and once again one of the best supported teams in Major League Soccer failed to reach the playoffs.
Most ownership groups would be gun-shy after spending all that money and getting nothing in return, but not TFC ownership who have doubled down on last summer’s investment as they try to compete in what will a very competitive Eastern Conference.
TFC sold Defoe to Premier League side Sunderland, and instead of pocketing the cash, they got USA international striker Jozy Altidore. Altidore endured two miserable stints in the Premier League with Hull and Sunderland. Tut when has has played on a regular basis, with AZ Alkmaar in Holland and the US National team, Altidore has scored a goals on a regular basis. With his USA teammate Michael Bradley creating chances for him, Altidore should be a 20 goal scorer for Toronto in 2015.
The signing of Altidore would be enough for most MLS teams but not Toronto, who today announced the signng of 27-year-old Italian international Sebastian Giovinco from Juventus, in a deal that will reportedly make him the highest paid player in MLS. Giovinco is an attacking midfielder/forward and he will join TFC on July 1.
What I like about the signings of both Altidore and Giovinco is that they still have their best years of football to come. Altidore is only 25, while Giovinco at 27, is far from the past their prime signings we have seen this offseason in New York, Orlando and Los Angeles.
The one problem for Toronto is that will Giovinco, Altidore, Bradley and Gilberto they now has four DPs on its roster. That’s one more than is currently allowed by the league. According to the current CBA, which is being negotiated, TFC can only have three DPs on its roster prior to their season opener at Vancouver on March 7.