Toronto FC: Could they be the next MLS Bloody Big Deal?

Toronto FC was formed in October 2005. Since then, despite showing a lot of promise in the Canadian Championship and winning it four times, TFC has shown little in the CONCACAF Champions League (getting into the group stages twice and semifinals once) and even less in MLS (never qualified for the playoffs).

By the end of the 2013 season, fans were becoming restless, not only by the lack of trophies but also lack of quality in the team which produced mediocre football and less and less fans were showing up to the games. Management knew that if they wanted to reach their goal of making Football (Soccer) a big sport in Canada, together with Hockey, Baseball and Basketball, change was required. That’s when they bring in Mr. Tim Leiweke whose main job is to give TFC a lift and capacity to compete in all the competitions they enter. To everyone’s relief, he didn’t waste time to get things going.

It’s a bloody big deal. Those were the words on all the Toronto FC fans’ lips on January 13 2014. 11 a.m ET and TFC was about to make one of the most anticipated unveiling of players in its short history. Speculations have been raging about TFC making a few high profile signings during this off season but to all the fans, one signing in particular was the center of attention. Jermain Colin Defoe.

There are not a lot of Football fans who do not know Jermain Defoe. He started his career at West Ham United and had two (2) spells at the heart of Tottenham Hotspur’s attack since 2004, with a move to Portsmouth during the 2008-2009 season sandwiched in between. Over the course of his career, he has shown that he has the capacity of taking his chances at goal. He is currently the highest goalscorer in European competitions for Spurs and also holds the EPL record for most goals scored when coming on as a substitute. Defoe is exactly the kind of player that TFC needed, someone with a proven scoring record and also, due to his experience at European and International level, has the ability to nurture the upcoming young players.

Now, as we all know, one man can make a team better but that’s not enough. That’s why on that exciting January 13th, TFC also presented Michael Sheehan Bradley to the Toronto FC family. He has played at several clubs in Europe, most recently at Aston Villa, Chievo and Roma. Bradley made his first international appearance for the US in 2007 and has since been a vital element. He is a high energy kind of midfielder who is also capable of looking for the killer pass and put in a few goals of his own. At only 26 years old, he is in his prime years and is also a player for the future.
With these two major signings, TFC seems to be heading the right way and hopefully will be firing on all fronts once the 2014 season starts. Only hiccup is that they are still to prove that they have enough quality at the back but as the saying goes ‘the best defense is a good offense’.


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