With the expansion draft having taken place, it appears that the MLS is in full offseason mode now. That means a couple of things for us as Toronto FC fans. The first is that the re-entry draft will be upon us in the coming weeks with the players taking part being announced on Wednesday. There will almost certainly be a couple of TFC players that will be announced as taking part in the draft, which allows for clubs to pick up players over the course of two rounds but is also used for teams to restructure contracts of players by having them pass through the draft. We will have more on that on Wednesday though when the names involved are released.
In the meantime though Montreal has made it clear that trading season is underway as today they added Davy Arnaud and Donovan Ricketts in two separate deals. The first deal saw the Impact send Seth Sinovic, whom they selected in the expansion draft but who seemed less than eager to move to Montreal, back to Kansas City in exchange for a veteran midfielder in the form of Arnaud. The deal also saw the Impact giving up allocation money, an unspecified amount but rumour has it in the 75k range. Their second deal of the day saw them send allocation money, again an undisclosed amount, to the Los Angles Galaxy in exchange for 2010 Goalkeeper of the year Donovan Ricketts. The Jamaican international lost the starting job in LA to Josh Saunders after suffering an injury in the Gold Cup and was now considered surplus to needs.
So what do these early trade forays mean for Toronto FC? Find out after the jump.From a TFC perspective these trades have very little impact on them but what it does do is signal that trade season is once again upon us. With Toronto having released 7 players they have a fair few spots on their roster to fill, and then there is the dire need to pick up a quality centre back. It is a safe bet that Toronto will look to make a couple of moves this offseason and even if it may not reach the levels of the frenzied wheeling and dealing of the summer, I expect to see some activity in the coming weeks.
Rumours involving TFC have been hard to come by thus far in the offseason as the only real reports I have heard are related to Stefan Frei. In that case there are still no real concrete rumours, just suggestions that Frei could be heading to either the New York Red Bulls or even the Seattle Sounders. At least with Montreal now seemingly having 3 quality keepers on their books that rules out one possible destination. A deal involving Frei would then free TFC up to pursue another keeper which some people are suggesting could be Gambian Pa Dembo Touray. I know almost nothing about him but apparently he could follow other Gambian internationals to the MLS with several clubs being interested.
The other fun piece of trade speculation that I have picked up on surrounding Toronto FC actually suggests that Julian De Guzman might be on his way to play in Isreal. That one is a bit out in left field so take it for whatever you will. If you want to go even further out in to left field, that move would clear way for a DP signing along the lines of Alessandro Del Piero (who has been linked to basically every team). Another fun one making the rounds has Pablo Vitti coming back to Toronto FC which might actually be a good fit in Winter's system.
It is safe to say that even if none of these rumours come to pass there will be more TFC news in the coming days and weeks. We'll have the re-entry draft lists coming up this Wednesday, the draft itself a week later, free agency signings and trades, and then finally the international window opens in January. It really could be a busy Christmas season for TFC with a lot of roster slots to fill and plenty of room for improvement. The management team has made it clear that they will not be waiting until training camp to make their roster moves so I don't expect we will be waiting much longer for the moves to start.
For all your rumour laughter needs you should check out http://www.mls-rumors.net/ even if most of it really is from left field as I have already suggested.