Not sure what is paining Andy Iro more in this photo; heading the ball, getting elbowed in the junk, or people on twitter suggesting he might be released by TFC!
Today was just one of those days where there was a lot of bits and pieces going on involving Toronto FC but nothing really major enough to merit a full post on its own. So I have decided to do a quick skim over the top stories that are making the rounds which we have not already covered on the site. Should be a bit of a whirlwind ride but maybe this will become a bit of a more regular feature if it goes well.
The first story that needs to be addressed was all over twitter thanks to this tweet:
To clarify Andy Iro status @ TFC. I'd been told he was being released 2 save cap $$ but late last night I heard contract talks still ongoing
Now Ives Galarcep may be one of the leading sources for soccer news in the US but he is not always right. These tweets from him were really just based on what he has heard from an unnamed source. Much more reliably Earl Cochrane told Sun Media's Kurt Larson that the team was looking to keep all of its central defenders despite having so many on the books when Adrian Cann and Dicoy Williams return. The fact of the matter is that Andy Iro should have a club option for next season and even if the team is looking to lower his cap hit (only made $68k in guaranteed money last season) that does not mean he is on the way out. Now if both players who I will touch on later are actually signed by the club then offloading Iro might make good sense. With limited cap space the team cannot afford to be paying guys $70,000 to sit on the bench but if they are going to again rely heavily on Iro as a starter that price tag is more than justified. For now I think it is safe to say that TFC fans should not expect Iro to be going anywhere at least until the club has made a couple more signings.The second big story of the past week is the reports that Toronto FC is close to signing a pair of South American defenders. By now most of us have probably heard the names Geovanny Caicedo and Miguel Aceval who have both been linked to the club by a wide variety of Spanish sources. These deals would actually fit quite well with what the club has been saying in regards to having scouted South American players and being close to signing a couple of new faces. Now until anything is made official it is all just guess work, but I would not be surprised if the club announced that they had signed one or both of these players sometime next week.
Caicedo is a 30 defender who spent last season with LDU Quito as well as having made 3 appearances for the Ecuadorian national team. He is listed at 6 foot-2 so he would bring both added size and a wealth of experience to Toronto if he is signed. Caicedo has made over 200 appearances for various South American clubs and would likely provide much needed veteran leadership on the backline until Cann is fit.
Aceval is a 28 year old Chilean defender who is capable of slotting in to the middle of the defence or on the left. His versitility would help Toronto improve both its depth and quality at CB but also provide cover for Ashtone Morgan at left back as he continues to develop. Now Aceval has spent most of his career playing in his native country of Chile at Colo Colo which is a quality club so he would also bring a wealth of experience to the club having played over 200 games at the professional level as well. To top it all off if wikipedia is to be believed, and I somehow doubt it, but maybe it's true, he apparently has a rap album that has sold over 4 million copies world wide.
The last thing from the twitter world today that I want to touch on is the confusion regarding the rules for the CONCACAF Champions League. I have heard people suggesting that there is a fair bit of confusion about the roster rules for the next stage and mainly if Toronto would be able to submit a new 30 man roster. Well here is what the official rules for the 2011-2012 running of the competition have to say about it:
5.1 Teams will be able to inscribe a Roster List consisting of a maximum of 30 players (30-Player List) no later than seven (7) days prior to their first match, at the start of the CCL season for the purposes of participating in Phase 1: Preliminary Round and Phase 2: Group Stage. If the initial and succeeding Roster Lists do not include the maximum 30 players, such Roster list may be increased in a manner consistent with these Regulations, including 5.3 and 5.4 below, provided the maximum of 30 players is not exceeded.
5.2 Teams will be able to inscribe a second Roster List consisting of a maximum of 30 players (30-player List) no later than seven (7) days prior to their first match, at the start of the Phase 3: the Championship Stage, for the purposes of participating in the remainder of the CCL season. If the initial and succeeding Roster Lists do not include the maximum 30 players, such Roster list may be increased in a manner consistent with these Regulations, including 5.3 and 5.4 below, provided the maximum of 30 players is not exceeded.
Now there is still a bit of room for debate but reading those rules I conclude that teams are allowed to submit a new 30 man roster so there is no need for Toronto to be concerned about turnover restricting their roster choices. The only players who are ruled out of the competition for the club are Eric Avila and Jeremy Hall, because according to section 5.4 they are still ineligible having being registered on FC Dallas' squad for this season of the competition. Other than that though all the new faces should be allowed to be added to the roster that the club has to submit before the March 7th game which kicks off the final round of the competition.
Then there was the biggest news of the day as Toronto FC officially announced today that they have already sold 25,000 tickets for that game in March. With the announced number of available tickets for the match being 45,000 that means the club is well on their way to a sell out only a week into sales. The 25k in sales already exceeds many people's expectations and should completely quell any remaining fears about the teams decision to move the game to Rogers Centre. There are still tickets to be bought but now that they are on public sale, the remaining good seats should fill up rather quickly. That means there is no time to delay if you are still considering attending the match. The last thing to note is that even though many tickets are available on re-sale and scalper websites fans really should avoid purchasing them this way at all costs. It will only help to further the scalping industry which for far too long has played a huge role in many empty seats at TFC games despite them being sell-outs!
So there you have a bit of a quick break down of the general news stories around Toronto FC in the past couple days. If any of them turn in to something bigger we will of course have you covered with something more in depth.