Toronto FC has added even more help to the back line by winning a weighted lottery for Gale Agbossoumonde. He will join the growing group of central defenders already with the Reds which includes Darren O'Dea, Danny Calliff, Logan Emory, and Doneil Henry meaning there will certainly be a lot of competition for minutes in that position.
Toronto was one of six teams that entered the lottery and held the best percentage chance of winning at 57.3. The other teams involved were: Dallas (25.9 percent), Houston (9.5 percent), Seattle (5.0 percent), Los Angeles (1.9 percent) and San Jose (0.04 percent).
The addition of Agbossoumonde will probably wind up being little more than depth for the club in his first season as he has been moving around a fair bit in recent years and has yet to make a real impact at any club. He is still considered one of the top American prospects and many USMNT fans are hoping that he will be a big part of the solution to replacing the aging regulars in their back four. With Carlos Bocanegra and Oguchi Onyewu both in the latter stages of their careers many have been looking to Agbossoumonde to fill the void ever since he broke onto the scene earning his first senior cap as a teenager.
The problem is that Agbossoumonde has done little as a professional to suggest that he is even going to live up to all the limitless potential that many felt he had when he was a teenager. Moving from club to club before ending up in the NASL last season does little to inspire confidence in his current abilities and the fact that he was often poor for the Carolina Railhawks in 2012 is more than a little worrying.
When judging this addition it is hard to get a good grasp on what to expect from Agbossoumonde. He is certainly not your average player coming out of NASL like Logan Emory was last season but he is also not a proven professional player. He kind of ends up sitting somewhere in between the two because he does still have that potential to become a very good player.
What Toronto FC is getting right now is a player who still has the raw athletic ability that made him standout as a teenager and caught the eye of so many scouts. They are also getting a player who passed on MLS as a teenager in favour of trying his luck in Europe which was the beginning of him moving from club to club and never really getting the chance to develop.
Having played in NASL last season the odds are that Agbossoumonde will come in on a fairly low contract number which makes this move fairly low risk for TFC other than the fact that they are now unable to participate in another weighted lottery this year. If they can get him to recover a fraction of his potential then they could either sell him on for a decent amount in a few years time or turn him into a fixture on their back line. If they can't get him back on track then they will have lost little and could probably trade him to another MLS club that still has dreams of unlocking that limitless potential.
If you are hoping this move is one that makes TFC a lot better in 2013 then you are probably asking a bit too much of the young player. If he can finally make the best of this opportunity and impress early in the season there is no reason to believe that he won't be able to compete for some minutes in the defense and provide a more athletic option when it is needed.
It does raise the question of what TFC will do with all of its CBs now though when you consider the chatter that they might still add another one in the SuperDraft. It could well be a bad sign for the future of Emory at the club or at least mean he might spend more time playing out wide in 2013 as he currently looks to be the odd man out from the group as he has the least experience and the smallest upside at this stage.