Well, all those Julian Uccello rumours aren't looking so strong now are they? It was reported earlier that there would be two triallists joining Toronto FC in Orlando, and today TFC confirmed via twitter that Kevin Huezo will be joined by a man with a very similar career path, Moises Orozco.
Without a bit more research, I'll not pretend to know much about Orozco right now, google him and you're at the same level as I am. Here's an interview he did back in 2010 after starring in the awesomely named Dr Pepper Dallas Cup XXIII. What we do know is that much like Huezo, he was with the U.S under 20 team under Thomas Rongen, and then went to Mexico, in Orozco's case, with UANL Tigres, currently the leaders of the Mexican Primera Division.
It's all very flimsy right now, but what we can glean from this is further evidence of a couple of welcome trends for TFC when it comes to bringing in new players. Firstly is the willingness to look to South and Central America as a source of talent, something they seemed strangely averse to in previous years despite a lot of MLS teams having success picking up players there. Huezo and Orozco are both American of course, but hopefully their time with Mexican clubs will have had a positive influence on their skills.
The second trend is the unexpected benefit of hiring Thomas Rongen. Not only is he bringing all his experience to help out as the Academy Director, he's also working very nicely as a scout. His time with the US under 20 team would obviously have exposed him to a lot of quality young players, though most of them would probably be with MLS academies or NCAA teams and thus not available to TFC as free agents. Those who've gone to foreign leagues, maybe struggled and fallen off the radar of other MLS clubs, though probably very small in numbers could be a productive talent pool to fish from if Rongen has continued monitoring them. If other trialists start showing up from American Samoa, we'll know just how much of an influence Rongen has.
I've written before about how under Winter TFC have specialised in what I call 'reclamation projects', players with very promising youth careers who haven't quite managed to turn that potential into a solid career yet. Winter seems to prefer taking a chance on that kind of player, preferring the high risk/reward players over the more reliable and mediocre MLS veteran, such as Dan Gargan or Jacob Peterson. sometimes it works (Richard Eckersley) and sometimes you realise just why that potential wasn't realised (Javier Martina). If you get a high enough percentage of hits over misses, it could eventually lead to a talented and cheaply assembled squad. Orozco and Huevo both fit that mould, making it to the US under 20 set up, and earning time with top teams in Mexico, even if it didn't work out there for them. It's just a trial, so it's unlikely that both of them will make it into the squad for the journey back to Toronto in March, but both are only 20 years old so have plenty of time to get their career's back on course, hopefully a chance of scenery, a new coach and a system and formation that might suit their talents more will be all they need.