This evening, reports have begun to circulate that Toronto FC's first designated player is on his way out. Many had speculated that he would be leaving the club at the end of the season when his contract expired but not many would have expected him to be traded within the league. It was that large DP deal that made Julian De Guzman so unattractive to other MLS teams but now FC Dallas seems set to come in and take the Canadian international at least for the rest of the season.
With the reports still being unconfirmed and in the early stages, there is no word on what Toronto might be getting in return. There was some speculation that it could be George John but the defender is still injured and that makes him being traded far more unlikely. The more likely case is that Toronto will receive a combination of players, allocation, and draft picks. They will likely end up getting very little in return for JDG and probably have to eat a large portion of his salary for the rest of the season.
The key part of the deal is that Toronto would now have a DP slot open and could combine that with the international slots they cleared up with shipping out Nick Soolsma and Joao Plata to land a new designated player. The first three candidates to pop up for potential signings are Canadian international Kevin McKenna, former Italian international Alessandro Del Piero or American Carlos Bocanegra.
Del Piero has long been linked with a move to MLS but people close to him have stated that he would like to move to either New York or Los Angeles. That preference may have changed if neither club made a move to bring him in but it seems unlikely that the 37 year old will be heading to Toronto.
The second option, Kevin McKenna, has reportedly been in talks with the club in recent days and could be a good option to shore up the struggling backline. The Canadian international is currently 32 years old and still has, hopefully, several good years in front of him. He would bring a calm and veteran presence to the defensive group that has clearly been lacking for basically the club's entire history.
Lastly, we have Carlos Bocanegra. A potential move for him is a bit more complicated as he would have to go through the allocation order as a former US international. That would likely mean that TFC would have to arrange some sort of deal with New England, the only team above them in the order, to ensure that they land their man. Bocanegra has stated that he would like to return home to play but that likely means he is hoping to end up at an American club. He would also solidify the backline and address the club's biggest area of need.
The reaction among fans will certainly be mixed as JDG was always a divisive player among supporters as many felt he never lived up to his lofty contract. This is a move though that will be hard to judge until we see who TFC brings in to fill the vacated DP slot and what they get in return from FC Dallas.