At least we will always have the home leg against Santos Laguna....
We won't have much more than that though with Miguel Aceval. After making only five MLS appearances for Toronto FC the Chilean centre back is heading back to his native country. The official statement from the club is that he has departed by mutual consent which would suggest that his contract will not continue to count against the club's cap for the rest of the season. That fact was confirmed by a report on the11.ca which pointed to news outlets in Chile saying that Aceval had already agreed to join Huachipato.
Aceval's return to Chile is a good move for all parties as it frees up the cap space for TFC while getting rid of an out of favour player and it allows Aceval the chance to go back home and start playing again. His MLS career will not be remembered by many as he did very little to make a positive impact on the league.
With the exit of Aceval the offseason CB pairing that was supposed to solve all of the club's problems is now completely gone. Geovanny Caicedo left the club before ever playing a single competitive game and now Aceval is gone after just more than half a season. Neither one was the answer to the teams struggles at CB and their flops likely did not help Aron Winter's chances of keeping his job.
Aceval's departure also means that Luis Silva is the last remaining member of the TFC trio that was involved in the incident at a Houston night club. With Nick Soolsma being released a few weeks ago it really was only a matter of time before his partner in crime was also shown the door.Now the question is what can Toronto FC do with the cap space that they have freed up with this move. With Aceval signing a deal to play in Chile after just over half a season the club will get back almost half of his close to $200,000 in guaranteed salary.
With close to $100,000 in extra cap space suddenly open Paul Mariner might just have the room required to make that big signing fans have been hoping for during this international window. Problem is that even with the release of Aceval the club still has seven potential CBs on the roster. Mariner seems willing to move players around but it will be hard to find minutes for all of Adrian Cann, Richard Eckersley, Logan Emory, Ty Harden, Doneil Henry, Aaron Maund and Dicoy Williams. That is a lot of bodies to go around and if the club brought in a star CB it would probably mean all three veteran defenders struggling to get any serious playing time.
That reported Olof Mellberg deal seems to be dead in the water regardless of who you believe. Sources around Toronto FC are suggesting the league has blocked the deal and are not happy with the amount that the club was looking to pay the Swedish defender at the start of the deal. It is possible that the league felt TFC were looking to work around the cap by front loading the deal but the league denies this is taking place. During last night's All Star event Don Garber suggested that the deal was dead because Toronto FC could not get it done and come to an agreement with the player on a contract. Who ever you decide to believe it seems the chances of landing the Swede are slim.
Problem is that unless the club has already been working on a backup plan time is going to run out before they can get anything of note done. The MLS summer transfer window slams shut again tomorrow so any moves must be done soon. It may mean that the cap space cleared by Aceval leaving comes to late to actually put it to use this season.
In the end, no matter what the club does with the space it is nice to see the big Chilean CB leaving town. He did very little to endear himself to fans here and I really doubt anyone is going to miss him and his complete lack of pace.
For old times sake though, here's his one goal, I remember Danny Dichio tweeting that TFC fans should get ready for a lot more of these in the season. Sadly not danny, sadly not.