We got ourselves an Irish international who can apparently head the ball!
It seems that the words of Toronto FC's front office were true. They were on the verge of signing defensive help, it was going to be a player with a number of good years ahead of them and a current international. All of that sounded like a dream come true for fans who had been waiting 6 years for a true number one CB to sign on.
In the end what fans get is former Celtic defender Darren O'Dea. He spent last season on loan with Leeds United making 38 appearances for the club and netting himself a pair of goals. He has also spent a fair bit of time with the Irish national team including taking part in Euro 2012 qualifiers and being called up for the upcoming friendly against Serbia on August 15th.
The signing of a 25 year old who has international caps seems quite good on paper but the problem is that despite being with Celtic for 6 years he barely managed to make 50 appearances and instead spent most of his time out on loans to Reading, Ipswich Town, and then Leeds United. He was hoping to finally break in at Celtic this last season but when he failed to get any serious involvement early in the year he went on another loan sensing his future was away from the Scottish club.
He failed to do enough at Leeds to convince the club to make his move permanent which is what led to him becoming unattached. He has been available on a free transfer since July having been released from the final year of his contract at Celtic Park. It was reported that Leeds had made an offer to sign him near the end of last season but had a change of plans and no permanent deal was put in place.
Prior to Euro 2012 O'Dea suggested that going to England might be the best option for him and made no mention of a possible move to MLS.
The real worrying stat of the day is that last season Leeds allowed goals at a TFC-like rate. The club allowed 68 goals in just 46 games in the Championship. O'Dea insisted to The Sun that it was not his fault though saying, "I had six different partners at the back. There were times when the average age of the other players in the back four was 20. I certainly improved this season". Why does that sound far too familiar?