More off season transfer rumour fun, and it's once again a Honduran player being linked to Toronto.
So, it seems like pretty much everyone in Honduras is getting linked with MLS these days, and after a deal for Arnold Peralta has been reported as all done except the actual signing and unveiling, Toronto FC's name once again comes up, this time in connection with 'the Honduran Maradona' 20 year old Alexander Lopez. His name has been floating around for a while now, appearing in a couple of MLSsoccer.com articles, this one suggesting San Jose might be a venue, and this one linking him to Houston.
It was TFC themselves who did the rumour mongering this time, right in front of our faces, his name casually dropped into the 5th paragraph of this article talking about prospective SuperDraft picks. That then got reported in the Honduran press this morning which is ironically enough what got it the most attention (though the redpatchboys forum was talking about it yesterday, so a hat tip to them for being observant.)
There's nothing to suggest that Lopez is going through the SuperDraft as foreign players often do, ie Joao Plata, so it would be another discovery signing if it does happen. Does that mean using allocation money for a transfer fee? Well, we'll probably never really find out the exact details of that sort of thing will we, but you'd think so.
Why would you think so? Well, as well as the overly hyperbolic nickname, there's some serious stats to back it up. In 58 games in all competitions for club side Olimpia, he has 22 goals and 37 assists. Not too shabby at all for an attacking midfielder. He's made 3 appearances for the full Honduras team, as well as playing for them at the Olympics in 2012, getting a start and a couple of sub appearances, and in July it was reported he'd agreed a deal to go to EPL side Wigan Athletic, which obviously wasn't actually true, but hey, that's got to be a good sign right?
And oh yeah, he can apparently hit a decent free kick.
Would he be able to have similar success in MLS? Would his style translate and would he fit in with TFC under Paul Mariner? Would TFC actually be putting his name right out there if they were seriously going after him (as opposed to how they've remained totally publicly silent about Peralta)? All valid questions, to which we may or may not ever get the answers.
At the very least, it's an encouraging sign that under Kevin Payne, a lot more attention seems to be being paid to Central America, which has certainly paid dividends for other MLS team, as opposed to the more Euro-centric deals under Aron Winter and Paul Mariner. Going after young players who can potentially continue developing with the club is also another good thing.
What do we know for sure? The off season transfer rumour season is fun!