Toronto FC continue to add pieces to their roster having already acquired Jackson and Justin Morrow via trade and signed Gilberto as a Designated Player. Their next chance to add a piece comes with the second stage of the Re-Entry Draft which takes place Wednesday afternoon at 3 PM via a league wide conference call.
With five players taken last week in the first stage and a few more either being traded, re-signed, or having opted out the list is down to 48 names. The talent pool has been thinned out from where it was prior to the first round but for a team that is looking for some veteran help there are still a number of interesting options.
Toronto FC will again be picking third in this round and will have the chance to select one player. Once the draft is concluded teams will have seven days to make a bonafide offer to the player they selected if they wish to hold on to their rights. The remaining players will be made available to all MLS clubs on a first come first served basis.
We have already gone over the idea of a potential return to BMO Field for Dwayne De Rosario but what other names on the list are worth considering heading into Wednesday afternoon?
Colin Clark: TFC could use a veteran presence in the midfield and the 29-year-old Clark can bring that. He is coming off a very bad run with injuries that have kept him sidelined for the majority of the past two seasons but it was not that long ago that he was a key piece in helping the Houston Dynamo make deep runs into the playoffs. The talent is there but the fact that he has only made over 20 appearances twice in his career is a big red flag that might be enough to scare most clubs off from taking a risk on him.
Brandon Barklage: It has taken quite a while for Barklage to really get going in MLS having only made 56 appearances in his first five seasons but the 27-year-old defender was starting to look good for the New York Red Bulls these past two seasons. He proved to be a decent option at right-back for the club this season and could be a cheap option for a club looking for a bit more depth at that position. In Toronto he could at the very least push Mark Bloom for minutes at that position and would easily be an upgrade over Ryan Richter.
James Riley: If you are really focused on getting held at right-back then Riley may just be your best option available through this draft. The 31-year-old has a wealth of experience in MLS having made over 200 appearances for five different clubs. His last season was far from impressive though as he was part of that D.C. United defence that was setting records for all the wrong reasons. It would be unfair to pin all of their struggled on him but it raises questions about how much he still has to offer as a starter in MLS which is what he is currently paid to do.
Nana Attakora: If we are opening the door for people to make their return to BMO Field then Attakora should at least be in contention. He could provide TFC with that needed depth at CB and push Doneil Henry to fight for the starting role. If he is open to coming in and battling for his minutes, which is not a sure thing, then he could be a good fit. Attakora, who counts as an international for most clubs, could slip through this draft in which case it would be nice to see TFC at least try to bring him in for a trial during preseason to see how he fits with the current team.
Fabian Espindola: With the draft lacking in any major attacking pieces Espindola might be the most attractive one left. He is capable of playing anywhere across the front of the attack including on the wing. He is not a true winger though and won't give you much in the way of defending but he is capable of scoring goals and creating them for others. With TFC he would probably not be a starter so getting him to come down from his current salary of 150k would be crucial. He would also take up an international slot which the club may not be willing to spare.
2013 RE-ENTRY DRAFT ELEGIBLE PLAYERS BY CLUB
New York Red Bulls (4): D Brandon Barklage, F Fabian Espindola, GK Kevin Hartman (retired), D Heath Pearce*
Toronto FC (1): F Justin Braun*
Vancouver Whitecaps (2): GK Joe Cannon, F Corey Hertzog
NOTE: * indicates players out of contract. All other players had their options declined.