Hogan Ephraim is officially coming to Toronto FC on a four month loan from Queens Park Rangers of the English Premier League. The club confirmed the move on Wednesday afternoon after the player trained with the team during the morning but they are still waiting on the player receiving his international transfer certificate before he can be added to the roster.
Toronto FC did not offer any details on the loan but QPR's official site confirmed that he is joining the club until June 30th pending the transfer being approved.
The 24 year old is capable of playing as a winger and a forward with his best position reportedly being as more of a support striker. For TFC it is likely that he will end up spending a fair bit of time playing out wide due to the lack of options in that area of the field so hopefully his crossing is sharp.
The move to bring in Ephraim is one that has been a few days in coming and is the first example of TFC cashing in on Ryan Nelsen's connections back in England. Nelsen will be quite familiar with Ephraim from his time at QPR where they would have trained together regularly when the attacker was not out on loan.
Ephraim did spend a lot of time out on loan as he never really managed to break into QPR's first team after they made the jump up to the top flight and began to rebuild the squad with a lot of new signings. In the end, he was left out of QPR's league squad at the end of the January window which led him to seek another loan deal and brought him to Toronto.
This is what Nelsen had to say about the new addition in the official release about the signing:
"Hogan is very strong technically, he has a great attitude and wants to get games under his belt," said Toronto FC Head Coach Ryan Nelsen.
"We’re very fortunate to have him, he is a player that can excite the crowd and I feel the fans will look forward to being able to see him in action"
On paper this seems like a good move for everyone that is involved. Toronto FC gets some much needed attacking depth for the season but is not committed to the player long term should he fail to produce early in the season. Ephraim gets a shot at the playing time he was looking for and a chance to finally get his career going after time at QPR and West Ham along with loan spells at Leeds United, Charlton Athletic, and Bristol City.
Signing Championship caliber players has always been a bit of a crap shoot in MLS but hopefully this is a move that works out for TFC. He will certainly get the chance to impress with Reggie Lambe and Emery Welshman being the best options that TFC currently has on the wings.
Wednesday also saw confirmation that Robert Earnshaw is with Toronto FC and should join them in training during the coming days as part of his trial. There was also word that Canadian defender Jamie Peters was training with the team on Wednesday morning having failed to catch on with the Vancouver Whitecaps during his recent trial with the club.
Quincy Amarikwa was also officially dealt to the Chicago Fire who he had been on trial with in recent weeks. Toronto will end up getting back what they paid for him as the Fire are sending a first round supplemental draft pick in the 2014 draft to TFC in exchange for the speedy attacker.