Just imagine these kits with different names and Payne with new players! They're coming, really! - Courtesy of Toronto FC
And just like that, the promised cavalry arrival seems to be appearing on the horizon. In a flurry of activity leading up to MLS First Kick and TFC's first match this Saturday a multitude of signings (and almost signings) have been announced in the last 36 hrs.
As Toronto FC supporters get more and more nervous the closer we get to First Kick, and TFC's roster holes keep getting larger instead of smaller, suddenly a flurry of signings (what? Two can be a flurry!) were announced in the past 36 hours, with the expectation that two or three more are soon to follow. As Payne has stated that most new signings will be loans is this a good way to quickly fill some of those spots with little risk to the team or are Payne and Co. panicking to get the team even remotely close to the league maximum?
The recent bolstering of Toronto's paper thin attacking half started on Wednesday with the signing of Hogan Ephraim to a four month loan. Ephraim was introduced along with the rest of the team at the Toronto FC Kickoff Event on Tuesday night but wasn't confirmed until yesterday.
And then earlier this afternoon (barely two days after arriving in Toronto) Welsh international Robert Earnshaw tweeted out that he'd also signed and was on his way to Vancouver with the team. The signing of Earnshaw was done in a whirlwind as he only arrived in Toronto Tuesday night; but from twitter it was apparent that both he and the staff liked what they saw and were quick to get the deal done.
Adding to that is the awaited official announcement that both Taylor Morgan and Jonathan Osorio have been signed. Both players were introduced with the team on Tuesday night and Kevin Payne also acknowledged that they were team members in a conversation during that event.
Before jetting off to Vancouver TSN analyst Luke Wileman had the following to say:
So add John Bostock to that list and hey, we've got something approaching a full roster! And of course we've had the very quiet rumour from Sky Sports that Darel Russell has been signed - however this is the only report we've seen (no tweets from Darel or confirmation from other sources as of yet).
All of this is well and good - if it helps the team in the long run anyway - but it does beg the question; if all of the international spots are about to be used on mostly English and (and one Welsh) players, where does that leave the two Hondurans and the young Argentinian DP that are allegedly en route? Will President Payne use the loan time to evaluate and leave bringing in South American help for the summer instead? And was Payne just practicing a bit of misdirection when he spoke of not paying for overpriced European players?
We'll hopefully have the answers to these questions before the team takes to the pitch on Saturday afternoon. But as we all know, things with TFC are never clear right away. Stay tuned!