Strike(r) one! And two and three...in an not unexpected move (excepting Bennett) TFC announced this morning that they had officially signed Robert Earnshaw (as reported yesterday), finally made official the signings of Supplemental Draft Pick Taylor Morgan, home grown midfielder Jonathan Osorio and then the somewhat surprising addition of Supplemental Draft Pick Ashton Bennett to the team.
Both Taylor and Osorio were expected to be signed as they had been introduced with the first team earlier on this week and had both shown well in preseason. Bennett (who was also at the launch event but not introduced with the team) has also apparently impressed coach Ryan Nelsen and Kevin Payne during the preseason in Florida.
Payne had this to say about the young trio: "We're excited to add this young talent to our group at Toronto FC," said Toronto FC President and General Manager Kevin Payne. "Each of these players earned their spot in preseason and we look forward to each contributing to a successful season."
For more details read the official Toronto FC release.
Also super officially confirmed was the signing of Welsh international Robert Earnshaw. "Robbie is an experienced player who has been a consistent goal scorer for club and country," said Toronto FC President and General Manager Kevin Payne. "With his pace and craftiness we expect him to create challenges for opposing defences. We're thrilled to have him join our team."
And as per John Molinaro, "...Earnshaw is not a loan signing, but a permanent deal. Also not a DP." As previously noted, Earnshaw will not be expected to play immediately, both because he still requires an ITC and he is far from match fit.
And what about the rumoured signing of Darel Russell? After yesterday's report from SkySports nothing has been said but Molinaro tweeted:
And #TFC "working on" singing Darel Russell— John Molinaro (@JohnMolinaro) March 1, 2013
Whether this deal gets done before First Kick (or at all) will likely be revealed later on today. Suffice it to say the roster for this part of the season (expect more changes mid season) is starting to round into shape. And while the newly minted attacking players may not exactly strike fear into the hearts of opposing defenders, at least now Justin Braun doesn't have to be, well the only brawn up top.
UPDATE: Seemingly minutes after posting our most recent update on the new player signings, Toronto FC announced that they have indeed inked Darel Russell to a deal. The veteran midfielder had been on trial with TFC for the past few weeks and is expected to help shore up the depth for a number of positions. "We're fortunate to add a player of Darel's experience and versatility to our team" said Toronto FC President and General Manager Kevin Payne. "We expect him to help at several positions for us this year."