Chief Scout Pat Onstad may have found his man in Argentina! - Bob Levey
Pat Onstad recently returned to Toronto from his scouting trip to Argentina where he was getting a closer look at a potential young DP target. Now Kristian Jack is reporting that he was down there looking closely at Maximiliano Urruti.
By now we should all be aware that Toronto FC is in the process of scouting a forward based in Argentina that would meet the requirements set out for a young Designated Player in MLS. We also know that last week Chief Scout Pat Onstad traveled down to take a closer look at the player the club is interested in and having returned from the trip the club is now hoping to know one way or the other about acquiring the playing in the next couple of weeks.
The one missing piece was the name of the player that the club was looking at but now that piece has been filled in by Kristian Jack on his excellent blog (4-2-3-1.com). On Wednesday morning Jack reported that sources were telling him that the player Onstad was watching closely was Maximiliano Urruti of Newell's Old Boys.
Urruti is a 22 year old forward who has failed to really become a regular in the lineup for Old Boys in his two seasons at the club. He has scored his share of nice goals for the club and attracted interest from European clubs in recent months but has yet to really break through in the Argentina Primera Division.
He has mainly been used as a late game sub for Old Boys coming on to try and make an impact in the final 10 or 15 minutes of a match. If Onstad was still in Argentina to watch him play on March 1st he would have gotten the chance to see him perform as an impact sub when he came on in the 77th minute and put the game beyond doubt with a 90th minute strike that handed Newell's a 2-0 win over Belgrano de Córdoba.
That goal was a bit of a rare sight in recent months though for Urruti who has been firmly relegated to that role of a substitute since Ignacio Scocco returned to the club after his stops at UNAM Pumas, AEK Athens, and Al Ain. There was also a home coming for Maxi Rodriguez last July as the winger return to Argentina after a decade in Europe that saw him play for Atletico Madrid and Liverpool. The return of Scocco and Rodriguez seems to have made the 22 year old Urruti surplus to requirements and a potential target to transfer from the club.
When Urruti was a regular starter in 2011/2012 he showed just why there are teams around the World expressing interest in him. In 19 starts during that year's Clausura he managed to notch 6 goals in what was by far his most impressive run of form and it is no coincidence that it came at the same time that he was being given extended minutes in the starting lineup.
Urruti seems to be the kind of player that has a good mix of skills as a forward but does not really excel in any one area. He is a capable finisher but at 5'10 and 145 pounds he does not really have the kind of build that you want for a player leading the line or working as the only forward. Instead, his build better lends itself to being more of a support striker which he seems to have the passing skills to be capable of.
As Jack pointed out in his report there is one outstanding black mark on Urruti's resume as he has outstanding accusations of racism stemming from an incident in a Copa Libertadores match last month. Urruti was accused of racism or discrimination against Salustiano Candia in the match and it was reported to CONMEBOL who have yet to issue any sort of punishment for the incident.
Urruti seems to fit the mold of what MLS team should be looking for in a young DP though as he already has attracted interest from clubs in Europe and a strong showing in MLS could just net the club that signs him a nice transfer fee. There is also the chance that if he gets regular playing time again he can return to being a consistent scorer which is something every team is looking for.
TFC fans should not have to wait much longer to find out if the club is able to bring Urruti in as they are hoping to have things worked out in the coming weeks. It seems that Onstad liked what he saw and the club is now moving forward with trying to negotiate a deal for his services with Newell's Old Boys.
In the meantime, how about some highlights to get you excited?