It is the time of year where two types of reports seem to start popping up. The first, and far more popular, is the transfer rumour while the second has to do with potential summer friendly opponents. This is going to be the latter so time to get excited about what meaningless distraction Toronto FC could be adding to the middle of their season.
In the past it has been the likes of Real Madrid and Liverpool but this summer it seems that Peñarol are making the trip up from Uruguay to play at least a pair of friendlies in Canada. The following is a report from tenfield.com suggesting that the club could be in Toronto later this month for matches against Sporting Lisbon and Toronto FC.
En Canadá… Peñarol tiene la posibilidad de jugar amistosos en Toronto, Canada, el 21 de julio ante Sporting Lisboa y el 24 con Toronto F.C. El 28 se presentará en el compromiso pactado con el Benfica en el préstamo de Rodrigo Mora. La pretensión es sumar dos encuentros más.
The report suggests that the matches will take place in just over a month which would suggest that if it is the case an official announcement would be coming up soon to allow for adequate time to sell tickets. With Toronto set to play the New York Red Bulls at home on July 20th followed by the Columbus Crew on the 27th this game this game would fall nicely in between them.
Of course, there is the problem of adding a midweek game in the middle of the season being unnecessary and just a good way to increase fatigue and potential injuries. Toronto is already looking at playing five matches in July so it is not like they have a light schedule to deal with. It is made worse when you add in the fact that Toronto's depth will likely be put to the test during July because of players joining Canada for the Gold Cup which runs from the 7th until the 28th.
In short, this seems like a terrible time to be adding a meaningless friendly to the schedule but if it does happen it will hopefully mean very few first team players being involved. Last year against Liverpool the coaching staff did give a lot of the fringe players and some academy players the chance to play in the game which was nice to see but there was also a fair bit of the first team involved for at least some of the match. If this game does take place it would be nice to see even more of the young players allowing the first team to get some needed rest.
Peñarol might not be the biggest name in World soccer but they are a very strong side that are coming off the back of winning the Uruguayan Primera Division Championship. They only lost four league matches all season and the only real disappointment was that they exited the Copa Libertadores at the group stage.
The club has won the domestic league title an impressive 49 times and have added an impressive 5 Copa Lib titles making them one of the top clubs in the World. In fact, Peñarol was named the South American Club of the Century in 2009 for their impressive run of dominance in Uruguay.
So if these reports are accurate then Toronto fans could be treated to a pair of summer friendlies. The first one between Peñarol and Sporting Lisbon is the kind of match that should be taking in place in Toronto during the summer as it features two teams in their preseason. The second is the type that will leave a lot of TFC fans complaining about adding a meaningless game to the schedule.