Wednesday afternoon's Special Announcement may have been a total waste of time with a lot of big talk about the value of friendlies and relationships with top clubs and some pandering to Toronto's Italian community to round it off but at least one worthwhile thing came out of the event.
Following the formal press event Kurt Larson got the chance to speak with Kevin Payne and his blog for the Toronto Sun about that conversation is filled with all kinds of useful insight. Basically, you should go ahead and read it right now before coming back to finish this article.
The biggest piece of news that comes from the blog is that the deal for Maximiliano Urruti is not dead and the club is actually hoping to bring him in this summer without having to use a designated player slot on him. It seems that a deal is in place and the player wants to come to Toronto but it is just waiting league approval to be completed. It will be interesting to see what the "different designation" that Payne referred to in his conversation with Larson is and if it is something new other than just not a DP.
For those who have short term memories or were not following closely this spring Urruti was the Argentine forward that Toronto were supposed to be very close to signing but the process dragged on for quite some time and it seemed that the club had moved on and ended up only bringing in Matias Laba instead of completing both signings.
When Laba was signed it looked like the potential for Urruti to join TFC was all but gone but it seems the club remained in close contact with the player. The deal reportedly fell through because of his current club, Newells Old Boys, and not a lack of interest in the player so the deal coming back to life is not a complete surprise.
For more information on the player it is worth checking out the post we had back when Kristian Jack first reported that he was a target of the club in March. Many fans were excited about the potential addition back then so hopefullyTFC can land the 22 year old forward and former Argentine youth international.
Urruti was not the only talking point for Larson's blog though as he and Payne touched on a number of other issues. His post confirms that Alvaro Rey is joining Toronto FC on trial as reported. He does add a few more details to the picture though as Payne confirms that Rey is available on a free as he is out of contract. He also mentions that other moves could be impacted by his performance in training which suggests that if Rey does well it could change the team's plans for international targets this July.
The talk about further signings was also interesting as Payne stated that the club are in a position to bring in a player from Argentinos Juniors either this summer or in January. Apparently when the club negotiated the deal for Laba they managed to include the ability to bring in future players and now have their choice of several players who could join on a free loan. One or more of the potential players must be a winger as Payne again referred to how Rey works out impacting their plans going forward with that deal.
Argentinos Juniors just avoided relegation this past season but in spite of their struggles they still have a number of young players who would make interesting additions to TFC's squad even if they were only to come in on loan initially. Just looking over their midfield they had 8 players 26 years old or younger making appearances for them in the league this season including having a 19 and 20 year old make over 20 appearances each. Despite having very little knowledge of their roster there seems to be the potential to find a number of players who could provide a similar contribution to what Laba has brought since joining TFC.
Along with their shopping in Argentina it seems that Toronto remains on the search for a third DP to add to the roster. If they can bring in Urruti without committing a spot to him it seems that they have a pair of potential targets in mind. That news comes from Payne despite the recent comments from Ryan Nelsen that the club had missed out on their main target as that player had elected to sign for a different club.
The fact that Toronto seems to be on the trail of two very different DPs as Payne described two different options for the potential signing. The first would be a well known name or an lesser known player who has been very successful in South America. There far too many players that would fit into both of those categories to even bother to speculate at this point but one name I will put out there is that of Gabriel Hauche.
Hauche was brought to our attention in the comments section by Wright Anomaly and despite sending the past few months on loan at Chievo he fits that second description quite well. At just 26 years old he has amassed an impressive scoring record in Argentina and has even had a cup of tea with the National Team. Injury limited his playing time at Chievo so it seems like he will head back to Racing Club de Avellaneda following the end of his loan. There is nothing concrete out there yet but it is at least one name to keep an eye on if TFC decides not to go down the household name route for their next DP.
The final piece of information from Payne's chat with Larson that is worth talking about is the hint that something could happen soon involving the allocation order. It seems that TFC are set to make a deal with someone for the top spot which fits well with recent reports that Carlos Bocanegra is looking to come back to MLS. It doesn't sound like a deal is done yet but someone is clearly interested in trading up the order and Toronto could receive some future considerations (likely allocation money, roster slots, or draft picks).
That is a whole lot to chew on from a short blog post but it should be enough to get fans excited that at the very least TFC will actively be trying to improve the roster in the coming months with the potential that the team could use the summer window to bring in a handful of new players. If that does happen it will also mean exits which is not that worrying as the squad is clearly still carrying some dead weight from previous rebuilds.
The AS Roma friendly may steal the headlines on the day but at least Payne was kind enough to give TFC fans who don't care about such games something less frustrating to talk about.