It seems that Toronto FC could be set to add another Home Grown player to their roster with midfielder Manuel (Manny) Aparicio reportedly set to make the jump up to the senior team. Aparicio has spent the past two weeks training with the first team rather than Danny Dichio's senior academy sides and it seems that he has done enough to impress.
Several sources indicated yesterday that the deal was complete and would be made official latter this week. It also leaked out onto a number of different twitter accounts last evening but a number of the tweets were taken down shortly after. One that remains came from another academy player, Luca Dichio who is a member of the U-16 squad.
Congrats to manny! great to see another tfc academy player turn pro with the first team 🔴⚪— Luca' (@lucadichio9) August 7, 2013
The tweet does not include a last name but when combined with what other sources have been telling Waking the Red it is safe to assume that Dichio is referring to Manny Aparicio in his tweet.
So far this season Aparicio has been dividing his time between the senior academy team and being a regular in TFC's reserve games. He has gone the full 90 minutes in three matches, played 45 minutes once, and in the most recent match he played 74 minutes against the Pittsburg Riverhounds before being sent off.
Aparicio has scored 2 goals for Dichio's unbeaten senior academy squad so far this season. He has been an anchor for the squad that finds themselves sitting second in the Ontario Soccer League's Provincial Elite with two games in hand on the team above them.
Aparicio has clearly been having a strong season and it has not gone unnoticed by the coaching staff. If the reports of his signing prove to be true he would become the fifth home grown player on the current roster joining Ashtone Morgan, Doneil Henry, Quillan Roberts, and Jonathan Osorio.
Toronto FC currently have a fair bit of room to work with on their roster so adding addition depth that comes without a cap hit does not come as a major surprise. The surprising part is that they have turned to the academy to find that depth in the middle of the season. With the reserve league not offering nearly enough minutes to help a player develop the club will now need to find ways to get Aparicio the minutes he needs to keep improving as a player.
Aparicio is likely going to see some minutes in the friendly against AS Roma so with this news coming out he is certainly one of the players worth keeping an eye on. Giving minutes against top opposition to players like him is pretty much the only benefit of games like this after-all.