While speaking the media down in Brazil, Luiz Felipe Scolari let the cat out the bag in regards to Julio Cesar moving to Toronto FC. He may have jumped the gun in talking about it as a done deal though as Toronto FC were unwilling to speak about the deal in such terms during their annual media day.
Reading between the lines though it would be safe to say that the deal is going to be confirmed in the coming days. When asked about the player joining the club Ryan Nelsen could hardly hide the smile on his face. He may not have come out and said that the deal was done yet but he did have lots of nice things to say about Cesar and there was clearly more to it than just the fact that they were once teammates at Queens Park Rangers.
Tim Bezbatchenko had a bit more of a poker face on than Nelsen could manage when talking about the potential of Cesar joining the club as he offered the standard answers about how he can not speak to a deal before it is done. He stuck to the official line on it which is more than could be said for Jim Brennan who slipped up and mentioned Julio (Cesar) coming when addressing the team's depth.
The goalkeepers on the team all seemed to be open to the idea of Cesar coming to town as well. They may not be thrilled about potentially being knocked down the depth chart but if that is the case they were not saying it. Instead both Joe Bendik and Chris Konopka were saying the right things about making the most of getting the chance to train along side a player who was once considered to be among the top goalies in the world. Everything was again prefaced with statements like "if it does happen" or "it is just a rumour for now but" so they covered all their bases but it seemed quite likely that they knew something they just were not allowed to talk about just yet.
The forth goalie in the equation was a bit less certain about his role with the club this season. Quillan Roberts knows his place on the depth chart but is focused on getting the chance to play games this season. There is no word yet about where he will spend the bulk of his time this year but he was certainly open to the idea of going on loan to Wilmington to get some playing time as that would be better for his development than sitting up stairs at BMO Field all summer. Word on any loans to the Hammerheads should come out following the Disney Pro Soccer Classic as that will be the first chance for the USL Pro team's coaches to really come in and see that TFC players up close and discuss who they could potentially put to use in their squad.
So with most people at media day acting coy about Cesar joining the club we will have to wait for the official announcement but that should arrive in the next couple of days. Toronto do have that open international slot having parted ways with Jonas Elmer so they could add Cesar to the roster at any point without having to make further moves.
What was interest was the fact that Scolari had a number of complimentary things to say about Cesar coming to Toronto in the press conference where he basically confirmed the move. When so many top class managers would be quick to dismiss the league as being highly physical or a retirement league he pointed out that the league is challenging despite not being the most technical league out there.
Scolari indicated that Cesar is part of his plans for the World Cup which is why he was included on the roster for Brazil's upcoming friendly against South Africa so having him go to Toronto is a good move. He could still wind up being Brazil's number one during the World Cup but for that to happen he needs to be playing games and building confidence. He will get the chance to do just that by joining Toronto FC on loan.
It is quite refreshing to hear a major international manager having nice things to say about MLS rather than just bemoaning the idea that one of their players is moving to the league. Playing regular minutes for Toronto FC is clearly better than being stuck to the bench of QPR and it is nice to see Big Phil acknowledge that fact in his press conference despite the Brazilian media seeming to think such a move would be the end of Cesar's career.
With the club not confirming the deal just yet we will have to see what the final details wind up looking like. The length of the loan will be the most interesting point as many are wondering if Cesar could potentially return to Toronto following the World Cup to continue playing matches in hopes of securing a move away from QPR on a permanent basis.