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Toronto FC 2013 Top 36 Countdown: Number 30 - Maximiliano Urruti

37 pretty insignificant minutes, but probably the biggest storyline of the season, leaving behind many many questions. At number 30, it's Maximiliano Urruti.

Original photo from photoshop awesomeness by ignirtoq.
Original photo from photoshop awesomeness by ignirtoq.

Average Rank: 28.54
Highest rank: 7
Lowest rank: 36

Duncan: 31 Maximiliano Urruti. A great name to say and probably the strangest story in the pantheon of strange TFC stories. One that brings up many many questions, questions we'll probably never know the answers to. For a while it seemed a straight forward and well worn story. Club identifies talent and enters into negotiations with club and player to try and tempt him into joining up.

All that first came to public light in March, Kristian Jack identifying him as Pat Onstad's target on his scouting trips to Argentina.

By early April, the deal was done, with another unnamed Argentine midfielder joining him at the end of the month.

A couple of weeks later and the deal was off, though at least Laba was still coming.

Then at the end of June, Kevin Payne brought his name back into the mix, saying TFC were hoping to being him in in the summer under some new designation that meant he wouldn't be a DP.

The summer window opened and closed with no Urruti, but towards the end of it, the drama got upped a notch as he basically just left Newll's Old Boys, apparently under the impression he could become a free agent through the Bosman rule's lesser known cousin, the Webster ruling.

It soon became clear his destination was Toronto, in early August he was supposed to arrive on Monday, then on Tuesday, it inched closer and closer though Newell's weren't going to give up without a fight. Eventually an agreement was reached, and there he was on August 16th holding up the shirt at downsview, number 37, though it still didn't really seem clear if he was a DP, not a DP or some new type of DP.

Finally the drama was over and he could get on with just playing right? His first game was in Columbus, and his first touch led to this.

Inauspicious, but not to worry, still finding his feet, getting to fitness. The next week in DC, lineups were announced on twitter and he wasn't even on the bench, then 5 minutes or so later that was corrected and he was. Honest mistake, or a sign of trouble and a coverup. Either way he didn't get on the pitch. He did the next week, his home debut, coming on as a sub against New England without doing anything remarkable, bumping his minutes total up to 37. Next week in Portland he was again on the bench, but despite TFC being down and presumably looking to get back into the game, he wasn't brought into the game, it ended 4-0 to Portland, not a great start to the post Kevin Payne era.

Then it got even weirder as on the Monday after the game it came out that he was being traded to Portland, Bright Dike a 2015 pick and some funny money coming back to Toronto. Payne's signature move, undone within a week of his exit. At Portland he's not a regular by any means, but he scored one very nice goal and is currently getting ready for the Western Conference playoff final, starting today.

37 minutes, after a 6 month long pursuit, but at least we did get this fun article out of it, which gives the explanation for the picture of him up top, 20 questions that revealed among other things that he hates cucumbers and horror films, and that Superman is his hero in real life.

Anyway, so many questions come out of this. Obviously Ryan Nelsen was in no way a fan of Urruti, but then why let Payne sign him if his coach didn't want him? Presumably Lieweke had thoughts of firing Payne, so again, why let him go through with such a big signing? As for the trade, why not wait until the new GM was in place before pulling the trigger on a big trade? Did this 'new designation' a 'league DP' ever actually exist? Had Payne convinced Lieweke that he could have Laba, Urruti AND still get his two big name DP's? As MLS' salary guy for TFC, shouldn't Tim Bezbatchenko have made sure Payne/Nelsen/whoever actually knew what they could and couldn't do? Or at the very least what they could or couldn't publicly talk about? When it was established that, no, Urruti did very much count as a DP, was his trade essentially forced to make way for Lieweke's 2 superstars? Did Payne not want to do that, was that the philosophical difference that led to Payne's ousting? Again, what exactly was Bezbatchenko's role in how this whole thing went down and led to his eventual job opening up?

So many questions. Answers we'll never get. One question we will eventually get an answer to is just how good is Urruti. Can he flourish in Portland, make Payne look good and Lieweke/Nelsen look foolish? Or will he flame out, never really adapt and soon enough find his way back to Argentina, proving that Payne is actually the clueless fool who knows nothing about football and would have doomed our club as many people seem to think he is?

Whatever happens, the whole saga has set the bar high for TFC insanity. They're going to have to do well in the future to top this one.

Dave: 32. I guess the pursuit is really more exciting than the capture. We spent the whole season following along as the story unfolded of Toronto trying to sign Urruti and it was actually one of the more exciting storylines of the 2013 season. Then he finally got here and barely played any games but showed a few good things in limited minutes. Next it was off to Portland and it was all over. Somehow Urruti brought TFC to a new level of confusing.

Armen: 36. Last place for me, but not his fault. A stain on Toronto's current management. Wasteful, silly signing. Only plus was bringing in Dike.

James: 24. surely there is a sordid tale behind his brief stint at this club, was an entertaining, if sad, TFC front office message management blunder - has looked very good in Portland.

Kristin: 32. 37 minutes. He played for 37 minutes - that's approximately five minutes for every month that Kevin Payne spent chasing him. Harsh to put him so low? Perhaps. But hey - 37 minutes whether his fault or not are not much to judge a player on. Good luck in the playoffs and all that and see you next year when you bag a brace against your former team.

a_miller16: The "saviour" of TFC that failed to play even half a game

Angus Chung: Can we just pretend this never happened...?

Ferantez: what can he do in 37 min…. If anything his venture just left a sour taste behind….

Ignirtoq: #mostOverhyped37MinutesEver

Izaac: hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah

Jon Spratt: Time will tell. Ludicrous saga though.

Josh Mote: I have him in my top 10 (10th)because the majority of this season was spent talking about him. He was dangled in front of us like a carrot for months. He saw 37 minutes of action before he was traded. Vintage TFC.

Mark_HSV:Come on the guy deserved more than 37 minutes! Probably has more talent than half of the team. Did notice him get stripped of the ball after I think his very first touch, which led directly to a goal against TFC. But still I thought he looked alright in his second game. What the fuck Nelson?

Michaelvee: Urruti, we hardly knew ye. But, the transfer saga alone was entertaining and he didn't look fit when he was here. Benefit of the doubt.

Prizby: Nice knowing you; lots of promise; unwanted here; please kill it in Portland to show up the FO here and then get yourself sold to Europe so we can make some $$$ off of you.

Robert Snider: this high (7) because it's a stupid move (make that one of the) that Leiweke made. (guaranteed playoffs next year - obviously from the Rex Ryan school of management)

Shel soccer Don: I wish we got to see him play one full game. The most embarassing trade in MLS history. Thanks TL

The Yorkies: 37 minutes that will live in TFC infamy. The Legacy of Kevin Payne.

Tyler: Urriti gets ranked this high simply because of the insane transfer saga that resulted because of him. Is he good? Who knows yet? But that was entertaining, and so so frustrating.

Yohan: All the drama not withstanding, once Nelsen and Leiweke decided that they want big names for DP, Urruti was going to be gone one way or another. The fact that TFC got a good deal out of Urruti is a bonus.

Number 29: Danny Koevermans

Number 31: Logan Emory

Full Top 36 Countdown