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Toronto FC 2013 Top 36 Countdown: Number 7 - Alvaro Rey

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He only got into the team towards the end of the season, but showed enough to suggest he could be a very good winger in this league. At number 7, it's Alvaro Rey.

Muy Bueno Alvaro, muy bueno.
Muy Bueno Alvaro, muy bueno.
Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Average Ranking: 8.41
Highest Ranking: 1
Lowest Ranking: 18

Duncan: 8.Time to dust off my Bumper Book Of Old fashioned British Footballing Stereotypes and look up Spanish wingers. Let's see, tricky, divey and prone to embellishing. Check, check and check. To be fair, I don't remember Rey diving all that much, but when he has been fouled he definitely likes to let the ref know, I don't think I'll ever believe that he is actually injured. As for the tricky bit, well yeah, he definitely brings that too.

His signing had the air of desperation to it as he'd been here on trial and left, before suddenly returning half way through the transfer window right about the time it was becoming clear the big names weren't showing up. He probably didn't have that many options himself given his resume included the fact his previous teams both got relegated to the Spanish third division.  His hold the shirt up photo didn't scream enthusiasm, though I did enjoy this video where he apparently called TFC a world class team, though I suspect the interpreter of embellishing that one a bit.

He certainly didn't make the team right away as TFC's midfield quartet of Laba, Hall, Convey and Osorio seemed pretty set. He did have a noticeable game against Roma, assisting on the own goal before getting subbed off a after a foul that was ridiculously wild for a friendly. A few sub appearances here and there later, he eventually worked his way into the starting lineup for the game in Portland that Convey missed (Nelsen preferred Lambe to replace Osoiro when Osorio moved back to replace Laba. Seriously). Including that he started the last 8 games of the season, and seriously impressed. There were plenty of moments of flash, usually on the right, sometimes on the left, and two standout games, against Chicago (mainly coming in from the left to cause problems) and then against DC, where he took advantage of the weak opponent to score one of the prettiest goals of the season (h/t to Justin Braun for his part in the goal, I didn't remember that.). Great obnoxious celebration too.

Beyond a few highlights are there stats to show off? let's go with a like for like comparison and see how he in his 770 minutes compares to Reggie Lambe in his 1799 in the stats relevant to a winger.

Successful/unsuccessful crosses:
Lambe 9 &28
Rey 12 & 33

Through balls/Key passes
Lambe 2 & 17
Rey 2 & 15

Total shots/Shots on target

Lambe 13 & 1 
Rey 12 & 4

Lambe 0 & 1
Rey 1 & 1

Successful/Unsuccessful dribbles
Lambe 19 and 44
Rey 17 and 25

To be fair to Reggie, the defensive stats do look much better for him, that's definitely an area where Rey could pick up his game.

I started with stereotypes and I'll finish with one of my favourites; tricky wingers, you can't trust them, you just can't. In roughly a quarter of a season he's proven he has the ability to justify his signing, now it just comes down if he can show the consistency to justify his contract. He was already announced as one of the players who'll be back next year (but then so was Eckersley and we all know that ain't happening, hopefully little Tim is ok with his salary, $204,450 guaranteed) so hopefully he'll get that chance, though if pricier and fancier alternatives are brought in for the midfield places, that'd be a lot of money for a sub, so who knows. If he can keep playing at the same level, with Laba behind him to feed him the ball and some serious talent in front of him to distract the defenders, then he could end up looking very very good. Or he could be just another infuriatingly inconsistent and seemingly uncommitted talent out there on the wing who flops way too much for his own good, who knows? Thank the soccer gods this is one club he can't actually get relegated.

Dave: 18. Plenty of promise in his play after arriving in the summer. Looked to be capable of creating chances in the attacking and causing trouble off the wing. May even be worth his international roster slot and large salary moving forward. Another one who would be fun to see what he can do with more attacking quality around him.

Armen: 5. Rey, or "El Bailador" as I like to call him, is the one truly talented player on this team. Three more of him, please!

James: 7. A lively wide player with a touch of flair, will be exciting next season, assuming he doesn't get labelled as a diver and not get any calls.

Kristin: 7. Is he Jimmy Rey? Is he Fay Rey? Is he Alvaro Rey (Who wants to know, who wants to know?!) Sorry, that song runs through my head whenever I see his name. A surprisingly high rating due to what I think is his upside in the games he played plus his (likely) contribution going forward. One of the few true wingers the club has ever had, he was forming a good partnership with Laba before he was hurt. Think the upside of his play almost matches his price tag.

a_miller16: Definitely has the potential to contribute to TFC next season. Only thing against him is his contract which might be a wee bit pricey. One of the better wingers TFC has trotted out there in recent years.

Bruce Harding. I like Rey, top game v DC UNITED b team, and offered a lot more than Lambe.

Colin Freebury: Great control, fast, good crosser; passing? not so sure.

Elusivecart: Flashy and exciting to watch, needs more in-game consistency.  worth keeping around.

Henry for PM: Love, love him, solidified the right side, makes the right FB better.

Izaac: Meh… maybe could be a standout on the wing with a full off season and the right players around him

JD: I think Rey is the most exciting prospect we've got. He's shown some flashes of brilliance that I really hope can develop and shine through next year. I am praying to the soccer gods that he doesn't get traded away in the off-season.

Jon Spratt: Seems a little inconsistent from game-to-game but excellent with the ball at his feet and worthy of bringing back next year.

Josh Mote: The Thespian. I'd have him higher up if he had played more this season.

Michaelvee: Alvaro Rey's salary is high. What he provides off that salary - namely, creativity - is well worth it. Excited to see what he can do with a preseason and more time with his teammates. I haven't been genuinely excited about a TFC player for a while.

Prizby: A rey of light. I think if he is given more games, he'll continue to grow and excel in this league; it is refreshing to see a player capable of taking on and beating his man one on one.

Robert Snider: If we could only get him off the diving team, I like what he's doing -except needs to be reminded there are team mates out there who will gladly take the ball from him.

Spence Snell: If he played more games, he would be higher up in the rankings. Knows how to sell a foul, but more importantly has skills to back up his… 'soft' play.

The Yorkies: Pricetag set off alarm bells but he grew on us. Has some real skills but still expensive.

Tim: Solid and talented… even at acting… please stop diving and embellishing

Tyler: Rey has looked an unpredictable, focused, and energetic addition to the team. He brings a craftiness we've not seen in a long while.

Yohan: Rey is going to be something special next season. He's got good pace, can beat a defender 1v1 and put in a good cross. His hold up play is quite excellent. And he's 24, so TFC can use him as a key piece for couple of seasons. Probably most technically gifted player on the roster right now.

Number 6 Doneil Henry

Number 8: Bobby Convey

Full Top 36 Countdown