Toronto FC already has a growing collection of CBs between Darren O'Dea, Danny Califf, Steven Caldwell, Gale Agbossoumonde, Doneil Henry, and a couple of others who are capable of playing the position but are used elsewhere instead like Logan Emory or even Richard Eckersley. They also have a growing collection of international players that has already reached the threshold of the club's international slots and forced the team to waive Taylor Morgan just to make room for the arrival of Caldwell and Jeremy Brockie.
All that has not stopped them from taking a look at another international who plays CB though as the club confirmed on Friday that Gleison Pinto Dos Santos (or just Santos) had joined them on trial. Santos is a 31 year old Brazilian CB who spent the majority of his professional career playing in Italy's lower leagues. He did reach Serie A for a time though with spells at both Genoa and Reggina in the country's top flight.
Santos left Italy following the 2009/2010 season with Reggina and has had spells in China, with Guizhou Renhe, and Greece, with AO Xanthi. He was released from his club in Greece in January and has been looking for a new home since then.
His resume was solid while he was in Italy but he was never able to lock down a starting position during his time in Serie A when he had the chance. Having made the move to Italy as a 20 year old to join Atalanta in Seria A, Santos first had to make a name for himself in the lower divisions. He found success in Serie B and Serie C before getting a chance to make the return to the top flight and finally make an appearance.
Santos is listed as being a left footed CB who is capable of playing on the left side when needed having done so in a back three at times in his career. That does sound like something that Toronto FC could use more of with the only real left sided CB in the team right now being O'Dea and if the coaching staff is serious about pushing players to do better then having someone to press O'Dea for minutes could be a good idea.
The question is what will happen if the club does decide to sign Santos. They are able to sign him because he was released from his contract prior to the MLS transfer window closing and he is available on a free transfer but even with that hurdle removed they would still need to clear up an international slot to make space for him. There would also be the matter of having too many CBs and not enough minutes to go around.
In recent weeks it has been Califf who seems to be the odd man out and it already seemed likely that the arrival of Caldwell would bump him down the depth chart even further. If the club were to add another CB to the roster could that spell the end of Califf? Is it possible that TFC is hoping to move O'Dea out in the summer window to shed his fairly expensive contract?
It is clear that the club is not done changing up the roster and making moves so bringing in a player on trial is no surprise. At least it is a change for the stream of loans and Premier League cast-offs. It remains to be seen if Santos will stick around with the club but his arrival on trial is a clear sign that the roster moves are nowhere near done.