Jordan Hamilton is next on our countdown of TFC players. Hamilton is a graduate of the KIA Toronto FC Academy and became the ninth player from the Academy to make the senior team. Hamilton is a very promising young talent that not only makes the club's future look bright, but also Canada's. From Scarborough, he has represented Canada at the U17 level with 11 caps, scoring five goals and then at the U20 level playing three games and netting two so far.
Hamilton plays as a striker who can hurt opposing defenders with his strength and and knowledge of the game. He is seen as more of a poacher who looks to pick up the ball and score himself.
Hamilton impressed scouts with his scoring touch for both the Wilmington Hammerheads of the USL Pro and the TFC reserves. Hamilton left Wilmington with five goals and two assists in 11 games, and even notched a goal in the summer friendly against EPL side Tottenham Hotspurs.
However, what is different from him compared to other prospects like Many Aparicio and Quillan Roberts, is that he has made the move to Europe to play in the second division in Portugal. Hamilton now plays for CD Trofense who is in last place in the league.
Playing in Europe, for a team in a tier 2 league in Portugal, isn't bad for the young Canadian at this stage in his career. He has only played five game for Trofense, after joining the team on July 30th. Is this a negative thing for the young prospect? He isn't playing that much, but does that matter? He is only 18 years old and playing professional soccer in a top european soccer country. I think this can help Hamilton by making him push himself to play better. This makes him fight to play in the starting eleven and allows him to gain a competitive edge over other TFC prospects and even other Canadian strikers.
He has been representing Canada at both the U17 and U20 level and even made the recent friendly roster against Colombia, where they lost 1-0. While he didn't get a lot of playing time (came in during extra time) it is still a good sign that Canadian coach, Benito Floro, gave him a chance to join the senior team. Hamilton's chances of making regular appearances for the senior Canadian team does look good. Hamilton would put himself into the pot of other young strikers that includes players like Daniel Haber (Ayia Napa), Cyle Larin (UConn) and Randy Edwini-Bonsu (Stuttgarter Kickers) that have all made an appearance for the senior team this year.
As for Hamilton's chances to make the senior team for TFC, that may take some time. As one of the best prospects the team has, Greg Vanney and Tim Bezbatchenko really shouldn't rush Hamilton to play. By playing and fighting for minutes with Trofense, Hamilton gains experience and competition, something he wouldn't get as much in Wilmington. He looks like he can take control and help any team he plays for, but will need to grow as a player still. Getting help from other coaches will help him develop different skills and techniques, something that can help a team like TFC.They could use some help upfront, especially since Bloody Big Deal signing Jermain Defoe is likely on his way out.
Since his loan deal expires on July 30th 2015, it may be be an option to let him stay with the first team while the last month of the season wind down. Maybe he can make an immediate impact for the team, but time will tell if he is ready for the senior squad. I believe Hamilton can help a strike force that has inconsistencies, and now has a big hole with Defoe gone, maybe he will get more opportunities than he did before.