Doneil Henry is not as far gone as some seem to think, come next season he could still be a member of Toronto FC. Whether or not that return does happen, Toronto could still use some help in the middle of defense. There were moments this year where both Doneil Henry and Nick Hagglund looked up to the task of starting at centreback for the team. But Henry was up and down, and Hagglund always looked better when he played at fullback. There is no doubt that the club could use at least one more option in the centre of defense, preferably with plenty of MLS experience.
While he isn't everyone's cup of tea, Aurelien Collin is likely one of the best possible fits for this role. Love him or hate him, it seems like most select the latter, he is certainly one of the most effective defenders in MLS. The 28 year old's credentials speak for themselves: he was the MLS Cup MVP in 2013, two time all star and both MLS and US Open champion.
Before all that, however, the discussion about where this information originated. While other Toronto FC media have been incredibly quiet in terms of offseason rumours, Duane Rollins has been doing his part to make up the quota. Considering the number of things he has broken, it is easy to be skeptical. Let's put it this way, though, Rollins has yet to be proven wrong. He was correct on Henry, Toronto FC could still move Gilberto, they could absolutely be targeting Steven Gerrard and why couldn't Collin fit in their plans as well?
Just spoke to someone who said that #TFC is one of a couple teams talking to SKC about a trade for Aurelien Collin.— Duane Rollins (@24thminute) November 28, 2014
The thing with this one, however, the fact is that even if Rollins is right, which he almost certainly is, there are a lot of levels to this news. For one, Toronto FC aren't the only team after Collins. He would be an excellent in several other markets and would undoubtedly cause a bidding war. The thing is, some team might even be willing to afford him a designated player slot. That team certainly wouldn't be Toronto. Toronto could offer him a lot of money, however, which might make them more attractive than other teams.
There has also been no indication that Collin would be interested in leaving Kansas, and the talks at this point are only with the club and not the player. All reports, albeit out of the Kansas media, seem to indicate the Collin really enjoys both playing and living in the city. This year's disappointments aside, Kansas City is still a very good club.
So what's the significance of this news? Once again it is the mentality. So far, everything that has leaked out about Toronto's offseason strategy seems to indicate a focus that, if executed correctly, could finally translate into some success. That would be not only pursuing MLS experience, but pursuing MLS experience that has proven to be successful.
Toronto FC have had a lot of experienced MLS players over the years: Jeff Cunningham, Amado Guevara, Sam Cronin and Dwayne De Rosario to name but a few. Rarely have they had them in their prime or for long enough to have any sort of meaningful impact, first edition De Rosario aside. Collin would be one of the few who came at the peak of their careers.
In terms of this rumour resulting in reality, it would probably be somewhere between Garth Lagerwey, which seems sort of plausible despite denials from the Salt Lake media and Gerrard, which still seems impossible. It's really the intent that once again matters with this one, although execution of that intent will ultimately define Toronto FC's offseason.