It was a busy Wednesday for Toronto FC and Daniel Lovitz. The former second round draft pick was initially taken in the Expansion Draft by New York City FC but is now back with TFC having been reacquired for the price of an undisclosed amount of allocation money.
What the reacquisition of Lovitz means is that Toronto FC are able to keep their existing roster in tact giving them a good base to build off for the rest of the offseason. They will likely have some players go in the Re-Entry draft but those will be players who's options have already been declined by the club.
The deal to bring Lovitz back was likely one that was worked out prior to the draft getting underway. By agreeing a deal with NYCFC, Tim Bezbatchenko was able to swap some allocation money for the ability to protect two more players. The deal essentially protected Lovitz and allowed the club to protect Mark Bloom who had been or the radar of Orlando City, the other expansion team selecting in the draft.
The move also helps to explain some of the inclusions on the protected list that caused confusion prior to the draft. For any such deal to work TFC would have had to make sure that they protected every player that NYCFC would actually be interested in and that could well have included the likes of Kyle Bekker and Warren Creavalle. Once every player NYCFC might have wanted to take was safely protected they would be far more interested in making such a deal as they could use all the allocation they can get with the club likely lining up a number of international signings.
Lovitz returns to TFC for a second season now and will look to build on his 18 appearances as a rookie. He had a strong year starting out with Wilmington before making the jump into the first team. His crosses were consistently among the best service that TFC had this season and hopefully another year of experience will only make him a better contributor in 2015.
So no matter how you felt about the protected list the big take away from the day is that Tim Bezbatchenko did his homework ahead of time and managed to work out a scenario that allowed him to keep all of the players that he wanted to keep on the roster. Not one player was lost for a nominal allocation fee and all it cost the club was a similarly nominal fee.
There are certainly a lot of holes left to fill to turn this roster from a pretender to an actual contender but by keeping the entire roster together today it means there are no new holes created. At least Bezbatchenko did not make his job any bigger than it already was which is certainly a good thing.