The MLS season is less than a month away now and Toronto FC continue to have one big question to answer. The team have until March 1st to make themselves roster compliant which means having to offload one of their designated players.
On media day Tim Bezbatchenko confirmed that the team has not yet determined what they will do with Matias Laba as they continue to explore the potential to keep him, trade him, loan him, or transfer him. He also noted that the club has sat down with the player and will sit down with him again in the coming days to discuss what his preferences are.
It is clear that Laba would prefer to stay in Toronto and the team would like to keep him around but it is looking like that may not be possible. The next best option may be to deal him within the league which could at least net the club players in return. On Monday reports out of Columbus indicated that they had been contacted by TFC in regards to the players availability but they were not interested in Laba given his price tag and their present needs. The team is clearly shopping Laba around the league but there is no word on who might be interested in acquiring the Argentine midfielder.
As the team shops him around MLS it is starting to look more likely that they want to send the player out on loan for the full season. There has been reported interest in Laba from clubs in places like Mexico but it seems that keeping Laba in MLS would be the best for his development should he be able to return to Toronto for the 2015 season.
No one was saying much about Laba on media day other than the things that they have been saying for several weeks now. The simple fact is that the team has until March 1st to find a resolution for Laba and with keeping him looking like nothing more than a pipe dream it is now about finding the best possible situation for both the player and the club.
The Crew may not be interested in Laba but that still leaves 17 other MLS clubs that might want to add a talented young midfielder to their roster either on loan or via trade. The likes of the Houston Dynamo and Chivas USA have been suggested as potential destinations but there are several other clubs who could potentially fit Laba on their roster depending on what TFC is looking for in return.
For those who are getting sick of waiting for any concrete news on Laba the wait should not be that much longer. The team will want to move him soon enough to allow themselves time to figure out what to do with their remaining roster slots. They will also be in need of another open international roster slot should the signing of Julio Cesar be completed.
Toronto FC are remaining tight lipped about the future of Laba for now but thankfully this will all be sorted out soon. Laba remains in Toronto and is training with the team still but he was not made available to the media along with the rest of the roster due to all the uncertainty surrounding his future.