Well, all the journalists who schlepped their way up to Downsview for this one got their reward as there was actually something newsworthy to this announcement.
The fact that Julio Cesar was coming in on loan was the world's worst kept secret. That was confirmed here, with a little bit of info on how that came to be added in. Unsurprisingly Ryan Nelsen's connections played a huge part, and once they got a sniff it was a possibility they jumped all over it, as Tim Bezbatchenko said, any time you get a chance to bring in a player of his pedigree, you take it. Both Bezbatchenko and Nelsen were full of praise, as you'd expect, for what he brings on the field as well as off it. Details about the contract and just how they're fitting it in were of course avoided.
Cesar himself kept the cliches going, saying all the right things, dishing out praise for the facilities at Downsview when it was requested, though when asked if he was looking forward to playing with his countrymen in front of him, he didn't quite manage to play it straight. Though he said some nice things, his expression as he mentally translated the question and started to answer said that Gilberto and Jackson were obviously not a factor in his decision at all. Another moment of comedy came when Bezbatchenko said with a straght face "In MLS, we have a strict salary cap obviously." Brilliant Tim, Brilliant.
So, for the most part it was all as predictable as Patrick Chan falling with gold in his grasp, but eventually the question was asked about how long the loan was for, and the answer was a big one.
Until the end of the year!
So, high profile player with a huge salary being brought in on loan, and it's not just for a few months to give him playing time before the World Cup, but a loan for the full season. How exactly is that going to be fit under the cap given the 3 DP spots are currently taken up? When the players union releases the numbers, TFC's going to be the team everyone pays attention to.
At media day earlier this week, players talked about the pressure and of TFC having a target on their back given the way they've splashed the cash and seemingly had the league 'rules' bent in their favour. This being a full year thing will only intensify that. Philadelphia have already made their grumpiness public, other clubs have to be feeling the same way, I can't imagine that will help with finding a partner for a potential Matias Laba deal.
As for supporters, well I imagine any kind of 'hey, TFC fans have suffered a lot, I'm happy for them, I hope it works out' sentiments that might have been out there won't last long, especially if TFC do well right from the start. If we don't do well from the start, well there's going to be a lot of schadenfreude to deal with.
Kudos to Nelly and the Tims, it's been a spectacular off season. We've become everything I hated. So far it's fun.