With the season now under way Toronto FC have a fairly stable roster of players but that is not stopping them from looking to make improvements and add depth where possible. They have room on the 30-man roster to make some additions and as a result have been taking a closer look at some players.
During the early stages of preseason the team was joined by Canadian international Issey Nakajima-Farran who impressed during his one week trial with the club. The midfielder was linked to signing for TFC since the end of his trial but the deal seems to be dragging out.
Nakajima-Farran has been with the team since they went to Seattle last weekend and has been training with them but has yet to officially sign. It is unclear what is causing the delay but what is clear is that Toronto FC want to add the wide player.
At Friday's training, Ryan Nelsen indicated that he was still hoping they could get a deal done in time for Saturday's game against D.C. United but if that does not happen it will likely be completed early in the new week. Adding Nakajima-Farran would be a big boost to the team's options on the wing which were looking quite thin following the release of Reggie Lambe.
Nakajima-Farran was not the only player around training on Friday who is not currently under contract. He was joined by Danny O'Rourke who is set to spend the next week training with the club with the potential for him to sign following that stint should he impress.
O'Rourke could provide some needed depth on the defensive side of the ball should his trial go well. He is capable of playing a number of different positions which will only increase his appeal. While he is primarily a defensive midfielder he is also capable of playing centre back and right back if needed.
His last stop was with the Columbus Crew where he spent the bulk of his playing career and enjoyed a number of solid seasons. The 30-year-old was initially drafted by the San Jose Earthquakes in the 2005 SuperDraft but was dealt to the New York Red Bulls before his second season. He was actually briefly a Toronto FC player when the club took him in the expansion draft but he was quickly traded, along with Will Hesmer, to the Crew for allocation money.
O'Rourke's best years do seem to be behind him though as injuries have slowed him down a bit but he did manage to make 20+ appearances each of the last two seasons after failing to do so in both 2010 and 2011. His contract with the Crew was not renewed following the 2013 season though and a big part of that may have been the fact that he earned $175,000 last year which is a bit much for a depth player.
O'Rourke did have a trial with the Seattle Sounders during preseason but after spending a week with the team they elected not to keep him around. It is unclear why he did not sign with them but if it was due to him wanting too high of a wage he will likely encounter a similar problem in Toronto where they need depth and experience but do not have a lot of money to spend to get it.
He will be a known commodity to at least one member of TFC's coaching staff coming in to training as Duncan Oughton will be familiar with O'Rourke having worked with him for several years when the pair were both in Columbus.
Both Nakajima-Farran and O'Rourke would be good additions for TFC and they would bring plenty of experience, versatility, and coverage at positions of need. We will keep you updated on the latest news surrounding both players as it comes out.