With the MLS transfer window close to easing shut for another summer Toronto FC have only made one small move. That move was to recall Quillan Roberts from his loan to USL Pro. The keeper has been the first choice in goal for the Wilmington Hammerheads this season but will now return to Toronto to be third choice behind Joe Bendik and Chris Konopka.
The club had two options for Roberts with the window closing since his loan was to a team in the United States which mean they wouldn't be able to call him up at all after the deadline; the first being to recall the player now and the second being to leave him down with Wilmington for the remainder of the season. The move to bring him back seems an odd one as other than giving TFC coverage in case a keeper goes down injured in the next few months it does not help the team or the player.
For Roberts, his time in Wilmington has to be considered a real success. He made 17 league starts for the club giving up just 20 goals. Roberts managed to pick up six clean sheets during his time there, earning a 5-4-8 record despite the team in front of him often struggling to score goals.
It was Roberts' first real chance to start games on a regular basis since he signed his home grown player deal with TFC in April of 2012. He was signed at a time when TFC was dealing with an injury crisis in goal and for quite a while it seemed like he was never going to make it in to the first team plans. The good news was that time remained on his side as Roberts is now just 19-years-old but getting competitive minutes was a must after two years of very limited activity. For that reason he may be the one TFC player who gained the most from the USL Pro partnership this season.
With Roberts leaving it does not mean that Manny Aparicio will be the only TFC player down in Wilmington as the club has sent down a group of academy players to join the team for the rest of the season. With Wilmington having a very busy schedule during August there is a good chance for the group to train with the team and get a taste of being in a professional environment even if it is for a short period of time.
The group now down in Wilmington is Mark-Anthony Kaye, Molham Babouli, Chris Manella, and Marcos Nunes. The four players had been playing for the TFC academy team in League One Ontario where they have been putting in solid performances. Babouli even leads the league in scoring with 13 goals and has been a revelation for the TFCA squad.
Of the four players though it seems that Kaye is set for the longest stay with the club. While the other three will be returning to Toronto he could stay down to help fill the void left by the departure of Jordan Hamilton to Portugal. While Wilmington have loaned in Brad Stuver from the Columbus Crew to fill the void left by Roberts leaving they could still use someone to help boost the attack which Kaye could certainly do with his skill and athleticism.
Kaye could potentially make his Wilmington debut in their next game while playing on an amateur contract which would allow him to return to York University in the fall. He was a big part of their run to the National Championships last year and will be hoping to help lead them to the title this time around.
While Kaye may not have the impact of Hamilton in USL Pro he is certainly capable of making a contribution for the team. He has been one of TFC's top prospects for some time so this loan will give him a chance to prove what he can do against a stiffer level of competition that he has faces in college, the CSL, or L1O.