MLS is playing a game of trying to save face. After the backlash the league felt for their use of magical envelopes in deciding the fate of Jermaine Jones they wanted to make sure they avoided a similar mess with Jozy Altidore. Having been introduced to blind draws and DPs of a certain threshold in the past year MLS fans were rightly confused about how Altidore's return to the league would be handled.
The league decided to stick with their rules as written this time around which meant that Jozy Altidore as an American International would be subject to the allocation ranking to decide which club he would play for in MLS. With Toronto FC sitting sixth in that ranking this could have been a problem for the club who did the work to bring the American forward back to MLS.
That hurdle set by the league seems to have been cleared by Toronto FC though with TSN.ca reporting that none of the five teams ahead of them in the rankings have made a move to claim Altidore. The details on why the teams above them in the ranking have all past remained unclear but the price of the deal is likely what scared clubs off from making a serious push for the forward. Not only would any interested team have to be willing to meet the large salary demands of Altidore but they would also have been forced to offer TFC some sort of compensation as Altidore was acquired by the league as part of the Jermain Defoe transfer.
In the end, it seems that everyone is going to get what they want out of this Altidore deal except for the other clubs that were interested in the forward. The league gets to look good by sticking to their own rule book and not making up any new mechanism to get the player to the club they want him at and Toronto get an immediate replacement for the outgoing Defoe.
With the Altidore deal clearing the final hurdle it is now just a matter of waiting for Toronto FC to announce the sale of Defoe and the signing of Altidore. That should come sometime following the draft when things have settled down a bit. It will be interesting to see how the team handles things this time around in comparison to the Bloody Big Deal of last year. Chances are things will be a bit more low key this time around.
With the Altidore deal sorted the club is certainly not done with their offseason activity. Their next big target continues to be Sebastian Giovinco who is available to sign a pre-contract now ahead of a move at the start of July. Toronto FC have submitted a very lucrative offer for the player and appear to be very much in the running for his signature as the interested teams in Europe are not able to match the salary they are offering the Italian.
It is another deal that is moving closer to completion as Giovinco is currently weighing up his various offers and could come to a decision in the coming days. The issue for TFC fans is that depending on which source you are looking at he could be signing for any number of teams. Some are reporting that he is close to sealing a January transfer to Fiorentina while SportItalia have him agreeing on a pre-contract with AS Monaco.
Despite the player being linked to so many other clubs, Toronto FC remain confident that they have a strong offer and could still wind up landing the player. If they do sign him it would spell the end for Gilberto at the club barring any changes to the league rules in the new CBA or some other unexpected cap magic on the part of Tim Bezbatchenko.
With the MLS SuperDraft set to take place on Wednesday it is shaping up to be a very busy week for TFC and their fans.