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Half a World Away - Gilberto remains in Brazil as training camp begins in Toronto

The roster moves look set to continue as Gilberto awaits his fate in Brazil as training for 2015 gets underway

Triullium Cup Champions Gilberto & Jackson to remain in Brazil as training camp begins in Toronto
Triullium Cup Champions Gilberto & Jackson to remain in Brazil as training camp begins in Toronto
John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The uncertainty swirling around Gilberto's tenure at Toronto FC continued as it was learned yesterday that the striker will not be joining the club for the start of preseason, which begins today in Toronto before departing for sunny climes in Florida on February 1. The players reported for medicals as of Saturday, but will commence on-field training today.

With four designated players – Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore, Sebastian Giovinco, and Gil – currently on the books and the Collective Bargain Agreement still in the works, the club, as stated by Tim Bezbetchenko, has been instructed to approach the new season with the impression that there will only be three DP spots for their four stars. That Giovinco is set to join mid-season, though there is some talk he could be coming earlier, may leave a little wiggle room on the roster; the decision for Gilberto to sit out the start of preseason indicates his time with TFC looks to be coming to an end.

Having signed in December of 2013, the first of the trio that became the Bloody Big Deals, the striker could become the second of those three to leave after only one season, following Jermain Defoe out the door as the roster turnover continues.

Though he struggled to find his feet in MLS, earning the affectionate nickname of 'Old Gil' for his troubles, he would eventually notch seven goals and add five assists through 28 appearances, growing into his role over the course of the season.

Already several players deep at the forward position and in need of solidifying the defence, Gilberto appears to be the odd man out. Altidore replacing Defoe less the concern than a stacked striking contingent that includes Robbie Findley, Bright Dike, Luke Moore, and young Canadian Jordan Hamilton, who will undoubtedly hope to stick with the first team for 2015, as well as potential changes in the system, leaving little room for a player of Gilberto's style and pay-packet.

Reportedly there are multiple suitors interested in his talents overseas, so expect a decision in the coming days or weeks, though in-league options, such as those that saw Mattias Laba transferred to Vancouver in a similar situation last season, or a last minute reprieve from roster restrictions are possible and should not be fully discounted.

Fellow Brazilian Jackson will also miss the start of camp, though for a much more joyous reason, as he remains in Brazil, awaiting the birth of a child before reporting back to training.