Every season Toronto FC seems to have a forgotten man. A year ago it was Bright Dike, who after making the kind of debut that his name would suggest ended up lost to the injury and rotation for the 2014 season. This year, despite a good start to the year, it was defender Clement Simonin, who was highly rated by management but ended up playing rarely.
Average Rating: 24.3
Highest Rating: 21
Lowest Rating: 30
Simonin was picked with one of Toronto FC's three first round selections in this past year's Superdraft, going ninth overall. Out of those players, which include Alex Bono and Canadian Skylar Thomas he finished the highest on the Top 30 Countdown.
This is likely related to the role, albeit limited, that he played with the Toronto FC first team this year. The 24-year-old was highly rated by the club's staff and as a result would spend the majority of the year with the first team, looking far more ready for the professional game than either Thomas or Bono.
Ultimately, however, injury would dictate that he would only play in two matches for Toronto FC this past season. He would make his debut by playing the full 90 minutes in a 2-1 loss to Real Salt Lake in March, and then played 81 minutes in a loss by the same score to the Seattle Sounders in September.
To start the season Simonin would also spend time with Toronto FC II and started in three matches. He would also record an assist in that time before being called up to the big team after an injury to captain Steven Caldwell.
Where SImonin fits should be fully healthy going forward is an interesting question, as his age would dictate that he needs to play professional soccer sooner rather than later. He could return to Toronto FC II next season, but the club would probably like to use the minor league club to develop players like Thomas.
Simonin, on the other hand, likely falls into the same category as Eriq Zavaleta and Nick Hagglund, who are still rated by management but will have a hard time finding their way onto the field if not for injuries to the club's first choice options. Simonin is likely third choice among these players as he has the least MLS experience.
This means Simonin will be in a dogfight for playing time next season, and one that certainly won't be easy. To be fair, however, he does have some talents that set him apart: mainly how he is able to possess the ball. Even at the MLS level it was clear that Simonin's distribution is very good, something that Greg Vanney emphasizes.
Even among Toronto's first choice options Damien Perquis is the only one who has consistently shown to be fully comfortable on the ball. If he goes down to injury next season, which could easily happen considering his history of injury, Simonin might get a chance.
He also has the talents to play as a wide defender, albeit in a position that Toronto FC also has plenty of depth in provided the Steven Beitashour acquisition becomes official. This sort of flexibility, coupled with the fact that he could be used as an asset in trade, is enough of a reason to keep him around.
In 2015 Simonin was Toronto FC's forgotten man, and he will have to do a lot of work in 2016 to get back in the memory of Toronto FC supporters.