While Toronto FC is in Florida yet again for the IMG Pro Classic, we predict player contributions and form for the upcoming season.
Robbie Findley: Acquired in the re-entry draft, Findley is another solid pickup by Tim Bezbatchenko and should be a very good strike partner for Jozy Altidore. Formerly a member of Real Salt Lake, he is also their all-time leading goalscorer in the MLS playoffs which can only be good for TFC. Also part of the 2010 USA World Cup team, his experience will bring success to the team. Since Jozy and Findley are fellow Americans, they will both start the season together and if needed, Moore will rotate with Findley. As an advanced forward, Findley likes to run from deeper positions and find pockets of space to either feed Altidore or create opportunities for himself.
Sebastian Giovinco: La formica atomica will be the superstar at BMO Field. What can I say? The Italian international has amazing technique, he's quick, and he is an attacking midfielder. He can create opportunities for others and he can score himself. We really need a player like him and every supporter is excited for his debut. Giovinco has never played outside of Italy, so like
Defoe, he will need an adjustment period. However, with his earlier arrival and the large population of Italians, I'm sure he'll adjust perfectly fine. He is 5'4 and every player in MLS will tower over him except Joao Plata. You have to wonder how he will survive the physical rigours of Major League Soccer. We certainly cannot afford to see him sitting in the player box at BMO, or else TFC's play will be as disjointed as last season.
Jackson: This man who is somehow Brazilian was probably the most inconsistent and the most frustrating to watch last season. I forgot the number of times I yelled at him to either pass the ball or to not make stupid decisions. On a more positive note, he did show a few flashes of brilliance with the few goals he scored and his rare impressive performances. This season, he will be the same. He will be Jackson.
Nick Hagglund: Hagglund played his first game in Columbus in front of friends and family. He went on to make a total of 25 appearances in the regular season. Perhaps Ryan Nelsen and Greg Vanney overused him but they had to play Hagglund with Steven Caldwell injured, Bradley Orr's up and down performances, and Doneil Henry's penalties, handballs, mistakes, etc. He made some mistakes but that's expected for the rookie. Otherwise, he was impressive throughout, even to the point where he was mentioned in the same sentence as the MLS Rookie of the Year. Obviously, this season will be tougher to get minutes with Damien Perquis, Caldwell back healthy again, and Clement Simonin right behind him as well. If there are any openings in the CB spot, then Hagglund will be there. With his age and potential, he will get better and better each day.
Jordan Hamilton: The promising striker showed glimpses of promise and brilliance against Tottenham (screw international friendlies). In addition, he was loaned out to Wilmington and C.D. Trofense to gain valuable experience. Benito Floro even handed him an international cap too. All these positive signs can only be good for a young striker. This season, he will see limited minutes again because of all the strikers ahead of him including Altidore, Findley, Moore, and Dike. If he continues to develop, he could become the future of TFC and Canadian soccer.
Chris Konopka: Served as backup for Bendik the entire season and no one can question his professionalism. He did not appear in any competitive matches last season and probably won't play this season. Usually, managers like to play backup goalies in cup matches, but Bono could get the call instead.
Daniel Lovitz: A bit inconsistent at times, Lovitz was still a decent contributor to TFC's season. He made mistakes and missed a lot of easy goals but he was quite dangerous on the flanks. This season, Vanney seems to be leaning towards a diamond midfield composed of Cheyrou, Bradley, Giovinco, and Osorio. Wingers were ineffective last season so expect Lovitz to come off the bench in late game situations.
Chris Mannella: Signed to a homegrown player contract, it was another big achievement for Toronto FC Academy. Did not appear in any matches but he is quietly developing with the first team. He will be with TFC II for the entire season and hopefully progress even more as a player.
Luke Moore: Acquired in that three team trade sending Gale Agbossoumonde to Colorado, Moore scored 6 goals in 27 appearances, which is not bad at all for someone who keeps passing back. Don't get me wrong, Moore is a good player with EPL experience but his lack of movement makes TFC less dynamic. He was a useful player last season but if you ever watched his goals, they all had a ton of fortune to them. He will start the season behind Findley and they will compete for a starting spot.