After only 8 games, transfer talk might seem premature. We've hardly seen a fully-fit TFC roster out on the field. Well folks, let me remind you that it's about to get a whole lot worse. Gold Cup is around the corner, taking Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley, Jonathan Osorio, and Ashtone Morgan out of the lineup. Injuries aren't going away any time soon. Certain players haven't played up to their potential. TFC could use an influx of fresh faces - and stand to make a profit by sending certain players away.
Currently on loan with San Antonio of the NASL, Bright Dike is a year and an injury removed from going to a World Cup with Nigeria. He's got all the tools needed to succeed in MLS and offers something that many clubs could use - size and strength up front. TFC have Jozy Altidore and won't be handing starts to anyone else until Gold Cup rolls around, where Luke Moore looks set to deputize. Dike could provide depth during the Gold Cup (hence the loan, rather than sale), but rumour has it TFC's top brass are actively shopping him around MLS. A team like Chicago, who have speed to burn but nobody to hold up the play to bring those fast players into the attack, could certainly use Dike, whose modest salary ($63,575.00 according to 2014 salary release) is affordable for many MLS clubs.
The Philadelphia right back - he of the famous long-throw - is rumoured to be available. With the Union looking to bring another player in at the fullback position once the summer window opens up, and Raymon Gaddis having secured the right-back spot for himself at half the salary, Williams seems to be on the outs. TFC need a right back who can get up the field and play Greg Vanney's high-fullback style. Unfortunately for TFC, Williams' salary- $125,000 - is at the high end of what they could fit under the cap. If they can make a move to free up space under the cap, it wouldn't be surprising to see Williams in a TFC shirt.
There are some rumours that TFC are after Canadian David Edgar, who is going into the final year of his deal with Birmingham city, but spend the latter portion of the season on loan to Huddersfield Town in the English Championship. Given Edgar's salary demands, file this one in the same category as Atiba Hutchinson - not likely to happen any time soon.
Other Wants and Needs
- Depth in Central Defense. With Caldwell's injury dragging on, expect TFC to be browsing overseas for a top-quality centreback to play beside Perquis. In MLS, a player like Bobby Burling - now with Colorado - might be available as more of the Rapids' backline gets healthy.
- Left Wing. Robbie Findley has been underwhelming up to this point, and Daniel Lovitz isn't ready for MLS starts on a regular basis. Osorio doesn't offer the type of wing play that TFC need, though he was much better against Houston than he had been in previous weeks. Although the feeling is that TFC prefer the international market for any other attacking pieces, in MLS players like FC Dallas' Je-Vaughn Watson or San Jose's Leandro Barrera may be available, though TFC would likely have to give up good pieces and allocation money to get either.
- Holding Midfield. Like it or not, TFC need to protect the backline better and neither Bradley nor Cheyrou is doing that especially well. As far as MLS defensive midfielders go, the market is dry. Nobody who has a quality player, even on the fringe of the starting XI, is keen to make them available. Expect TFC to hunt the international market for a player to fill that hole.
What do you think? Which MLS players would you like to see TFC target? Are there players overseas that might fit into the TFC lineup, both in budget and on-field? Share your thoughts in the comments.