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Toronto FC’s deal to sign Cooper is done

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The Panama midfielder is no longer on loan with the Reds.

MLS: MLS Cup Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto FC have completed their first signing of the offseason by making Armando Cooper’s loan deal permanent.

As indicated in the team release of contract options picked up yesterday, Cooper has been extended and a deal has been struck with his previous club Arabe Unido.

After serving a retrospective ban for an off-the-ball incident in his second TFC match against the New York Red Bulls, Cooper established himself as an important part of Greg Vanney’s lineup and there was little doubt he would be brought back for 2017.

He will likely form one third of Toronto’s starting midfield alongside Jonathan Osorio and Michael Bradley next season, leaving Tim Bezbatchenko with a decision to make on free agent Will Johnson.

Johnson may not fit into the Reds’ best XI any longer but earned their highest non-DP salary last season, meaning he will likely to have accept substantially reduced terms next year if he wishes to re-sign in Toronto.