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Toronto FC cut Johan Brunell less than a month after he was signed

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The Finnish defender was made surplus to requirements by Jason Hernandez’s arrival.

MLS: Toronto FC vs Chicago Fire Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto FC have placed Johan Brunell on waivers less than a month after he signed a first-team contract.

This is a bit of a weird one, but we’re guessing - and Kurt Larson suggested the same - that the Finnish defender’s contract was designed to be an extended trial of sorts that made him available for MLS play, if needed, in the meantime. Brunell had initially joined the Reds on trial during preseason.

Toronto got the centre-back depth they were looking for by signing veteran Jason Hernandez - just five days later, slightly bizarrely - and now, well, Brunell is gone.

Greg Vanney - or someone else on the TFC staff - must have seen something he liked in Brunell but it never made much sense to use a senior roster spot and an international slot on him if he wasn’t going to play. For his part, Brunell probably didn’t leave home and come to North America to play in the USL.

Then there is the fact he turns 26 in May. Unless Brunell had a realistic route into the starting XI within a year or so, there was really no point in keeping him around.

And so the Johan Brunell era in Toronto ends.

For the record, his departure means TFC have one international slot and two senior roster spots open following the signing of Mark Pais to a first-team deal. Brandon Aubrey has been taken off the latter list after being loaned to the USL.