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Toronto FC bring back defender Auro for 2019

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The promising fullback has returned after his option to buy was picked up.

MLS: Toronto FC at Montreal Impact Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

After he his impressive debut campaign, Toronto FC have exercised the option to buy Auro from Brazilian club Sao Paulo. The defender played in 18 league matches with Toronto FC last season, registering three assists.

He was also a crucial player during the club’s Champions League run, and at the age of 22 still has plenty of room left to grow in his game.

“Auro showed in 2018 that he’s a very capable two-way player and an important part of our team,” said Toronto FC GM Tim Bezbatchenko in a press release. “Auro is an attacking threat on the wing who also puts in solid defensive work. We are excited to get this deal done and ensure Auro is a Toronto FC player as we continue to shape our roster for the 2019 season.”

Auro’s loan was set to expire on December 31, as does that of attacker Lucas Janson. However, the club has made his move permanent. The defender was paid $272,504 in guaranteed compensation last season.

One of Greg Vanney’s biggest points at his end of season press conference was improving the wide part of his attack as he felt teams were clogging up the middle too much against TFC. Auro at times was Toronto’s lone wide threat this season, which is why it made sense to bring him back this year.

Auro will likely compete for minutes with new singing Nick DeLeon, who spent a lot of last year with DC United as a right fullback. Gregory van der Wiel will also be in that competition, should the club prefer him as a fullback over the centreback position in which he spent most of this past season.