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Toronto FC II announce series of roster moves

Is there a new wave coming? There’s quite a bit of talent that TFC II just let go.

USL League One Photo - Toronto FC II’s Jordan Perruzza celebrates his goal of the week-winning chip against Orlando City B last weekend, cupping his ears as he silences the, albeit limited, crowd Orlando City B

Toronto FC II announced a number of roster moves on Wednesday afternoon.

After signing midfielders Julian Altobelli, Antony Curic and defender Rohan Goulbourne last week, the Young Reds have continued the revamp, electing not to exercise a number of contract options. In addition, there are some familiar players who will be out contract at the end of the year.

But first, the team elected to exercise the contract options on defenders Themi Antonoglou, Luke Singh and Nyal Higgins, midfielders Antonio Carlini and Nicolas Ovalle Raffo and forward Jordan Perruzza.

Singh spent the 2019 season on loan at Bröndby IF in Denmark, and was due to play with the Young Reds in 2020, but they pulled out of the 2020 USL League One season. Higgins, TFC’s first pick in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft, also spent time on loan in Scandinavia, joining Nyköpings Bis in Sweden's third tier back in August. Antonoglou, 18, made a couple of appearances for TFC II in 2019.

Carlini also made a limited number of appearances in 2019, while Nicolas Ovalle joined brother Adolfo in Toronto prior to Toronto FC II's withdrawal from the 2020 season.

Perruzza was arguably the club's best player in 2019, and after an impressive loan stint in San Antonio this year, signed an MLS contract with Toronto FC for the 2021 season.

(Toronto FC II)

The club declined the contract options on goalkeeper Eric Klenofsky, defenders Robert Boskovic and Terique Mohammed and midfielders Matthew Srbely and Luca Uccello.

This list was a surprising one, and it's possible that the club are trying to negotiate a new contract with different terms.

Mohammed is the name that stands out the most, he's been talked about as a potential future first team player, but had a disappointing 2020 season on loan with FC Edmonton. Mohammed played in five games with The Eddies, picking up a red card and an assist as they finished bottom of the Canadian Premier League. He's clearly a promising talent, however, and shouldn't really been judged on a seven game tournament in a new league in a bubble environment during a pandemic. His pace and crossing ability are what make him stand out, and if Toronto FC II don't bring him back, it won't take long before a USL or Canadian Premier League side pick him up.

Boskovic also played in the CPL in 2020, making four appearances for Cavalry FC. He's a physical defender, and will also be on the radar of clubs around North America.

Srbely spent his season on loan with Thisted FC in Denmark, making 5 appearances, and has also been a standout for Toronto FC II in recent years. He's made 51 appearances for the club, scoring seven times and adding nine assists since joining in 2017.

Uccello was a longtime Toronto FC II player before leaving the club for the 2019 season, joining Memphis 901 in the USL. He rejoined the club for the 2020 season, but the club didn't play any games, so he leaves again without adding to the 77 appearances he made between 2015 and 2018.

Klenofsky spent 2020 on loan with Tacoma Defiance, making 8 appearances, conceding 16 goals, and keeping a single clean sheet.

USL Photo - Toronto FC II’s Matt Srbely celebrates his goal in a 2-0 win over Nashville SC on Saturday night in Rochester
Matthew Srbely celebrates a goal against Nashville SC
Adrian Kraus - Rochester Rhinos

As mentioned, the club also announced that four players are out of contract at the end of the year.

Defender Dante Campbell, who spent 2020 on loan at Valour FC in the CPL is among them. He was one of the longest-serving TFC II players, and was with the club from 2016-2020. He made 49 appearances for the Young Reds in that span, operating as a right back and midfielder.

A trio of midfielders: Jordan Faria, Adolfo Ovalle Raffo and Luca Petrasso are also out of contract.

Faria and Petrasso are both Toronto FC Academy graduates. Faria, 20, made the jump from the academy to Toronto FC III in 2016, and then to Toronto FC II in 2018, where he would make 32 appearances in two seasons, scoring twice.

Petrasso, brother of current York United player Michael Petrasso, made the same steps as Faria at the same time, to TFC III in 2016 and then II in 2018. He made two more appearances than Faria, but also scored two goals. Perhaps notably, Petrasso was in serious contention for Toronto FC’s fourth fullback spot a year ago along with Mohammed, according to former TFC coach Greg Vanney, however, neither player could lay claim as the team opted to roll with Griffin Dorsey before bringing in Tony Gallacher on loan from Liverpool.

Adolfo Ovalle joined Toronto FC II in 2019, making 22 appearances that year and establishing himself as one of the leaders at the club. He spent the 2020 season on loan with Forward Madison in USL League One, making nine appearances.

It's expected that many of the players who won't be returning will have suitors in the Canadian Premier League, and at other USL clubs.

As it stands, Toronto FC have nine players under contract for the 2021 season - defenders Themi Antonoglou, Luke Singh, Nyal Higgins, Rohan Goulbourne and midfielders Antonio Carlini, Nicolas Ovalle Raffo, Mehdi Essoussi, Julian Altobelli, Antony Curic.