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Former 2nd overall pick defender Joshua Yaro is on trial with Toronto FC

The former Philadelphia Union Generation Adidas prospect has been in camp with the Reds, hoping to impress new head coach Chris Armas.

Crystal Palace FC v Philadelphia Union
Freddie Lapado #8 of Crystal Palace FC controls the ball against Joshua Yaro #15 of Philadelphia Union during the international friendly at Talen Energy Stadium on July 13, 2016.
(Leff/Getty Images)

TORONTO, Canada—Toronto FC may be quietly shoring up their defence.

Waking the Red can confirm that 2016 MLS SuperDraft No. 2 overall selection Joshua Yaro has been on trial with the club.

The 26-year-old centreback has spent the past two seasons with USL Championship side San Antonio FC, appearing in 45 matches for the comeptitive side. Interestingly enough, that is the same club that TFC rookie Jordan Perruzza was loaned out to last season.

Prior to his stint with San Antonio, Yaro made 23 appearances in three seasons for the Philadelphia Union along with 15 matches played for Bethlehem Steel in the USL before he was eventually released by the Union in 2018.

In the 2016 draft, the Ghanaian was taken just after Jack Harrison, who now plays in England for Premier League side Leeds United.

Toronto FC’s depth at centreback remains a question mark following the retirement of Laurent Ciman. Aside from Omar Gonzalez—who is 32 years old, turning 33 in October—and Chris Mavinga—who has a history of picking up minor injuries—the only natural centreback with MLS experience on the first-team roster is Eriq Zavaleta.

Yaro, with his pedigree and athletic style of play, may just have a shot at making a serious impact on this Toronto FC team this season, if he shows he’s capable in training camp.

At 26 years of age, it’s certainly a risk-free gamble worth taking.

It’s worth noting that Yaro has picked up a long list of injuries over the course of his young professional career, including a run in 2016-2017 where he accumulated five injuries in the span of eight months.

However, he’s seemed to have put the injury troubles behind him, managing to stay healthy with San Antonio (for the most part) over the past two seasons, including in 2019 where he logged 2871 minutes—appearing in almost every minute for the USL Championship side.

He is also, by all accounts, an impressive individual off the field, often advocating to end social injustice and racial inequality.

Could it be possible that Yaro is an answer to the question marks that hover around TFC’s back line? Stay tuned.