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Report: Veteran MLS striker Dom Dwyer is on trial with Toronto FC

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Eagle-eyed TFC fans spotted Dwyer among the team celebrations after the club’s 2-1 victory over León.

MLS: New York City FC at Orlando City SC Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

MANITOBA, Canada—Earlier today, Twitter was abuzz after some observant Toronto FC fans appeared to spot Dom Dwyer popping up in team attire during the post-match celebrations following Toronto’s 2-1 CONCACAF Champions League victory against León.

Dwyer, 30, has been without a club after his contract with Orlando City expired at the end of last season and is working his way back from arthroscopic knee surgery on a partial patella tendon tear. Dwyer injured his knee during the MLS is Back tournament and underwent surgery on July 31, 2020 with an estimated 4-6 month recovery, as announced by Orlando in August of last year.

Later this afternoon, according to Joshua Kloke of The Athletic, TFC confirmed what Twitter detectives had speculated.

In 2020, the former Orlando City man appeared in just two matches for the club before going down with injury, registering one assist. In 2019, he scored seven goals and added four assists in 27 matches for a struggling Orlando side.

Dwyer, a resident of Orlando, is just in training with the squad and is not under contract. Toronto currently has 29 of their 30 available roster spots filled. This 29-man squad does not include Luke Singh, who is currently without an MLS first-team contract, or Rocco Romeo, who is on loan with HB Köge until the end of June. It also doesn’t account for the club’s remaining unallocated third Designated Player spot.

It is not uncommon for players to train with clubs they are not contracted to in an attempt to regain or maintain fitness while they are out of contract or out of season. Earlier this offseason, TFC had Joshua Yaro on trial with the club.

With Dwyer working his way back from knee surgery and Toronto low on numbers in training due to injuries, having Dwyer around the camp would be mutually beneficial.

Arsenal Training Session
David Beckham in training with Arsenal in 2013 during the MLS offseason.
Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

If Toronto were to offer Dom Dwyer a contract, it would require the club to not register Luke Singh and Rocco Romeo (when he returns from loan) for MLS duty, and to forgo a transfer for a Designated Player—without first freeing up roster space. With the emergence of Singh during the CCL matches and the rapidly approaching roster compliance deadline, it feels unlikely that we’ll see Dom Dwyer line up in red any time soon.