TORONTO, Canada—Toronto FC announced today that the club has come to terms with Yeferson Soteldo as the club’s third designated player through 2025. The transfer was confirmed on Saturday by his former club Santos FC.
TFC acquired the Venezuelan international for a reported fee of $6.5 million US, the fourth most expensive signing in club history behind only Michael Bradley, Jermain Defoe, and Alejandro Pozuelo.
“I am very excited to come to Toronto FC. It is one of the most important sports organizations in Canada and the United States,” said Soteldo in a press release. “It is an MLS Cup champion, has great players, and most importantly, they are always competing to win. They have amazing fans and facilities”
“We are very excited for Yeferson to join our club. He is a dynamic, exciting, fearless player who will immediately improve our already strong roster,” added Toronto FC President Bill Manning. “He checks the boxes of what we were looking for in a DP, an attacking player who adds a different dimension to our side, and I think our fans will be excited to see him in a TFC uniform.”
The Venezuelan international winger made 104 appearances for Santos, scoring 20 goals and adding 17 assists since joining the club in January 2019. Last season, Soteldo was named to the 2020 Conmebol Copa Libertadores Best XI, and made the 2020 Team of the Year in the Campeonato Paulista (São Paulo’s premier state championship).
According to transfermarkt, the 23 year old’s multi-year deal will be worth around $5 million a season, with Santos retaining a 12.5 per cent sell-on fee should Toronto sell him outside of MLS. Huachipato, meanwhile, will receive all of the transfer fee from Toronto as Santos still owed the Chilean side for the purchase of Soteldo back in 2019. The Brazilian side, who found themselves in a serious bit of financial trouble, will also pay an additional $500,000 to Huachipato in installments until June.
At $8.8 million US, he is currently the second most valuable player on the Toronto FC roster, and at 23 years of age, there’s still a high possibility that number will grow, especially if the shifty winger can hit the ground running.
“We are excited for Yeferson to join the team and integrate himself within our environment. He is an exciting player and he will help our team. Very happy and grateful that our board supports this team in a way where we are able to find and acquire a player of his caliber,” added Toronto FC General Manager Ali Curtis. “Yeferson is a difference maker. We will wrap our arms around he and his family, such that Yeferson can enjoy his football, teammates, and the new environment.”
Although he is current U23, he will turn 24 in June and therefore will not be eligible to be classified as a young designated player. That may have ramifications of the makeup of the roster moving forward as Toronto FC will only be allowed to sign one player under the new U22 player initiative, as opposed to three if they brought in a young DP to join the likes of Jozy Altidore and Alejandro Pozuelo.
With that being said, regardless, it looks like Toronto FC have found themselves a bargain here and have potentially secured not only one of Major League Soccer’s finest, but also one of the world’s most promising talents.
Welcome to Toronto, Yeferson.