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Don’t compare Soteldo to Seba (yet): Andi Petrillo on TFC’s new DP

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Canadian broadcasting legend Andi Petrillo joined Waking the Red Weekly this week to discuss Yeferson Soteldo & why the early comparisons to Sebastian Giovinco are a tad unfair, plus plenty more.

Palmeiras v Santos - Copa CONMEBOL Libertadores 2020 Final
Coach Cuca of Santos talks with his player Yeferson Soteldo during the final of Copa CONMEBOL Libertadores 2020.
Photo by Pool/Getty Images

He’s 23 years old. He wore the number 10 jersey at Santos (like Pele and Neymar). And he’s now commanded the fourth highest transfer fee in TFC history.

Yeferson Soteldo is TFC’s newest recruit, and on the latest episode of Waking The Red Weekly presented by Footy Talks, special guest Andi Petrillo gave her take on the venezuelan playmaker:

“There’s a lot of excitement. I think a lot of people have been waiting for Toronto FC to get that third DP. I don’t think I’m speaking out of line or revealing a secret to anybody [by saying] that we all know TFC was definitely chasing down a number nine. They wanted someone who could really be up there and score a lot of goals.”

“But when we spoke to Bill Manning a couple of weeks ago, the tone changed a little bit. He was describing more of a winger; a guy who could score goals but also create plays—and you’re just like ‘ok, wait a second, that’s shifted a bit’. So clearly now they went and got Yeferson, so it’s exciting.”

“But I would also just say—and this is so typical of every fan base—I would probably put the warning out now: yes his size, and yes he’s a DP, and yes he’s not Canadian, but right away we want to start comparing him to Giovinco and I just don’t know if that’s fair.”

“First, I think it’s just because Giovinco just set the bar at a different level. Like just respect what he did for TFC, and just kind of know that he’s in a separate class, right? I’m not saying that nobody else can reach that level or surpass it, but we just kind of have to know where Giovinco is in the history of TFC legends. So I think it’s a little unfair to right away start comparing him.”

“So it’s just like, let that be. Let Yerfeson create his own legacy here. Because if you already start to say ‘well this is what Giovinco did, is Yeferson going to do the same thing?’, you might set yourself up for disappointment.”

For Michael Singh, Soteldo brings qualities that are in short supply amid the current TFC roster and has the potential to set MLS alight:

“There’s one word I’d use to describe him, which is kind of ironic because of his size: powerful. Yeferson Soteldo comes off as a very powerful player. He can go left, he can go right, but every single touch that he takes—in my opinion at least—it looks like it’s with purpose and it looks like he’s trying to beat you, which is something that TFC lacks.

“I believe Soteldo could be the best player in Major League Soccer, maybe not right away but he has the potential. He’s 23 years old and they got him at a bargain-and-a-half because Santos are in a financial ‘pickle’ and TFC were smart in the market.”

Picking up on observations from the WTR message boards Jeffery P. Nesker contrasted Soteldo and Seba in terms of age and career trajectory:

“With Seba, he came in and was a cheat code in 2015 at 27 or 28 years old and then we watched a steady decline. And with Soteldo, we might see that in reverse where, because of the age, he might round into form as opposed to decline in form during his stay in Toronto.”

And finally, Mitchell Tierney pointed out another important contrast between Seba and Soteldo: the different TFC rosters they joined:

“I think the good news here is that he doesn’t have to come in and be a Giovinco—they already have their Alejandro Pozuelo right? Obviously the Giovinco bar is super high as Andi Petrillo said. It doesn’t mean he won’t be a superstar player but they already have Pozuelo, they already have a built-in team.”

“This is closer to a Vasquez signing rather than a Giovinco or Poz signing, in the sense that he doesn’t have to be that guy. He just has to be someone who can complement this team and add another big boost of offence and all the other things he brings to the table.”

For everything TFC - check out the full episode of this week’s Waking the Red Weekly now, also available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify! Kindly like, rate, and subscribe!