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Toronto FC declines Auro Jr’s 2023 contract option

Auro becomes the Reds’ ninth confirmed departure following the end of the 2022 MLS season.

SOCCER: AUG 18 MLS - Toronto FC at Atlanta United FC Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In news that will not surprise many, Toronto FC has declined Auro Jr’s 2023 contract option. The 26-year-old full-back will now become a free agent following his unsuccessful season-long loan with Santos FC.

In spite of having a buy option in the loan deal, Santos reportedly opted against triggering a permanent move for Auro, who made just 15 appearances (910 minutes) in all competitions for the Brazilian side in 2022.

Auro’s departure from TFC was expected, but he now becomes the third natural full-back to leave the Reds since the end of the 2022 MLS season after Luca Petrasso was traded to Orlando City SC, and Domenico Criscito announced his retirement from football.

Overall, Auro becomes the ninth player that Toronto FC has taken off their books ahead of 2023.

After a successful loan spell with Toronto in 2018, Greg Vanney and the TFC front office exercised the option to sign Auro permanently from São Paulo.

The Brazilian featured 109 times in four seasons with the Reds, becoming the first South American player in TFC history to join the century club in appearances. He was also a part of the side that won the 2018 Canadian Championship.

Having endured a tough 2022 back in his native land, Auro’s next move will be intriguing to say the least.