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Jonathan Osorio: “I’m at the point where I want to take on a really big role and be a vital part”

Ahead of his 11th season with Toronto FC, Jonathan Osorio is as motivated as he has ever been to win and succeed.

Sean Pollock/Waking The Red

A “one-club man” has arguably become a rarity in football given today’s climate in the professional game. The opportunity to live in a new city and play in a different environment is undoubtedly enticing for any footballer at any level.

Yet, for Toronto FC’s all-time leader in appearances Jonathan Osorio, that “one-club man” title still holds firm, and according to the 30-year-old, there are still new heights to reach at the club where it all began for him.

Just under 24 hours after his new TFC contract was announced to the public, the midfielder addressed the media and expressed his joy at putting pen to paper on a multi-year deal with his boyhood team.

“Not many players around the world get to say they played for their hometown club for so many years,” said Osorio.

“I know how blessed I am to say that. And to say that I’m a one-club player, I still got work to do to make sure that’s the case. That’s my aim now.”

In spite of several reports linking Osorio with a move to Europe, the 30-year-old opting to remain in Toronto will ultimately allow him to play a more pivotal role in Bob Bradley’s ongoing rebuild at the club.

“That’s one of the reasons that I stayed. The last couple of years have been hard, and I want to be part of the resurgence.”

In 23 MLS appearances in 2022, Osorio scored nine goals (co-team high) and provided six assists (team high), marking one of his most productive seasons to date.

Yet, his impressive campaign was overshadowed by what Osorio described as a “neurological dysfunction,” an injury he sustained after taking an elbow to the left side of his head against the Chicago Fire on July 13th.

Ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Osorio battled back and returned to full fitness in time for the lead up to the tournament in Qatar.

Having overcome adversity on the injury front to then going on to represent his city and country on the biggest stage in world football, Osorio described how he is more motivated than he ever has been in his career heading into 2023.

“I think I’ve never been more motivated for a lot of reasons, but the one more so than anything else is just to win,” expressed Osorio.

“In the past when we won the championship, I think I played my part and had my role. Now, I think I’m at the point where I want to take on a really big role and be a vital part of everything that goes on here.”

Expectations will arguably be higher than ever at Toronto FC ahead of the 2023 MLS season. With Osorio here to stay, the Reds will rely on their “one-club man” to spur them on and help re-establish themselves as a powerhouse in MLS and in North America.