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Auro Jr. expected to leave Toronto FC

The Toronto FC complete overhaul continues.

Auro da Cruz Jr (96) seen during the Major League Soccer... Photo by Angel Marchini/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

TORONTO, Canada—The Toronto FC complete overhaul continues as multiple sources have confirmed to Waking The Red that defender Auro Jr. is on his way out of the club.

Several reports have indicated that the Brazilian fullback will be loaned to Brazil’s Santos FC. He was set to enter his final year of his contract in 2022, where he made $388,750 in guaranteed compensation.

Auro, 26, made 104 career appearances with TFC since joining the club from Sao Paulo on loan in 2018 before earning a permanent move with the Reds in 2019. The fullback played a significant role with the club over the past four seasons, and like Richie Laryea, his impact on the pitch won’t be easy to replace, which does make one wonder what the exact reasoning is for his departure.

Auro isn’t the first defender to depart TFC this offseason. The Reds have moved on from veterans Omar Gonzalez and Eriq Zavaleta, Laryea was sold to Nottingham Forest and Julian Dunn also moved overseas, while Justin Morrow retired at the end of the 2021 season.

In their place, so far TFC have brought in designated player Carlos Salcedo, former Seattle Sounder Shane O’Neill, Pacific FC defender Lukas MacNaughton, and inked a deal with homegrown talent Luca Petrasso, though more moves are expected to shore up the back line.

TFC have yet to comment on the Brazilian’s pending departure.