clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Toronto FC players eligible for free agency at the end of 2022

Five members of Toronto FC’s current first team squad could become free agents ahead of the 2023 season.

MLS: Canadian Championship-CF Montreal at Toronto FC Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto FC’s 2022 campaign is nearing its end, which means free agency ahead of the 2023 season looms ever closer.

Following the conclusion of a dismal 2021 for the Reds, the club did not exercise contract options on five players (Kevin Silva, Omar Gonzalez, Eriq Zavaleta, Rocco Romeo, Patrick Mullins), while also allowing five first team members to depart Toronto as free agents (Julian Dunn, Liam Fraser, Nick DeLeon, Tsubasa Endoh, Erickson Gallardo).

In 2022, TFC’s year-end roster decisions will currently involve five players who are either out of contract or have an option of a further year with the club.

According to the Major League Soccer Players Association (MLSPA), Alex Bono, Auro Jr, Doneil Henry, Chris Mavinga, and Jonathan Osorio are all eligible for free agency ahead of the 2022-23 offseason.

With that, here is a look at the statuses of the five TFC players who could become free agents at the end of the calendar year.

Alex Bono

Status: Out of Contract

Bono began the 2022 season as Bob Bradley’s first choice goalkeeper and has since made 24 league appearances as of September 12th, keeping three clean sheets.

After shipping four goals against CF Montreal on September 4th, Bono lost his place in the XI for TFC’s following fixture against Atlanta United. Quentin Westberg may have also conceded four at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, but his first half penalty save may have earned him the starting spot between the sticks for the remainder of the campaign.

So, could fans have seen the last of Bono in a Toronto FC shirt?

The MLS Cup-winning goalkeeper’s future at TFC is still up in the air given the reported lack of talks regarding a new deal.

“I would love to stay. I love Toronto,” said Bono in July when asked about whether talks had begun over a potential new deal.

With Toronto FC undoubtedly looking to assert themselves as an MLS powerhouse in 2023, it remains to be seen whether Bill Manning and co. see Bono as a part of that project or not.

Auro Jr.

Status: Option for 2023

Ahead of the start of the 2022 season, Auro returned to his native land of Brazil, signing for Santos FC on a season-long loan. The Brazilian side were also given the option to sign Auro permanently following the conclusion of the loan.

Yet, the loan spell has been far from successful for Auro, who has played a mere total of 839 minutes (12 appearances) as of September 12th. In fact, Auro has not played a minute of football for Santos since July 3rd.

Based on his playing time, it is safe to assume that Santos is unlikely to exercise the option to sign Auro on a permanent basis come the end of the season.

Richie Laryea’s return to Toronto on loan has seen him assume the role of the Reds’ starting right-back. With Laryea likely to remain a staple in TFC’s backline until at least summer 2023 (the expiry of his loan) while Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty and Kosi Thompson continue to fight to establish themselves within the first team, it would be quite the surprise if TFC does indeed exercise the option to extend Auro’s contract by an additional year.

Doneil Henry

Status: Out of Contract

At the end of July 2022, Henry signed for Toronto FC on a free transfer following a forgetful five-month stint at LAFC.

The Canadian international put pen to paper on a contract until the end of the 2022 season, with no reported option to extend the deal by a further year.

As of September 12th, Henry has made eight TFC appearances in 2022, all from the bench. Bob Bradley described the acquisition of Henry as one that can “provide us with some backline depth.”

In recent weeks, Chris Mavinga, Lukas MacNaughton, and Shane O’Neill have all started over Henry, who is still looking to earn invaluable minutes in order to impress Canadian men’s national team head coach John Herdman ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Furthermore, if the veteran defender is deemed to have no future at the club beyond 2022, Henry could become a free agent for the third time in the space of a year.

Chris Mavinga

Status: Option for 2023

A recent addition to the 150-appearance club at TFC, Mavinga looks a revitalized figure after enduring a tough first half of the season.

Injuries and personal matters off the pitch limited the DRC international to just four league appearances between Week 1 and Week 15.

Since making his return to the side in Toronto’s 2-1 victory over Atlanta United on June 25th, Mavinga has played in all but three of the Reds’ fixtures up to Week 31.

It is safe to say that Mavinga has indeed stepped up following the departure of Carlos Salcedo in July, which may prompt TFC to trigger the option to extend the experienced centre-back’s deal by an additional year.

Notable displays against the Portland Timbers (August 13th) and Charlotte FC (August 28th) have given fans a much-needed reminder of Mavinga’s true prowess in defence. Coupled with being one of the longest-serving players in the first team, the French-born defender should remain a key component in Bob Bradley’s ongoing rebuild.

Jonathan Osorio

Status: Out of Contract

The one everybody’s got their eyes on.

Osorio, Toronto FC’s all-time leader in appearances and third all-time top goal scorer, could leave the Reds on a free transfer if he does not sign a new deal at the club.

In 22 MLS appearances this year, Osorio has scored nine goals (co-team high) and provided six assists (team high). Moreover, the 2022 campaign has proven to be one of Osorio’s most productive seasons to date.

His absence from the Reds’ last four league games, where TFC picked up just four points from a possible 12, highlighted just how important Osorio is to this improving Toronto side.

With the 30-year-old more than likely to be boarding a plane to Qatar with the Canadian men’s national team in November, could Osorio now have his sights set on impressing enough to earn himself a move abroad?

Having spent his entire professional club career in Toronto, crossing the Atlantic may just be the challenge Osorio needs as he enters his 30s.

“I have expressed my desire to challenge myself, especially with everything happening with the national team and how difficult it is to get in that team,” said Osorio when asked about a potential move to Europe back in November 2021.

On the other hand though, should Osorio be offered a new deal in Toronto, fans will be curious as to whether or not their No. 21 will occupy the Reds’ third and final Designated Player slot. Thus, Osorio could join Lorenzo Insigne and Federico Bernardeschi as the club’s three DPs for the next several seasons.

Given what he has accomplished during his time with the Reds, Osorio is arguably deserving of a DP slot. Yet, should the club have other transfer plans, many will wonder if Osorio would re-sign as a TAM player once again.