The summer portion of the MLS silly season opens today, which this year isn’t likely to mean much for Toronto FC. The Reds have spent the first half of 2017 proving that they already have the deepest roster in Major League Soccer.
Even if general manager Tim Bezbatchenko has cap space to work with - which considering Toronto’s payroll, is probably in limited supply - his shopping list is likely to be short. In almost every position, TFC has at least a pair of players who have proven they can step in and fill the role capably.
A lack of movement from Toronto is a seal of approval for their current group, one that is even better than last year’s MLS Cup runners up. So while rumours will be flying around just about every other club, don’t expect to see TFC come up much in transfer news headlines.
With that being said, the one position the club might consider upgrading is its depth at right-back. With Steven Beitashour expected to be out long-term, the position has become the one weakness in TFC’s otherwise solid roster.
In terms of a replacement, Fraser Aird’s name keeps coming up. It is less a legitimate rumour, however, than people simply putting two-and-two together. Aird is a Canada international and Toronto native currently without a club, but struggled at times in a right-back position while with the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Playing further up the field as a wing-back, however - such as in Toronto’s offensive system - has proven to be much more tailored to his game. The 22-year-old has a lot of talent on the ball, and could become another weapon in TFC’s already lethal attack. Bezbatchenko, however, has likely identified a number of options should he be planning to strengthen.
Speaking of rumours, don’t be surprised if a few more involving Sebastian Giovinco, Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore come out of the woodwork. They seem to every transfer window, as there is usually legitimate interest from somewhere in three players of their quality.
But those rumours also get more ridiculous by the window as they continually reaffirm, both on and off the field, their commitment to the club. If anything, hearing global interest in the trio is an endorsement of Toronto’s recruitment and the ability of their star players to play in any league in the world.
It might be hard for Toronto fans to see their club so quiet during the window. After all, the Chicago Fire, the team TFC is jostling with at the moment for the Supporters’ Shield, might be looking to add another designated player. However, trusting in the team that has already been assembled really is the right move.