Although it has yet to be announced officially, sources such as the Toronto Sun have already reported that Jason Hernandez is set to re-sign for Toronto FC. The Puerto Rican defender enjoyed the domestic treble in his only year with Toronto FC.
The 34-year-old signed a one-year contract with Toronto FC last season, after formerly playing with New York City FC, where he didn’t have the most successful of times. He will probably sign a one-year contract with TFC once again and serve as a backup defender as he did last season, making 8 appearances.
Toronto FC did clearly need another centre-back for depth this season if they were to play with a 3-5-2 formation. However, is Jason Hernandez the right player to get?
I know re-signing a player who has already proven that he can perform at a club is generally a good decision, but I think at some point you need to move on. He’s 34 years old, and I think that a lot of younger defenders could take up the role of a backup defender, who could potentially develop into starting defenders in the future.
This does not mean TFC need to “splash the cash” in the transfer market; they could just call up one of their TFC II players to replace the position. Off the top of my head, I think you could sign Jelani Peters or Mitchell Taintor to a first-team contract, who are both fairly young, at 24 and 23 respectively.
But on the other hand, let’s look at the opposing argument. Toronto FC have re-signed a proven MLS-calibre defender who easily has one more year out of him, especially if he is simply played in a backup role. He had limited injuries last year, which is not common with older defenders as well. Besides, I’m not sure about Jelani Peters, but Mitchell Taintor was called up to play against the Ottawa Fury in the Canadian Championship, and he didn’t make the mark. He conceded a penalty, and didn’t even play that great defensively. So perhaps Toronto FC doesn’t really have the greatest youth prospects in the centre-back position, and they simply don’t have the cap space to go out and spend a bigger salary on just a backup.
What are your opinions on this decision by the Toronto FC front office? Was it good to re-sign him, or should they have looked to another player to take up his role, perhaps a younger one?