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shermanator

2017 Toronto FC season (aka the 2017 MLS Cup clinching thread)

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Looks like Toronto FC have found their attacking mid. They've signed Victor Vazquez from Cruz Azul. Vazquez spent 4 years in Belgium and the last 1.5 in Mexico, and he played a game for Barcelona.

Big signing for TFC, but from a Canadian perspective this is a big blow to both Osorio's starting spot, and Chapman's chance to get into the starting 11 this year. 

 

Edited by shermanator

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Wasn't Cooper supposed to be that guy as well? Osorio and Chapman will see very little playing time now, please let the CPL happen soon!

matty and Alex D like this

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I don't picture this hurting Osorio as much as most are thinking but I hope they loan Chapman out because I don't see him getting any playing time

TRM likes this

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Great move by TFC.

Vazquez played 4 seasons at Club Brugge (home of former CanMNT'er Mike Klukowski) and was Belgian player of the year in the 2014-15 season (also won the Belgian Cup that season). Played in Europe all four seasons he was in Belgium and most recently played in Liga MX for Cruz Azul.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Víctor_Vázquez_Solsona

I think he will compete for minutes with Armando Cooper. That will be quite the battle to watch and TFC will be stronger because of it.

Edited by Obinna
shamrock likes this

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More thoughts on Vazquez:

So I have never seen him in a match, but his highlight packages are quite interesting. Looks to be the sort of player Barca would develop. Much different to Armando Cooper, who can be quite direct and creative 1 v 1. Vazquez appears to be a "keeps the ball moving" and "plays the final ball" sort of attacker. He takes plenty of set pieces as well.

Again, very happy about this pick up. Gives TFC something different than Osorio and Cooper. I agree with those who think this will cut into Chapman's minutes/development (not happy from that perspective).

 

Edited by Obinna
hamiltonfan likes this

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Just wondering if this means - at least when this guy in on the field - going back to a 4-4-2 diamond formation - with Morgan out there is no real back-up right now for Beitashour and Morrow in a 3-5-2 (unless its Delgado is considered Beitashour's back up there). Osorio can play on the left in a diamond midfield, Cooper on the right, whereas neither of those guys are suited to be out and out winger.

Before we get too excited from a club perspective, lots of Spaniards have come over to MLS (including two to Toronto) and not done especially well - there are exceptions of course like David Villa but its not necessarily a foregone conclusion that this will work out. He seems to be more of a one-way midfielder from what I've read on the net (if that is to be trusted - maybe it isn't) - ie somewhat weak defensively, so perhaps he will be a Ricketts like super-sub when they are needing to create a goal.The fact that he is considered to have been a failure in the Mexican league tempers a bit of the excitement, as does the probability that this will cut into Chapman and Camargo's playing/development time (maybe a bit of Osorio's too, but I am thinking that he may have been brought in to give depth to Cooper's position because Cooper is the one who will be missing more time from international duty given that unlike Osorio (*sob*), his international team is still in WCQ).

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It's a good signing, glaring difference between TFC roster and VWC's.

Gianluca could be right about him being one-way, because Barça players from his generation were so used to always having the ball. 

And others re Osorio: sounds about right. He is not really a striker but is there to feed and be the connector between mids and strikers. Instead of obliging Gio to come back so much and start so far from goal. So, yes, could mean Osorio gets less time. But could also be cover for Bradley as he ages or in case of injury, thinking of ball talent more than defending.

EDIT: just recalled his name had come up for Espanyol, so Liga clubs looking at him. I wonder what his salary would be at TFC for him to not return to the Liga. Any word on the money?

BTW, player from my kid's club, and from our neighbourhood, Ilie Sánchez, is now at Sporting KC. Another who did not get further than the Barça B team, younger than Victor.

Edited by Unnamed Trialist

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10 hours ago, Dub Narcotic said:

They used TAM, so they were able to buy him down under the DP level. $500kish?

What I was thinking was that his offers had to be pushing that in La Liga as well. Could not be much less than the equivalent of 400 euros a year. He was also rumoured to Betis for a while there, did a search on this.

Liga teams were probably offering him until June, whereas MLS gave him a full season.

Since he was Cruz Azul property they have to be matching his previous Mexican salary, or what is left of it. Or else close to it, otherwise he would not transfer out. From what I understand it is a free transfer, Paco Jémez let him go.

Jémez is a very creative coach, one of the best in possession and style, but his results do not match his acumen. Maybe because, not surprisingly, his teams are vulnerable in defence.  Cruz Azul is doing quite badly so far.

 

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For the home opener we will be sending out a bus from Kitchener with a stop at the Guelph Car Pool lot.

The bus will leave at 2PM from Fairview Park Mall on the 31st. Bus tickets are $30 and Bus/Game Tickets are $70. We have a little form here to help us keep track of numbers. Should be a fun day. We'll be getting to TO hopefully around 4ish at Shoeless Joes to march with the RPB.

https://goo.gl/forms/PTmQKOkHHbTyNCxZ2
 

Complete Homer likes this

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On ‎2‎/‎20‎/‎2017 at 3:11 PM, Unnamed Trialist said:

And others re Osorio: sounds about right. He is not really a striker but is there to feed and be the connector between mids and strikers. Instead of obliging Gio to come back so much and start so far from goal. So, yes, could mean Osorio gets less time. But could also be cover for Bradley as he ages or in case of injury, thinking of ball talent more than defending.

Much is made about Osorio's linking play but I found in a number of key games this year against upper echelon defensive opposition he was more of a passenger in that regard.  It seemed like Bradley was doing much of the forward passing to the strikers or Cooper was trying to make things happen in his own way.  I always felt Osorio's strength as an attacking mid was ghosting into the box and getting scoring opportunities himself:  unfortunately, he didn't show enough craft when getting those shooting opportunities.

I'm really curious to see how things go with Vanney's midfield selection if he sticks with the five man midfield.  As much as some people have Beitashour already penciled out of that starting group, he does provide a solid defensive awareness on that right side and that's really important when the team faces opponents who chose to play off the counter.  So to me, if Vasquez is consistently selected in the AM role, than it seems like Osorio and Cooper will be duking it out for the other spot.  Bradley would have Cheyrou or possibly Delgado as his deputy in the deep lying defensive role.

jonovision likes this

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Its been difficult so far getting much info on TFC's pre-season, but after an experimental squad full of draft picks and trialists lost to a California university team of some kind, they have now won four matches in a row - 6-1 I believe against Miami FC, two back to back wins (on the same day featuring two different line-ups) against Orlando  (3-1 and 4-0) and now apparently a 3-0 win over Minnesota. They only have first half highlights up of the Minnesota match but after Giovinco scored twice, Jordan Hamilton notched the third. From the highlights the first half squad for TFC was basically the same as the team that competed in the MLS final except that I think that Mavinga guy was in defense.

Not sure if they are out with injuries, but I haven't heard anything about Babouli, Edwards and Ricketts since early in the pre-season, while I've heard absolutely nothing about Camargo, while Endoh appears to have vanished completely. Then again as we aren't seeing any full rosters for these games released, maybe they have played a few minutes and just haven't done anything notable in that time (Morgan at least we know is injured).

Oh, and I've no idea if Vasquez played today or not, but it was clearly Osorio & Cooper starting and still a 3-5-2 (or 5-3-2 if you prefer)

Edited by Gian-Luca

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It's Vázquez, guys.

Though I am aware, for reasons I have never understood, that one of the greatest painters in human history is often rendered Velasquez in English.

But to the point: I agree that TFC has to aspire to win the East and get to another final to win it too.

Edited by Unnamed Trialist

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1 hour ago, Gian-Luca said:

Its been difficult so far getting much info on TFC's pre-season, but after an experimental squad full of draft picks and trialists lost to a California university team of some kind, they have now won four matches in a row - 6-1 I believe against Miami FC, two back to back wins (on the same day featuring two different line-ups) against Orlando  (3-1 and 4-0) and now apparently a 3-0 win over Minnesota. They only have first half highlights up of the Minnesota match but after Giovinco scored twice, Jordan Hamilton notched the third. From the highlights the first half squad for TFC was basically the same as the team that competed in the MLS final except that I think that Mavinga guy was in defense.

Not sure if they are out with injuries, but I haven't heard anything about Babouli, Edwards and Ricketts since early in the pre-season, while I've heard absolutely nothing about Camargo, while Endoh appears to have vanished completely. Then again as we aren't seeing any full rosters for these games released, maybe they have played a few minutes and just haven't done anything notable in that time (Morgan at least we know is injured).

Oh, and I've no idea if Vasquez played today or not, but it was clearly Osorio & Cooper starting and still a 3-5-2 (or 5-3-2 if you prefer)

I know Babouli has scored 2-3 goals in preseason matches and Edwards scored a goal in the 6-1 win against Miami.  

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15 hours ago, Gian-Luca said:

Not sure if they are out with injuries, but I haven't heard anything about Babouli, Edwards and Ricketts since early in the pre-season,

Pretty sure Canucks Abroad listed Babouli (and Morgan) with injuries yesterday.

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Breezed quickly through Larson's article in the Sun this morning.  It mentions Ricketts, Endoh and the first round pick (sorry, forget his name) as being injured.  Said the 3rd rounder (Alseth??) at RB and Edwards have shown well and could have earned contracts.  No mention of Camargo, although I know he is signed.

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2 hours ago, El Hombre said:

Pretty sure Canucks Abroad listed Babouli (and Morgan) with injuries yesterday.

Cheers for that - so they did. And thanks to Ivan for the tip on the Larson article this morning. And TFC have now posted the line-ups from yesterday's match. It's as though the club & media read my mild complaint here and started revealing information.

Larson's article also mentions the Ricketts is injured, hence explaining why he is also missing from this line-up:

First-half lineup: Bono; Brunell, Moor, Mavinga; Alseth, Bradley, Osorio, Cooper, Morrow; Altidore, Giovinco

Second-half lineup: Bono: Simonin, Hagglund, Zavaleta; Beitashour, Edwards, Cheyrou, Vazquez (Chapman), Delgado; Hamilton (James), Spencer (Andrews)

I see that Larson is suggesting in his article that TFC could replace Babouli with Ben Spencer. However, that doesn't seem to make much sense to me from a team balance point of view given that Spencer is 6 foot 5. That would mean out of the 5 strikers, 4 would be target men (once you add Ricketts, Altidore and Hamilton). Not sure that's a move they should make for someone who hasn't yet proven himself at the USL level (where I would imagine he would more playing time than being behind 3 other target strikers).

And it looks like Vazquez did play 30 minutes yesterday, at Chapman's expense as many of us were worried about happening, so not exactly a surprise.

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Final Pre-season game at 3pm today. Should be streamed.

Osorio is the only Canadian in the starting line-up.

Edit: 4 more Canadians on the bench. A loooong bench for the preseason!

 

Edited by Ruffian

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An ugly 4-1 loss to Chicago who end up 6-0 on the pre-season. Brutal mistakes by Irwin and looked like Alseth on goals #2 and #4 respectively (so much for the hype on that guy) while Simonin may have played himself off the team with his play, including marking no-one while ball-watching on goal #3. Endoh "won" a penalty but overall was pretty brutal on the right side of midfield once again failing to get in any crosses or balls from the right. They played him wide right in the 2nd half as a sub for Beitashour, but I am wondering if Delgado will normally get that job over Endoh (not that his crosses are much better, mind you). Aubrey looked okay and while Spencer had a nice shot from distance, didn't see enough from him as a target striker to think he should start over Hamilton who looked more lively in the brief 15 minutes he played (coming on for Chapman). I would have him start the year with TFC II.

No Mavinga (or Zavaleta) on defense, which looked very poor without them. Don't want to take too much from one pre-season game mind you, but that didn't look encouraging for back-line depth - the Finnish trialist also had a brutal giveaway which went unpunished. The best defensive play on the day for TFC was made by Edwards who managed to track down David Accam (!) on a breakaway and then steal the ball from him on a clean tackle. Excellent stuff and he made some good offensive runs, mainly spoilt only by some lousy shooting but to me he seems ready for the jump to the first team, especially since Morgan is out for another two months anyway, and they have two extra home-grown roster spots to fill.

I think the predictions of Osorio's demise as a starter may be premature - again it's pre-season but Vazquez looked clever on the ball but a little slow. He also looked like he and Cheryrou (on the field at the same time) were too often trying to play in the same position on the field. That's not a complaint about a player - that's bound to happen as he gets accustomed to teammates - by the point is more that he seems to be more of a deeper-lying midfielder at this stage of his career than Osorio.

Without having seen Mavinga play, here's my guess on who should make the first team, based on a 3-5-2:

F - Giovinco, Altidore, Ricketts, Hamilton, Babouli

M- Edwards, Morrow, Morgan, Osorio, Cooper, Bradley, Vazquez, Cheyrou, Chapman, Camargo, Beitashour, Endoh, Delgado

D - Moor, Hagglund, Zavaleta, Mavinga, Aubrey and........?

G- Irwin, Bono (assuming they won't keep a third-string keeper on the first team).

That leaves another 5 roster spots open, unless I am missing anyone already signed to the first team. I guess I would suggest more of those trialists if some of them hadn't looked so bad today (although some of the non-trialists also did). They have to add one more defender for sure (even with my assumption of Aubrey), just not sure if Simonin is the man based on what I saw. I guess they could still add another striker and goalkeeper so maybe Spencer will be signed to first team and loaned to TFC II for playing time?

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On Monday, February 20, 2017 at 4:11 PM, Unnamed Trialist said:

 

EDIT: just recalled his name had come up for Espanyol, so Liga clubs looking at him. I wonder what his salary would be at TFC for him to not return to the Liga. Any word on the money?

Apparently he had offers in La Liga so that fits in with what you heard about Españyol. He also had offers Ligue 1. 

Tim Bez said European offers were better financially, but Vazquez was won over by the professionalism of TFC, the city and the project. 

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2 hours ago, Obinna said:

Apparently he had offers in La Liga so that fits in with what you heard about Españyol. He also had offers Ligue 1. 

Tim Bez said European offers were better financially, but Vazquez was won over by the professionalism of TFC, the city and the project. 

LOL

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19 hours ago, Obinna said:

Apparently he had offers in La Liga so that fits in with what you heard about Españyol. He also had offers Ligue 1. 

Tim Bez said European offers were better financially, but Vazquez was won over by the professionalism of TFC, the city and the project. 

Yeah, Lol, as Grizzly said.

I mean, any Liga club is going to be more professional and the play way higher level. The coaching too. And to say he was more drawn to TO than going back to his home town, or to Sevilla, I mean, hell, Sevilla. It's an amazingly beautiful place. I wonder if he is a bit afraid to return to Spain and fail.

I think the key must have been, simply put, a full year vs. less than half a year. He signed to get a full season in and feels he will play, while in Spain he would have had problems getting minutes and be out of contract in late May.

BTW, for Gian-Luca commenting he is slow. Like all of the Barça-trained mids for the last quarter century, Guardiola, Xavi, Arteta, Iniesta, Busquets, all are less than average running speed. It's a style that works if the pause you put into things helps the team.

I put that last result down to a freak, but I do think Paunovic is a great coach, results last year were bad considering, but he has to put it together his way, if they let him, and it will have to show. The Serbian u-20 win was huge, I think it was a major coaching result in international football, alongside Sampaoli at Chile. All credit to the Fire for keeping him on, I predict he'll emerge as the best coach in the league along with Pareja.

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1 hour ago, Unnamed Trialist said:

Yeah, Lol, as Grizzly said.

I mean, any Liga club is going to be more professional and the play way higher level. The coaching too. And to say he was more drawn to TO than going back to his home town, or to Sevilla, I mean, hell, Sevilla. It's an amazingly beautiful place. I wonder if he is a bit afraid to return to Spain and fail.

It could be. I am just reporting on what he said during his interview. It's not my opinion.

I was also paraphrasing, so go to the Toronto FC website if you want hear exactly what he said.

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Looking out for any news for a signing of Edwards to the first team (which probably looks good given Vanney's comments of praise for him post-Chicago pre-season match) but haven't seen it yet. However, saw on the TFC site that Simonin was in fact released by the club, which I wasn't too surprised by as I indicated in my post above based on what I saw against Chicago. Having said that, apparently Mavinga will not play this Saturday as he's away celebrating the birth of his child, so that leaves pretty slim pickings in central defense given that they like to play 3 of them. Unless Aubrey is signed to the first team (looking more likely now) I think that just leaves Moor, Hagglund and Zavaleta available for this Saturday.

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