– Toronto FC Transfers, Trades, Signings & Rumors

TFC’s 2010 SuperDraft Selections
January 15, 2010, 9:15 AM
Filed under: MLS Superdraft, Toronto FC

For the first time in Toronto FC’s history at the MLS SuperDraft, the team did not have a selection in the first round. Toronto made their first pick of the 2010 SuperDraft the 2nd round, 24th overall and selected defender and U-17 MNT player Zac Herold.

“He’s athletic, he’s fast and he’s one of the best products in the country,” said director of soccer, Mo Johnston. “He’s a six year Generation Adidas player and he’ll be a great young player for us, we’re excited to have him on board.”

The 17 year old was a member of West Pines United located in Pembroke Pines, Florida and is part of the U.S. U-17 Residency Program. The defender played all four games during the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup and helped the Americans advance to the Round of 16.

At the young age of 13, he entered the Olympic Development Program, and shortly after was named captain. From there, Herold went on to play for the regional squad before earning a tryout with the National Team.

The defender also played every game for the U-14 and U-15 teams before enrolling in the U.S.U-17 Residency Program in the fall of 2007.

Toronto’s second and final pick came in the 4th round, 53rd overall selecting midfielder Nane Joseph from Old Dominion University. This past season, he was a member of the NSCAA Second Team All-American, and a 2009 First Team All-CAA. The native of Cameroon was coached at ODU by Alan Dawson.

Source: Click Here

Trader Mo looking to move up in draft
January 11, 2010, 12:35 PM
Filed under: MLS Superdraft, Toronto FC

What will he do this time?

Toronto FC director of soccer Mo Johnston is known as a mover and shaker in Major League Soccer circles, always good to make a deal.

And Thursday’s MLS SuperDraft should be no different, despite TFC not having a first-round draft pick and having only two picks in the draft (Nos. 24 and 53).

“I’ve actually been very quiet so far,” Johnston said.

The silence won’t last long.

“I’m confident we’ll be able to get some things done over the next six or seven days,” he said. “This year it’s all about getting the right guy and the priority is to move up in the draft.”

Johnston’s job is that much more difficult, not having any American roster spots available. And using an international roster spot on an American drafted college player doesn’t make sense for the club.


Translation: Expect some player movement from Johnston.

Johnston also acknowledged he’s in on-going talks with various clubs and players, and now that the MLS player combine is over, the real action begins.

What Johnston will be able to get done is unclear.

While he acknowledges this year’s draft is about “certain positions”, it’s more about asset management. Moving up to take a player of interest for another team, then turning that player into another asset coming back to the club seems like the most logical move.

And from the sounds of it, this is what new head coach Preki Radosavljevic would prefer.

Preki seems less than impressed with the roster. He admits the team is a work in progress. But unlike his former club Chivas, TFC ownership has afforded Johnston ample resources to bring in players.

“Preki has got his eye on a couple of targets he wanted while at Chivas and wasn’t able to bring in. We’ve talked about it and I think I can get something done,” Johnston said.

This approach benefits Preki in putting together a team in his own mold while adding some much-needed MLS experience to the roster.

If Johnston elects to move up in the draft and to keep the pick, it could also signal his interest in Teal Bunbury — this year’s Mac Hermann Trophy winner as the NCAA’S top player.

Bunbury’s name resonates with Canadian soccer fans, as the son of former Canadian International Alex. Bunbury proved his worth as a dynamic goal-scorer this past season, leading his Akron Zips to an undefeated regular season and then taking them all the way to the national final. His Canadian designation doesn’t hurt either.

“He’s a good, young player.He’s 6-foot-2, strong, fairly quick and I played with his father.” Johnston said.

If Johnston can bring in Bunbury, TFC would have two of the past three Mac Hermann Trophy winners on their roster. Forward O’Brien White was the 2007 recipient. The Canadian connections to both White and Bunbury could make for an intriguing striker combination for years to come.

Last year, Johnston landed all three of his major targets. Instead of trading away any of his three first-round picks, Johnson did the unusual for him, staying status quo, selecting midfielder Sam Cronin (second), White (fourth) and goalkeeper Stefan Frei (13th), all of whom had varying levels of success in their respective rookie campaigns.

In fact, TFC has considerable young talent. Defender Nana Attakora (20), and to a lesser extent young Gambian duo of Amadou Sanyang (18) and Emmanuel Gomez (19), are reason to believe better days lie ahead for the Reds.

The pressure is on for Johnston to get it right this off-season right. While Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd. is resolutely standing by its man, the public knives have been out for Johnston for quite some time, after three subpar years under his watchful eye.

“The entire process is a game and in the end it all funnels through. We’ve got a game-plan. ”

Source: Click Here

Leeds sign Grella
February 3, 2009, 8:28 AM
Filed under: MLS Superdraft, Toronto FC
LEEDS United have signed American striker Mike Grella.

The 22-year-old has become United’s first capture on transfer deadline day by agreeing an 18-month deal at Elland Road.

Grella, who turned down a contract with MLS club Toronto FC to begin a trial with Leeds, caught the eye last month when he scored a hat-trick in United’s 4-0 reserve-team win over Barnsley.

Source: Click Here

TFC pick Grella to sign with Leeds
January 30, 2009, 11:05 PM
Filed under: MLS Superdraft, Signing, Toronto FC

Following a successful two-week trial, former Duke University standout Mike Grella has been offered a contract to play with English League One side Leeds United, sources told SBI on Friday.

Grella, who turned 22 last week, scored a hat-trick for the Leeds reserves in a 4-0 win against Barnsley at Elland Road and immediately opened the eyes of manager Simon Grayson. The native of Glen Cove, L.I., who holds an Italian passport, is still in contract negotiations with the club, but a deal is expected to be finalized soon, according to sources.

Grella, a first-team NSCAA All-American this year, bypassed the MLS Combine, but was still selected by Toronto FC with the 34th overall pick in the MLS SuperDraft two weeks ago despite letting it be known that he would pursue a contract in Europe.

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TFC Draftee Grella hat-tricks for Leeds
January 21, 2009, 8:20 AM
Filed under: MLS Superdraft, Toronto FC, Trial

Trialist striker Mike Grella scored a hat-trick for Leeds reserves in their 4-0 victory over Barnsley on Tuesday, with Neil Kilkenny scoring the other.

The 21-year-old United States youth international, who has been drafted by MLS side Toronto FC, is on trial at Elland Road hoping to win a contract.

Reserve-team manager Neil Thompson told the club website: “That’s all you can do as a striker.

“He was tidy around the ball and his finishing was good.”

“He’s still a young lad. He’s showed a good attitude in training, but strikers are there to score goals and he did that.”

Grella began his career at Duke University before spells with Long Island Rough Riders and Cary Clarets in the fourth tier of American football.

In 2008 he was named in the National Soccer Coaches All-America first team.

He was drafted by Canadians Toronto FC in the MLS Superdraft earlier this month, although he will be free to join a European side.

Source: Click Here

’09 draftee grella on leeds trial
January 20, 2009, 5:37 PM
Filed under: MLS Superdraft, Trial

When Mike Grella passed on the 2009 MLS draft, it was unclear where the Duke striker would test the professional soccer waters. It appears his quest for a professional contract has landed him in England.

Grella is on trial with Leeds United, and scored three goals in Leeds’ reserve match against Barnsley on Tuesday. Leeds, once an English Premier League power, now plays in League 1, the English third division.

According to sources, Grella joined Leeds late last week and was in England last Thursday when the MLS Draft took place. Toronto FC, which was aware of Grella’s Leeds trial, selected him with the 34th overall pick in the MLS Draft.

Grella holds an Italian passport, which allowed him to play in the Leeds reserve match. He is free to sign with the English club, and his Italian passport will allow him to sign anywhere in Europe he can secure a contract.

Source: Click Here

’09 drafts almost traded
January 19, 2009, 8:22 AM
Filed under: MLS Superdraft, Toronto FC

Toronto FC director of soccer Mo Johnston and Los Angeles Galaxy coach Bruce Arena shared some drinks and some laughs Thursday night, hours after having enjoyed two of the best performances at the 2009 MLS SuperDraft. You really couldn’t blame them for celebrating a bit, because any number of trades could have taken place that would have changed the entire course of Thursday’s draft.

The reality is that Toronto almost didn’t have the No. 13 pick. TFC was all set to deal the pick to the New York Red Bulls for Mike Magee on Monday evening during the MLS combine, but New York technical director Jeff Agoos made the decision to honor an earlier agreement with the Los Angeles Galaxy, sending Magee to L.A. for a 2010 second-round pick. It was a curious move because Agoos made verbal agreements with both teams and no official paperwork was signed before Agoos decided to take the worse of the two deals.

The Chicago Fire had a pretty exciting draft day, in part for a trade almost made and for one that almost wasn’t. After seeing a potential deal with Toronto FC involving Justin Mapp and the No. 2 and No. 4 picks fall through.

What other players nearly were moved during draft week? Yura Movsisyan was a Toronto FC target in a potential deal for high draft picks, while Jonathan Bornstein was shopped around by Chivas USA and still looks like a good bet to be dealt amid word that he and head coach Preki aren’t exactly seeing eye to eye.

In the end, there weren’t as many trades at the MLS draft as expected, but there still was plenty of wheeling and dealing. Some good trades were completed, but other intriguing ones never came to pass. Through it all, Toronto FC and Los Angeles left St. Louis the big winners Thursday, with their performances going a long way toward determining whether Johnston and Arena will have something to celebrate come playoff time in MLS.

Source: Click Here

2009 superdraft – TFC takes Cronin, White, Frei, Grella, & Hall
January 15, 2009, 4:58 PM
Filed under: MLS Superdraft, Toronto FC

Toronto FC selected midfielder Sam Cronin (Wake Forest) second overall at the 2009 MLS SuperDraft in St. Louis Thursday. The Reds drafted forward Scarborough native O’Brian White (Connecticut) as the fourth overall pick and Generation Adidas goalkeeper Stefan Frei was picked 13th. (University of California).

Sam Cronin was selected second overall from Wake Forest. The 22 year old midfielder from Winston Salem, NC scored ten goals in 24 appearances for Wake Forest last year. He captained Wake Forest since his junior year and is described as a two-way midfielder that defends like a pit bull and is capable of quality distribution and long distance shooting.

College achievements:
2008: Hermann Trophy finalist, Lowes Senior
Class Award, NSCAA First Team All-American,
Soccer America First Team MVP, College Soccer
News First Team All-American, NSCAA First
Team All-South, First Team All-ACC, team captain

2007: NSCAA Second Team All-American, Soccer
America First Team MVP, NCAA College Cup All-
Tournament , NSCAA First Team All-South, First
Team All-ACC, ESPN the Magazine Academic
All-American, team captain

2006: NSCAA Second Team All-South, ACC All-
Tournament, team MVP

2005: ACC All-Freshman Team
O’Brian White was selected in the first round, fourth overall by Toronto FC Director of Soccer Mo Johnston. The forward comes to Toronto with a formidable reputation. He won the highest individual honour in U.S. collegiate soccer in January 2008 when he received the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy as the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s most valuable player. White scored six goals in 14 games this past season before suffering an ACL injury in October that ruled him out for the rest of the year.

College achievements:
2008: Scored six goals in 14 games before being ruled out with injury.

2007: M.A.C. Hermann Trophy winner
Led NCAA in scoring with 23 goals and 53 points
NSCAA Player of the Year
Soccer America Player of the Year
NSCAA First Team All-America
Soccer America First Team All-America
College Soccer News First Team All-America
First Team All-Northeast
BIG EAST All-Tournament Team
BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year
First Team All-BIG EAST

First Team All-BIG EAST
First Team All-Northeast
BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week (10/9)
Led team with seven goals, six assists and 20 points.
Three game-winning goals

Second Team All-New England Second Team All-BIG EAST
BIG EAST Rookie of the Year
BIG EAST Rookie of the Week (10/24)
First Team College Soccer News All-Freshman Honorable Mention All-American
Led team with 10 goals and eight assists for 28 points.

Stefan Frei was picked 13th overall by Toronto FC. Frei is a goalkeeper born in Altstaetten, Switzerland and was a member of the Swiss U-15 National team. He was named MVP at the 2009 MLS Player Combine in Fort Lauderdale earlier this week.

College achievements:
MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List,
College Soccer News Third Team All-
American, TopDrawerSoccer First Team
of the Year, First Team All-Pac-10,
NSCAA First Team Far West All-Region
NSCAA First Team All-American,
First Team All-Pac-10, NSCAA First
Team Far West All-Region
Led Pac-10 in shutouts, saves, save percentage, and saves per game in 2007

* Toronto FC also selected Duke University forward Mike Grella and striker Kyle Hall of Don Mills, Ontario.

Source: Click Here

MoJo passes on Magee
January 14, 2009, 11:32 PM
Filed under: MLS Superdraft, Mo Johnston, Rumor, Toronto FC

Here’s a news tidbits from the evening:

The Red Bulls announced the completion of its trade of Mike Magee to the Los Angeles Galaxy, and yes, the deal was for a second-round pick in 2010. Other teams said to have been interested in Magee were Toronto FC (which would have re-united Magee with former Red Bull coach Mo Johnston) and Chicago, which is where Magee is from. Sources also tell me that the Red Bulls passed on a late offer from Toronto of the No. 13 pick for Magee, choosing instead to honor the deal it already had in place with the Galaxy.

Source: Click Here

Rumor: TFC trading up to 1st pick? Dunivant gone?
January 14, 2009, 4:56 PM
Filed under: MLS Superdraft, Rumor, Toronto FC

Seattle is openly courting offers for the No. 1 overall pick. So who might be in play for the pick? Sources tell SBI that Toronto has already made an offer while D.C. United and FC Dallas are also interested.

Another team looking to move up is Chivas USA, which desperately wants California goalkeeper Stefan Frei. Chivas USA could be tempted to dangle fullback Jonathan Bornstein in order to secure a high enough pick to draft the best goalkeeper available. If and when Chivas USa does deal Bornstein, they could wind up dealing for LA’s Ante Jazic or Toronto FC’s Todd Dunivant as a replacement.

Source: Click Here