Sorry for the lack of updates yesterday. I began writing one thing and then got caught up in some work-related things that took most of the day, not to mention the running around Dallas to apply for media passes to FC Dallas and among other things that I had to get done yesterday. Anyways, hopefully today won’t be as slow and low on updates.
Plenty in the presses about Toronto FC right now, and quite frankly if I were a Reds fan I would have been worried up until now on whether or not the club was actually going to sign anyone noteworthy before the start of the 2008 season next month.
No doubt that Mo Johnston is trying to build the club into a winner for this coming season. The small foundation is there and if he can get a few additions it could really go a long way into how the Reds fare this season.
Reports like one Ives wrote over the weekend and other reports out of Canada suggest that the Reds are looking south for a couple players. Mostly they are about how Toronto is looking at 25-year-old attacking midfielder from Columbia, Johnnier Montano.
Montano is currently with the Reds on trial right now and could be set to join the club. The only problem that most will find with Montano is the fact that he has become somewhat of a journeyman over his short career. Since 1998, he has seen a different locker room each year, four of those locker rooms were while he was on loan from Italian side Parma. Its fair to say that the kid isn’t the most stable out of the players we’ve seen come into the league in recent years.
The kid can play though and he is still relatively young. Some thing that coming to the MLS would be a good move for him considering his past.
He is a playmaker that could make a big difference in the middle of the park for the Reds. If his head is clear and he comes in the right frame of mind, then I think Toronto would be smart to give him a deal but if he goes off like he has before then it would be a total waste. We will see how the trial goes and I will let you know if anything comes from it.
The Deseret Morning News (yes, the one out in Salt Lake City) is reporting that Toronto could be landing Colombian central defender Julian Barragan, who is currently on trial with the Reds as well right now (though he could ultimately end up in Salt Lake City with RSL). While I couldn’t dig up too much dirt on Barragan I did read in that article how the bigger news would be of who would be joining him in Toronto, Joao Pinto, a 36-year-old forward from Portugal.
Pinto may be a familiar name to those who remember watching the World Cup in 2002. In 81 caps for the national team side he scored 23 goals.
Pinto would be a pretty big signing even for his age if you ask me. I doubt Toronto would throw designated player money at him but he would probably get a fairly large contract.
As good as he was I kind of question whether or not this is the right style of move for Toronto. Pinto is talented but is very aged from the last time that I saw him play. Put him up top with Danny Dichio and Jeff Cunningham and you have three pretty old strikers (though I think Dichio is the youngest of the three). If they do sign him I kind of see this as a way to send Cunningham elsewhere in a trade. Cunningham never really made a mark and I think this would be a chance for the Reds to get rid of his high contract.
Last thing for the Reds today, some are still talking about Darren Huckerby’s chances of coming to the MLS soon. My bet is if he does come it won’t be until this summer.
French international Steve Marlet is on trial at Chicago. Most remember the Fire going after Frenchman Fabrice Pancrate last month, a deal that apparently faded away into the sunset. Anyways, Marlet is the one Frenchman that actually came to the Windy City for a trial and could be signing with the club if all goes well.
The 33-year-old spent time with Lyon for the better part of his career. After a successful season in 2001-02, he moved up to the EPL with everyone’s favorite EPL side here in the States, Fulham. That move didn’t work out like Marlet had hoped, as the striker only netted 11 goals in 54 matches.
He was later put on a loan deal back to France with Marseille and then he moved on to play at VfL Wolfsburg in Germany and FC Lorient in France.
He was previously on trial with English side Ipswich Town before coming to Chicago for a trial.
Its amazing how many strikers the Fire are going after these days. You almost can bet if he does sign with the Fire then someone will be on the move. Apparently they are close to signing Polish striker Tomasz Frankowski from Wolverhampton.
Think about it, the Fire already have rookie Patrick Nyarko (who won’t be joining the club until May or June since he wants to finish school), Calen Carr, Chris Rolfe, Andy Herron, Chad Barrett and now possibly Marlet or Frankowski. I know the Fire were a bit weak until Blanco arrived at the striker spot but I have to say do they really need all of these guys at this point? Do Fire fans really want this many striking options?
I think guys like Rolfe or Barrett would be good trade bait for some clubs out there. I think Chicago would be well served to put them up for trade and get some quality defending out of it.
From what I am hearing the SuperLiga pairings should be released sometime this week, if not today in fact. If they do I will post them for you and give you all my thoughts on the million dollar waste of time.
Lastly for right now, another Brazilian A-Leaguer could be headed to the MLS, this time with the New York Red Bulls.
Marcinho, the 26-year-old midfielder is currently out of contract and could also be headed to the MLS with Queensland Roar teammate Reinaldo (to either RSL or Colorado…put money on Colorado though since they filed a Discovery claim first).
I honestly have very little on the midfielder but I find it funny that the MLS is starting to raid A-League Brazilians now. Last year the league got Fred to DC and now it looks like Reinaldo(center) and Marcinho are next in line. Which is good right? Well, if they both turn out like Fred did for DC then yes.
Like I said above, Colorado should get Reinaldo if he does come to the MLS. Earlier reports suggested he would be going to RSL but from what I hear now is that Colorado put the claim in first for the player but RSL is still interested. It would be a great signing for Colorado if you ask me. They desperately need a goal scorer to link up with Christian Gomez.
More to come later on…stay tuned.