It’s official: Rafael Santos Borré won’t be joining Toronto FC. Instead, he’ll be joining a club team in Brazil. The news comes after months of speculation linking the 25-year-old to TFC, but it looks like the off-season rumours are just rumours.
That sort of leaves TFC in the lurch. The team’s core is on the older side, so players in their prime years (early to late twenties) are needed to bridge the gap between the veteran talent and the prospects. Also, TFC needs some help in the wings and more midfield depth. With that in mind, who could they pick up?
This 26-year-old Ghanaian centre-back has been on trial with the club. He’s spent the past couple of years with San Antonio FC, and prior to that, he played three seasons with Philadelphia Union. Yaro is both a young player and a highly defensive player, which is arguably exactly what the club needs.
Cabrera, a 27-year-old from Argentina, had a rough 2020. He spent the year playing for Houston, who finished at the bottom of the Western Conference and ended up declining Cabrera’s contract. Still, he’s relatively young and is an active defender who can put up impressive tackling and interception numbers when properly supported.
Another player let go by Houston in the aftermath of their dismal year, Salazar is a forward who previously played in Ottawa and Montreal. The 28-year-old has also represented the Belize national team.
Granted, Jackson-Hamel spent years in Montreal (and was on the team last year when the Impact ended Toronto FC’s 18-game winning streak), but we shouldn’t hold that against him. The 27-year-old striker has played for Canada on the international stage and, before his troubles in 2020, led Montreal in scoring.
One of the most consistent midfielders in MLS, Larentowicz won’t be returning to Atlanta United in 2021, so his contract is up for grabs. He made 113 appearances with the team over the past four years, which is extra impressive given that he’s now 37 years old. His above-average tracking and tackling skills would be a welcome addition.
You wouldn’t think a guy in his mid-thirties would have much more to say on the soccer pitch, but Jakovic held his own during his time with Los Angeles FC, making 34 appearances with the team. Some would argue that a centre-back is exactly what TFC needs, but it’s worth noting that at this point Jakovic may simply retire.