Toronto FC

Confirmed: Lorenzo Insigne to Toronto FC in record-breaking mega-deal


Toronto FC have signed a diminutive Italian playmaker with a few prime years still left in his career… again, as Lorenzo Insigne has reportedly agreed to join the MLS side in the summer.

[ MORE: USMNT’s Tyler Adams to Man United, Weston McKennie to Tottenham ]

Toronto FC announced on Saturday that Insigne has signed a four-year deal to join the Reds and will move to MLS on July 1.

Toronto FC head coach and sporting director Bob Bradley said the following:

“We are all looking forward to having Lorenzo join us this summer. His ability to create chances for himself and his teammates is special. Having watched him for many years, I also know he’s also a player who works for the team. Lorenzo is the kind of player you come to watch, because there’s always a chance, he’ll do something unforgettable.”

Six years ago, Sebastian Giovinco arrived in Toronto, from Juventus, at the age of 28 and re-defined success for Designated Players in MLS. Now, Insigne, who only six months ago featured regularly for EURO 2020 winners Italy and scored two goals in the tournament, is set to leave Napoli when his contract expires in June and move to Toronto at the age of 31.

Insigne has spent the entirety of his professional career at Napoli (aside from three loan spells before becoming a first-team regular). In nine and a half seasons as a first-teamer, Insigne has made 415 appearances and scored 114 goals for Napoli.

While Giovinco’s base salary was a modest $5.6 million per year, Toronto FC (led by new head coach and sporting director Bob Bradley) will reportedly smash that mark (as well as the all-time MLS record) with a $13-million annual base salary plus another $5 million in add-ons and bonuses.

[ MORE: Barcelona sign Ferran Torres from Manchester City in $73-million deal ]

Lorenzo Insigne (or any player) worth $13 million a year in MLS?

Realistically speaking, no single player can return the full $13-million annual investment in on-field production alone. In a league where the vast majority of players — including some highly productive lesser-known stars — earn under $1 million per year, teams don’t have to pay out eight figures annually, no matter how poor they were the season before.

On the other hand, Insigne is only seven months removed from finishing a Serie A season with 19 goals and seven assists. The 5-foot-4 midfielder has been more of an assister (5) than goalscorer (4) for Napoli (3rd place in Serie A) this season, though his production remains strong in only slightly fewer minutes played.

Man City kid joined by 2 USMNT prospects, MLS teen on Top 60 youth list


Two Americans are joined by one Premier League player and an MLS starlet on The Guardian’s “Next Generation 2021” list, sprinkled among better-known names like Barcelona’s Gavi and Borussia Dortmund’s Youssoufa Moukoko.

The list highlights 60 players born in 2014 and includes Manchester City’s Romeo Lavia (Belgium) and Toronto FC’s Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty (Canada) as well USMNT prospects Evan Rotundo of Schalke and Malick Sanogo of Union Berlin.

Mexico’s Jesus Hernandez of Queretaro is another CONCACAF name on the list.

[ MORE: How will USMNT line up vs Jamaica? ]

Center forward Sanogo, 17, was born in New York City but has been with Union since his youth days. His father coaches in the Union academy, having played at Hoffenheim and Saint-Etienne amongst other stops. The younger Sanogo has two goals and an assist in six matches of U19 Bundesliga play.

California-born Rotundo, 17, signed for Schalke from the San Diego Surf youth soccer club. He made his U-17 Bundesliga debut last year and has been promoted to the U-19s this season, where he’s listed as an attacking midfielder.

Marshall-Rutty has already made six senior appearances for TFC and has an assist to his name. He played seven times for TFC II in USL League One.

Lavia is a defensive midfielder who turns 18 in January and has twice made the bench for Premier League matches, making his senior debut in September’s 6-1 defeat of Wycombe in the League Cup’s third round.

The Guardian’s 2015 list of 17-18 year olds included Matheus Pereira, Dayot Upamecano, Manuel Locatelli, Fede Valverde, Dani Olmo, and Christian Pulisic, while 2016 honored Kai Havertz, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Matthijs de Ligt, and Alexander Isak.

Previous honored Americans include (current club in parenthesis):

  • 2015: Pulisic (Chelsea)
  • 2016: Nick Taitague (retired)
  • 2017: Timothy Weah (Lille) and Andrew Carleton (Jicaral Sercoba)
  • 2018: Konrad de la Fuente (Marseille)
  • 2019: Gianluca Busio (Venezia) and Giovanni Reyna (Borussia Dortmund)
  • 2020: Moses Nyeman (DC United)

Santos announces sale of Venezuelan star Soteldo to Toronto FC

Toronto FC
Photo by Silvia Izquierdo - Pool/Getty Images

Has Toronto FC struck gold again in the transfer market?

The club who’s introduced Sebastian Giovinco and Alejandro Pozuelo to Major League Soccer has now agreed to purchase Yeferson Soteldo from Santos in Brazil.

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Reports say the deal is worth around $6 million and that Soteldo agrees a five-year Designated Player contract.

The Venezuelan winger, 23 until late June, spent two-plus seasons in Brazil after a breakout season with Universidad in Chile.

Soteldo scored 18 goals and added 16 assists for Santos, and was Best XI in the 2020 Copa Libertadores where Santos lost the final to fellow Brazilian side Palmeiras.

Santos made no question about the “Why?” of selling the young star, admitting it was about raising the money to allow the club to overcome transfer penalties.

Sixteen-times capped by Venezuela, Soteldo gives Toronto another electric playmaker to combine with currently injured Pozuelo and Jozy Altidore.

This is pretty exciting stuff. You don’t want to typecast diminutive flash players as like-for-like, but there’s more than a little Giovinco to this cat. Let’s see how it goes.

CONCACAF Champions League: Toronto tops Leon; Monteiro’s Union win


Two MLS veterans made a claim for their league in the ongoing trek toward relevance in competition with Liga MX sides when Toronto FC sprung an upset of Club Leon on Wednesday in CONCACAF Champions League action.

And the CCL’s newest pals provided more entertainment, this time stateside, as Philadelphia Union surged past Saprissa.

[ MORE: Klopp reacts to Liverpool exit ]

Philly’s win guarantees at least one American team in the semifinals, as the Union will meet Atlanta United in the next round.

Also advancing Wednesday was Club America, who fell 1-0 to Olimpia but rode their 2-1 away first-leg win into the quarterfinals and a meeting with Portland Timbers.

Toronto FC 2-1 (3-2 agg.) Club Leon

Justin Morrow and Patrick Mullins delivered the goods with Jozy Altidore and Alejandro Pozuelo unavailable, as TFC stunned its Mexican rivals with a 2-1 home win.

Leon out-attempted TFC by a 17-10 margin but didn’t solve six-save Alex Bono until the 80th minute and wouldn’t beat him again.

Toronto gets rewarded with two legs against Cruz Azul, who smashed Haitian tournament newcomers Archaie 8-0.

Philadelphia Union 4-0 (5-0 agg.) Saprissa

Costa Rica wasn’t ready for Cape Verde.

Tubarões Azuis alum Jamiro Monteiro had two goals and two assists as the Union sealed a quarterfinal spot with a dominant performance in Chester, Pennsylvania.

Kacper Przybylko and Anthony Fontana scored off Monteiro assists sandwiched between his brace as Philadelphia built on its 1-0 first-leg lead by putting eight of its 14 shot attempts on target.

Toronto FC star Victor Vazquez reunited with Vanney at LA Galaxy


CARSON, Calif. (AP) The LA Galaxy have signed Victor Vazquez, reuniting the Spanish midfielder and MLS standout with former Toronto FC coach Greg Vanney.

The 34-year-old Vazquez returned to MLS on Wednesday with the Galaxy, who hired Vanney in January. Vazquez agreed to a one-year contract with a one-year option.

Vazquez had two outstanding seasons with Toronto in 2017-18, racking up 18 goals and 26 assists in just 57 appearances while winning the MLS Cup and the Supporters’ Shield. He was named to the MLS Best XI in 2017 while Toronto won the domestic treble.

[ MORE: JPW speaks with Sergino Dest ]

Vazquez subsequently went to clubs in Qatar and Belgium, but the attacking midfielder was not signed to any team when the Galaxy acquired him.

Vazquez will boost the Galaxy’s depth in midfield alongside Jonathan Dos Santos, Sebastian Lletget, Sacha Kljestan and French newcomer Samuel Grandsir.

“He was a top creative player in our league while with Toronto, and he will bring a great deal of leadership to our club both on and off the field,” Galaxy general manager Dennis Te Kloese said.

Vazquez began his career at the famed La Masia academy in his native Barcelona, training alongside the likes of his close friend Lionel Messi, Cesc Fabregas and Gerard Pique in the remarkable Class of ’87.

After injuries limited him to minor appearances for Barca, Vazquez spent five years with Belgium’s Club Brugge and another year with Cruz Azul in Mexico before enjoying the most productive years of his pro career under Vanney in Toronto.

Vazquez must acquire a visa before he can join the Galaxy, who are in preseason training. The five-time MLS Cup champions open the regular season April 18 in Miami, with their home opener on April 25 against the New York Red Bulls.