By: Marco D'Onofrio
Two years ago it was Jermain Defoe, Gilberto, and Michael Bradley, last season it was Sebastian Giovinco, Benoit Cheyrou, and Jozy Altidore, this season it’s.. Drew Moor, Steven Beitashour, and Will Johnson?
Having already inked highly coveted free agent, Drew Moor earlier in the week, the team announced two significant trades on Friday. In the morning, they made headlines by confirming that they had reached an agreement with the Vancouver Whitecaps for right back Beitashour.
“The right back position is one we struggled to fill at times this past season due to injury and available personnel and Steven more than fills that void. He is one of the top right backs in MLS,” said Toronto FC General Manager
Tim Bezbatchenko in a club release. “Steven brings valuable league and international experience to our defensive group. We are very happy that he wanted to come to Toronto FC and that we were able to finalize this deal.”
Toronto wasn’t done there though, declaring that they have also acquired the services of Canadian international Will Johnson, in exchange for a conditional second round pick in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft and targeted allocation money. As per club and league policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
While neither Moor nor Johnson will garner global attention like the superstars that TFC signed over the past two years did, they should get the Reds’ fanbase nearly as excited.
Defensively, Moor and Beitashour will immediately come in and make an impact on a team that conceded a league worst 58 goals last season. They will likely both be starters for Greg Vanney come March, with Moor slotting in beside Damien Perquis in the middle, and Beitashour playing right-back.
TFC trading for Johnson may have fans even more excited than either the acquisitions of Moor or Beitashour though, considering he’s a hometown boy and a Canadian international.
“I’m excited to return to my hometown of Toronto and play in front of one of the best fan bases in MLS,” said
Johnson in a club release. “I look forward to this new challenge and cannot wait to meet my new teammates.”
Johnson will provide Toronto with a plethora of experience and can really help this team going forward. Vanney will need to determine what type of shape he wants his team to take and what exactly his preferred formation is though. We saw TFC lineup In a variety of different ways in 2015, something the club will be hoping they can be
more consistent with in 2016.
However, with a midfield that already features Michael Bradley, Benoit Cheyou, Jonathon Osorio, Marky
Delgado, and Collen Warner, the club will likely be shipping out some pieces from BMO Field as well over the next couple of months.
Maybe it’s a bit premature considering the 2015 MLS season didn’t officially end until less than a month ago, but Toronto FC seems to have done it again. Last year, they needed to add core pieces to replace Defoe and
Gilberto, this year they didn’t have to do all that. They needed to bring in important players with MLS experience that can support the team’s superstars. They’ve done that.
With the additions they have already made, it is hard not to see them being crowned the kings of the offseason for the third consecutive season. Although, they will be hoping for better results on the pitch this time around.