Rumor: According to multiple reports coming out of Argentina, former Toronto FC forward Lucas Janson could make a possible return. Toronto FC are currently struggling finding another forward/midfielder to replace Victor Vazquez & Giovinco. They have signed Pozuelo but are still in need of another forward/midfielder. Lucas Janson previously joined Toronto FC in a short term loan appearing in 11 matches and scoring 4 goals. Now apparently Toronto FC are interested in bringing the 24-year-old forward from Argentine club Tigres.
Alejandro Pozuelo joined Toronto FC on March 4 2019. Pozuelo joined Toronto FC after 4 successful years in Belgium’s first division with K.R.C Genk. Pozuelo is currently seen as Giovinco’s replacement, he has so far successes in impressing the league. Pozuelo currently has 4 goals and 4 assists in 281 minutes, roughly 3.1 games in his first season with the team. It took Sebastian Giovinco 791 minutes, roughly 8.79 games to score 4 goals and assist 4 times in his first season. Pozuelo has already succeeded much more with Toronto FC than what Giovinco has in their first 4 games with Toronto FC. Was Pozuelo a good replacement for Giovinco? Will he have a bigger impact for Toronto FC than Giovinco?
Written By: Kamil Kartel
After coming back from a tough close game against Seattle Sounders. Toronto was back at home on familiar turf, well not so familiar as last nights game was the debut of the new state of the art SIS Hybrid pitch, the same pitch that is used in all the biggest stadiums for the biggest clubs around the world second of its kind in North America.
Toronto FC was back at home on a brand new pitch; it was a wet and cold night in Toronto with Toronto going with their 4-2-3-1 formation that Greg Vanney has been experimenting this year with DeLeon and Osorio playing the wings with pozuelo playing that CAM maestro position right behind Jozy Altidore. Ciman and Mavinga got the start as well as Richie Laryea getting the start back at RB. Auro on the other hand after missing the past two games due to injury precautions was back in the fold on the bench.
The game started very dominate with Toronto FC attacking early with Minnesota holding back in defence and playing the counter-attack which Toronto FC have been very weak to defend throughout this season. Again this was at fault as Minnesota strike first in the 17th minute with a counter-attack goal by Columbian international Darwin Quintero, mistake by Bono as he was too slow to react to the ball coming up resulting in Quintero to easily slot the ball into the net and the Reds were now down 1-0 early in the match.
Bono has not been having the comeback season he was anticipating to have after a terrible season last year in 2018. Alex Bono has been having troubles to make saves when he is out of his line. Which has been seen consistently so far this season? Also, last night was no exception. After the first goal, Toronto played a more attacking formation with Pozuelo playing up almost as that second striker; this was effective as the Spaniard played very well while holding the ball and making those crucial through balls as well as playing it shortly.
Pozuelo came alive just ten minutes after the first goal after an excellent clearance by Chris Mavinga. Pozuelo had possession and was on a breakaway with Jozy to his right making the run, Pozuelo decides to run with it with one defender on him he decides to sidestep over the ball creating space to his right. He decides to plant his foot and takes the finesse shot with his right foot as the goalie had no chance of saving it and Toronto were now tied up 1-1 in the 28th minute.
Now Toronto was back into the game with Pozuelo on fire he decides to stay up top. With less than 2 minutes after the first goal Justin Morrow had a breakthrough on the left wing with Pozuelo on his right he passes it to him, dribbles the ball gets his shot up in no time left foot banger from the far post there was no way the keeper was saving that and Toronto now had the lead in the 28th minute with Toronto FC up 2-1 going into the second half. Pozuelo currently holds the record for fastest player to score two goals in TFC history beating Jozy Altidore.
In the second half, Minnesota played very desperately as Toronto felt too comfortable on the ball resulting in many turnovers and Minnesota being able to make easy plays on our defence. We were caught off guard as Ciman in the 57th Minute failed to mark Rodriguez resulting in a free header and Minnesota was now tied up at 2-2
Toronto FC were now the ones that were playing desperately as they failed to score and make the final pass to Jozy Altidore. As Jozy throughout the game even though he was very consistent this season has been quiet this match and was not able to find the ball and also thought he had some good chances last night he was not able to finish the play.
Moreover, to top it all off in the 70th minute of the match Minnesota gets taken down in the penalty box by a bad challenge by Chris Mavinga resulting in Darwin Quintero to bag his second goal of the game and get Minnesota the lead late in the match as they led 3-2.
Toronto now down late in the match 3-2 are desperately looking for solutions to come back. However, Minnesota dropped everyone back and was defending their lead vigorously. Until the 73rd minute, Greg vanney makes a tactical change as he subbed out DeLeon and brings in Jordan Hamilton as a forward option as vanney changes formation to comfort both Jozy and Hamilton up top.
In the 77th minute of the match, the new substitute Jordan Hamilton just 4 minutes into coming into the game was fed a beautiful through ball by Jonathan Osorio, Hamilton made no mistake finessing it with his right foot, and Toronto was now tied up 3-3.
Toronto now full attack mode was full on engaging with their forwards and were connecting thread passes successfully and effectively. In the 79th minute just two minutes after Hamilton's first goal, Pozuelo feeds a ball to Jozy. Jozy now one on one chips the keeper but the ball was too slow, and Hamilton was right there at the right time to head the ball into the net for his second goal of the game, Toronto was now back in the lead 4-3.
In the 82nd minute, Jozy drops to the pitch and is immediately escorted out of the field and straight into the locker room. He was subbed off for Zavaleta with an apparent hamstring scare.
Minnesota who is frustrated by their poor performance took their anger out on the Toronto players as both Gregus and Minnesota's captain Calvo got red carded in the 89th minute and 90+1minute.
Toronto would end up coming up with all three points in the end as the final score was 4-3, this marks Toronto's 4th win this season placing them 2nd in the east with two games in hand. Toronto will now face off against western conference bottom dweller Portland Timbers next week on Friday, April 29.
One thing I will say about this match is that Toronto even though Pozuelo and our attack are dominant and one of the best in MLS currently, our defence is lacking big time, with both our keepers and defensemen looking very out of place and disorganized. I believe Toronto has the capabilities to have the best defensive record in MLS; the talent is there with Ciman and Mavinga at the centre. However, if they cannot get settled in soon, the team will suffer this season in conceding goals. Alex Bono even though he has the talent to become an elite goalie in MLS, with the mix of bad luck and wrong decision making it is not helping him to get better.
What Bono most do, to be honest, is to relax on the bench for a while and get his stuff in check, as he has proven this season that 2018 is still haunting him and he needs to relax and gather himself mentally and prepare himself for the season ahead of him. If Vanney can do that, then Bono can come back to the lineup eager to start and eager to get back to that starting role.
Either way, in the end, we got the win, and a win is a win does not matter how you get it, 3PTS is all that matters.
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Toronto FC vs Minnesota United - April 19, 2019
Written By: Kamil Kartel
Today Alejandro Pozuelo was introduced to the media and Toronto fans at BMO Field as the event was live streamed on the Toronto FC website. The 28-year-old Spaniard had many things to say to Toronto, and it is fans as he started by saying "Thank you to my wife, my family and agents. I am very happy to be here."
Pozuelo who arrived at Pearson airport on Friday was greeted like a champion as many TFC supporters made the trip to greet the new DP and welcomed him with open arms.
Michael Leach- 680 News Morning Show
Pozuelo is coming off a full season with GENK in the Jupiler League in Belgium, where he led his team to the top of the standings as he was the best player on the team as well as their captain.
He got much praise for his ability to see passes and execute them with a spot on precision, as he is very technical with the ball. Greg Vanney praised him today stating "Alejandro is an attacking player first and foremost. He will play close to Jozy and help us a lot in terms of setting up our attacks in the final phase. He can finish plays off in different ways."
Pozuelo will be a real focal point for the years coming for Toronto, as he will become the actual number 10 maestro that Toronto has been craving all season long. He will come in as a replacement to Victor Vazquez. However, he could also play up right behind Jozy as that second striker role, he can shoot with both feet and has the skill to shoot from far out and pass 40-yard dimes on the spot all while not breaking a sweat.
He is a player similar to Vazquez's position. However, he is younger, better and less injury prone than Vazquez. He can play full 90 min matches all while giving his best on the field. He is a leader on the field and off the field and will bring that Spanish flair to the attack that could help out tremendously as well as wow the fans at BMO.
Today at the press conference Pozuelo was asked about MLS and what attracted him to play here, especially since he got a pretty big deal from Saudi Arabia and China, similar to Giovinco and what recently happened in January. However, like Seba, Pozuelo thought about his family and what kind of life they would want. He turned down all other offers from Saudi and China. He talked to his wife, and his wife did not like the idea of moving to a country that supported the unfair treatment of women (Saudi Arabia) as well as the quality of life in China.
He also stated that he has been following (MLS) and how the league has grown over the years, he firmly believes that (MLS) would be a big league in the coming years "I have seen the league and how it has grown. I think it can be one of the best in the world in four or five years."
Toronto FC plays NYCFC this Friday the 29th at BMO Field, where Pozuelo is determined that he will make his debut. Whether it be on the bench or even on the XI one things for sure is that Pozuelo will be involved in Friday's game, and all we are hoping is that he could make an immediate impact in the game and hopefully continue his form as he is currently in form and eager to get going.
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Watch the whole press conference here
Toronto FC Full Press Conference
Written By Kamil Kartel
After coming off a tremendous 3-1 win away in Philadelphia, all without 2 DP's Toronto were now back home for their home opener against New England Revolution and looked to go undefeated this season winning their first two games of the season. Jozy Altidore who was injured during a majority of last season and most of this offseason was back in the 18 last night with him looking to make his season debut at home and sought to make a significant impact on the field.
With Vanney going with a very traditional 4-4-2 formation he placed his firepower on top with a very young striking pair of Jordan Hamilton and Ayo Akinola. After both having a great offseason and a great first couple games in the CCL they looked to have their big moment during last nights game, and they have indeed done that with both getting a goal each and Akinola scoring his first MLS career goal. Akinola only 19 years old has played for the USMNT at the U19 level and for sure will try to impress this season as he tries to make his way up to the senior team.
Ayo played very mature last night and had arguably his best game in a TFC jersey as he scores on his first MLS start as he tied up the scoring after Toronto Conceded first, early in the game after Chris Mavinga Fouled Teal Bunbury from behind as Charles Gil converted the penalty in the 8th min. it was 1-1
Right before halftime, Toronto converted another goal as Chapman was there to cross the ball low into the box where Hamilton was there for the tap in. Later there was much scepticism about the pass to Chapman leading to the goal was offside, with the ref even hesitating a little bit to call it, however even though Chapman was indeed in an offside position, it still caught the toe of defender Antonio Delamea Mlinar cancelling out the offside.
Toronto was now up 2-1 going into the half.
During the second half, Toronto brought in Laurent Ciman and changed formations to more of a 3-5-2 as Vanney has players like Auro and Morrow who were pushed up and controlling that wing as well as their respected sides of the field. The thing is with this formation, is that you need players with pace who can run back to defence and be able to run up and down the sideline the whole time. Auro and Morrow proved that they are more than capable of doing that job and were playing very well in their respected positions.
After a mistake by Ciman, it led to the buildup where the Revs caught us off guard and led to Charles Gil to take a shot that looked like it was deflected by both Auro and Moor, ultimately resulting in the Revs to tie it up in the 52nd minute of the match it was now 2-2.
After that goal, it was all Toronto. As they dominated the Revs throughout this whole match and looked like they were going to score any minute, the only problem was that there were so many chances, but no one could've finished, until the 68th minute of the match, Vanney takes out Hamilton and puts on Jozy Altidore, for his first taste of MLS this season. Without Sebastian Giovinco, there were a lot of speculations and questions as to how Jozy will play and what kind of position Vanney will put him this season. Most likely he would be the big target man in the middle, who is always hanging onto the last defender and just waiting for the ball. Last night he did just that as we saw Jozy playing with the wings fairly well-making passes and getting into excellent attacking positions all while creating space for others around him to pass the ball.
Jozy makes his dream comeback a reality as the big man scored the winning goal in the 80th minute even though it was a tap in. The buildup leading to the goal was insane with Michael Bradley feeding a brilliant pass to Morrow on the left side who crossed the ball into the middle. Great job by Ayo to lead the defenders on as the ball was placed directly into Jozy's feet. As all he did was finish the ball nicely for the well-deserved win and a brilliant way to the start the season as Toronto is now sitting third in the east with a game in hand, and winning all games so far, while also scoring 6 goals in two games.
They finish the Match winning 3-2, and the man of the match was Nick Deleon, as he had a fantastic night with very minimal mistakes.
In my own opinion, I believe Toronto is still a playoff team and are 1-2 pieces away from being a title contending, team. With the recent addition of Alejandro Pozuelo who is coming to MLS in the prime of his career the same way Giovinco did back in 2015, looks to make a massive impact in this league and will look to bolster Toronto's creative midfield gap that was left behind with the recent departures of Victor Vazquez and Sebastian Giovinco. I believe Pozuelo does have the capability to do something amazing to this team and will for sure be a maestro and class player that will orchestrate attacks and be that creative number 10 player that we so desperately need. Pozuelo will join the team this week after finishing the Belgium league with Genk where he was their captain and best player on the team. He led them to the Europa League as well as a first-place finish this year all while being the best player on the team and nominated for Belgium league player of the year.
If Pozuelo can hit the ground running and continue his same form, don't be surprised by the end of the season if he is nominated for Newcomer of the year or even league MVP. As long as Jozy stays healthy and I think he will they could end up being one of the best duos in MLS this season. Toronto will be one scary team this season, and a group that many teams in MLS shouldn't take lightly, and especially a team to look out for this season.
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Official: Pozuelo has officially signed for Toronto FC and will be joining the club as their 3rd DP which was left by Sebastian Giovinco. Pozuelo was rumored to join for about a month but Genk was refusing to let go of their best player. Finally a deal was reached and Pozuelo will be joining Toronto for the upcoming season. Toronto FC have been looking for a Victor Vazquez & Sebastian Giovinco replacement ever since they left the club. The Spanish 27-year-old has previously played for Real Betis, Swansea City, Rayo Vallecano, and most recently Genk.
BREAKING: Toronto FC have signed USMNT Striker Jozy Altidore to a contract extension through the 2022 season. The 29-year-old had Seven Goals in 13 Appearances for TFC in 2018.
Toronto FC have officially been eliminated from the CONCACAF Champions League against Panamanian side Independiente F.C. with an aggregate score of 5-1. Thanks to a 4-0 loss away in the first leg & a 1-1 draw in the second leg. This was one of the most shocking and devastating losses for Toronto FC. Toronto FC did lose their key players Sebastian Giovinco & Victor Vazquez this current transfer window. Toronto FC are still yet to sign their replacements for the upcoming season. The Panamanian side will move on to the next round while Toronto FC will now have to focus on their upcoming MLS match this weekend.
Toronto FC lost their first CONCACAF Champions League game against Panamanian side Independiente F.C. 4-0. They made it all the way to the finals last year and losing in penalties against Tigres. This was one of the most shocking and devastating losses for Toronto FC. Toronto FC did lose their key players Sebastian Giovinco & Victor Vazquez this current transfer window. Toronto FC are still yet to sign their replacements for the upcoming season. Next game will be against the same team but instead at BMO Field.
Rumor: According to an inside source, Toronto FC currently have Alejandro Pozuelo as a potential target for a DP contract. Toronto FC have been looking for a Victor Vazquez & Sebastian Giovinco replacement ever since they left the club. The Spanish 27-year-old has previously played for Real Betis, Swansea City, Rayo Vallecano, and most recently Genk.