Toronto FC's Stevanovic battles for the ball with DC United's McCarty during the first half of their MLS soccer game in Toronto

With Toronto FC’s blockbuster signing of two bona fide Good Players in Jermain Defoe and Michael Bradley, it’s important to remind everyone just how far this club has progressed. What follows, in no particular order, is a list of previous players that a single football club actually employed.

Collin Samuel

Toronto FC's Collin Samuel  fights for the ball with Real Salt Lake's Matias Mantilla during their MLS soccer match in Toronto

Signed in 2007 by Mo then Toronto FC and Scottish wheeler n dealer GM Mo Johnston, apparently his 14 goals in 116 collective appearances as a striker for Dundee United were enough for Toronto to sign a cheque. Predictably, Samuel didn’t magically improve as a footballer, scoring three goals in 19 league matches. He was released in April 2008.

Johann Smith

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Remember this guy? I sure don’t. Anyway, the three time Bolton loanee decided to move a little closer to home (Hartford) in 2008 and ended up in Toronto, where in 14 leavue games a player who is identified as a forward slash winger scored zero goals, to add to his career league goal tally of one. When a player is released by Gary Megson, alarm bells should be ringing. Pictured: actual Youtube comments from his one and only highlights vid.

Pablo Vitti

Toronto FC mid-fielder Vitti falls between Real Madrid forwards Raul and Diarra during their international soccer friendly match in Toronto

Picked up on loan from Independiente, Vitti came with a solid rep in Argentina, which was based on hope I guess? Hope. And national stereotyping. Vitti managed to score twice in 26 league appearances in 2009. He was a good dribbler, on occasion.

Ali Gerba

Toronto FC forward Ali Gerba falls trying to score against C.A. River Plate of Argentina goalkeeper Daniel Vega during their MLS soccer friendly match in Toronto

The Cameroonian-Canadian forward played for approximately 600 clubs before winding up at Toronto FC, where his Canadian pedigree and ten goals the preceding three seasons convinced fans he’d be able to piece together a decent season for TFC in 2009. Nope. Eleven league appearances, one goal. In a loss. In very Toronto FC fashion however, he scored 15 for Montreal in the next two seasons.

Alen Stevanovic

Well, he sure seemed to mean well. And there was excitement—look, here’s an entire video dedicated to the man’s arrival!—and then it all kind of came apart, with Stevanovic often failing to break into the first team to make a big impact and then playing selfishly when he was on the pitch.

Laurent Robert

Oh god. Laurent. Robert. Probably the single most frustrating player I’ve ever watched in my entire life. Who did he play before joined TFC? 2007-2008 Derby County. The Derby County that was relegated in March. The Derby County for which he played FOUR TIMES. God DAMMIT.

Max Urruti

Kevin Payne’s boy! He’d been aware of him for two years at Newell’s Old Boys! Finally bagged him! Went to Portland FC immediately!

Mista

Ooh, this is a hard one. Although some in these parts believed he was woefully misunderstood by an organization with a pretty poor track record in player development and coaching (see Jeff Cunningham’s post TFC numbers), Mista plain sucked for TFC where he played 9 league games in 2010 under Preki.

Joseph Nane

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I think I will defer to his succinct Wikipedia entry heading under Career, Professional:

Joseph was drafted in the fourth round (53rd overall) of the 2010 MLS SuperDraft by Toronto FC. Joseph signed a developmental contract with Toronto FC on April 5, 2010.

Joseph made his professional debut on April 10, 2010 in a game against New England Revolution.

Joseph was traded to Colorado Rapids on November 30, 2010 in exchange for a third-round selection in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft.

Nane was released by Colorado on November 16, 2012. He entered the 2012 MLS Re-Entry Draft and became a free agent after going undrafted in both rounds of the draft.

Raivas Hscanovics

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Another Preki guy in 2010, Hscanovics couldn’t really do anything necessary to play football well.

Comments (6)

  1. Preki had so much success at Chivas USA, but really sorta killed any sliver of hope or optimism possessed by TFC fans.

  2. Oh man Raivas looks creepy in that picture.

  3. Joseph Nane doesn’t deserve to be on this list.

    How about FREDDDY FUCCKKING HALL!

  4. How could you not have de Guzman on this list? The club had to bring in another defensive holding mid DP to be the “midfield leader” Winter wanted. De Guzman’s 3 1/2 cap full DP cap hit affected the ability of the club to sign a real CB leadership to go with Frings and Koevermans. And the CB bust that Winter ended up signing?? Aceval. How does he not make the list?

    Nane gets on this list because his agent was Preki’s brother.

    • De Guzman’s impact on the team is debatable, that’s why he’s not on this list. There’s also no way that he made it impossible to sign a center back. While we had De Guzman we signed a right back to a ridiculous salary, and now with 3 (4?) DPs we still have Caldwell at CB, so it proves it’s possible (as did Omar Gonzalez at LA). I think the funnier CB blunder signing than Aceval is the guy that was signed at the same time as him. Caceido! He got scared in practice and went home before the first pre-season game.

      • Not even close to “debatable.” He was a classic role player, only as good or as bad as the form the rest of the journeymen around him. He, like the rest of those journeymen, got better once Frings and Koevermans arrived on the scene. He, like the rest of those same journeymen, floundered when Frings went down with injury and Koevermans struggled for fitness and form and then the club set a league record for futility to start a season. And after getting moved to Dallas (where he and his mates benefitted from the return to fitness of MVP Davide Ferreira and went on a good run of form) he spent most of his interview times settling old scores. Never accepted any responsibility, never showed any leadership.

        Not worth a DP cap hit. As the title of this piece states, that also a clear cut definition of “underwhelming.”

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