MLS- Toronto FC

MLS East Notes: Olsen finds his guy, TFC rebuffed by Peralta, and more


If you think D.C. United’s signing of Brazilian 20-year-old Rafael is a move for the future, think again. Not only does the one-year loan suggest the 6-footer will get a real look, head coach Ben Olsen thinks he may have found his true, physical center forward to head his attacking formation.

“I believe in having a hard-working, physical No. 9, and I think he’s all pretty well-rounded in his hold-up game, good in the air, composure in front of goal,” Olsen said in a conference call with local media. “He’s very mature at a young age, but he is young. He’s 20-years-old, so there’s gotta be certain patience we have with him, but I certainly think he has the potential to be a big-time forward in this league.”

Olsen – while also pointing to the youngster’s persistence in the box – made clear his affection for a forward who works both sides of the line and can add that edge and he feels that the club has found just that in Rafael.

Can a 20-year-old bring that in a physical league like MLS? That is the answer that Olsen and everyone involved will be looking for. If he does then D.C. may have find a much needed piece to the puzzle.

On the same call, General Manager Dave Kasper confirmed there is an option to buy and the potential transfer fee has already been agreed. Read the full transcript here.

Here are some more notes from around the MLS Eastern Conference:


Could the Fire have found a diamond in the rough? His name could be Samuel Archer. The former Rutgers striker won a spot in preseason camp through an open tryout, which hosted over 150, to show what he can do. A Queens, NY native, Archer, 23, is not your ordinary, off the street winner. The youngster has been in camp with the Colorado Rapids before and has spent time with the Harrisburg City Islanders and Wilmington Hammerheads of USL Pro.

Will Archer make the opening day roster? Time will tell but one can hope.


Wednesday the Dynamo announced what could be an under the radar signing, bringing forward Cam Weaver back to the club. The tall striker picked up steam late in 2012, thanks to a good run of form in the reserve league and CONCACAF Champions League where he notched 13 goals combined. The success led to important minutes off the bench down the stretch and a hopeful look towards 2013. With over 40 games on the Dynamo’s slate in 2013, Weaver provide quality depth, at the least, alongside club icon Brian Ching.

“We’re going to need a deep team with all the games we’re playing,” the striker told MLSsoccer.com. “You know you’re name’s going to be called at some point during the season, that’s a nice thing to know as a player and is a good motivator.”


Could Dennis Hamlett’s and Mike Sorber’s time with the Montreal Impact be extended? According to a tweet from Impact boss Joey Saputo (@JoeySaputo), who uses social media like few others in the league, the decision is theirs if they want to stay. Here is Saputo’s tweet:

“For the record, both Mike and Dennis were offered other positions in the club, balls in their court.”

Whether either chooses to stay on with the organization is yet to be determined. But one thing’s for sure, things are never boring when it comes to the Impact.


One of the final parts of the Hans Backe era was swept aside recently when midfielder Victor Palsson and the club agreed to part ways. Palsson appeared in only 16 games for the Red Bulls in his brief stint with the club.

Also, if you want to get a glimpse of rumored boss Paulo Sousa check out the film Four-Year Plan, a documentary that follows Queens Park Rangers which covers the potential Red Bull boss’ brief time with the club.


With the news that Graham Zusi’s training has morphed into a trial (is there really a difference?) and Roger Espinoza officially gone, the club would normally be eager to get Benny Feilhaber – who they acquired earlier this off-season from the New England Revolution – integrated immediately. But the club will have to wait, and understandably so, while the newcomer takes care of business in Jurgen Klinsmann’s USMNT camp in California. Until his return the club is content to make due without their new midfielder.

“I’m sure we’ll have time enough to get him acclimated, and we’ll do what we have to to get him indoctrinated into the team,” Sporting boss Peter Vermes told MLSsoccer.com. “I’d be lying if I said it wouldn’t be better if he were there from Day 1, but we’ll work with it.”


Apparently the Hondurans are not invading Toronto. After reports Wednesday had TFC and CD Vida MF Arnold Peralta close to a deal, Walkingthered.com is reporting the player has turned the move down.

According to another report from Honduran outlet La Tribuna (Spanish) personal terms and a transfer fee of $350,000 were agreed to, but it was the 23-year-old midfield bulldog that re-buffed the idea of a move to kill the deal.

In the same report, Director of Team and Player Operations Earl Cochrane said that former wing sensation Joao Plata may need another year of seasoning in either his native Ecuador or another South American venue.

“I think he could do with another year of playing a lot. In this environment that we are trying to create (at TFC) he may not enough playing time. That’s going to be important for him for his development and we’re going to try to find an environment for him to succeed,” Cochrane explained in the story.

Has Olsen found the “right guy”? Is Feilhaber’s missed time a worry? Can Weaver help a Dynamo squad that has to do double duty in CCL? Will Peralta end up in Toronto? Let us know what you think below.

  • DCUnitedWillRiseAgain

    Peralta is a another good Honduran. Every time I see yet another good Honduran, I get more and more worried about the Hex. Honduras is on the verge of establishing themselves as the third big power in CONCACAF


    • jon

      reaching the quarterfinals of the olympics, making the 2010 world cup. honduras is already established


    • Bobb

      You’re right, but we don’t really have reason to worry (aside from Olympic and U-20 qualifying in which only 2 teams make it out of CONCACAF).

      Canada, Jamaica, Costa Rica, and Panama, on the other hand….


  • DCUnitedWillRiseAgain

    On Rafael, I think he just needs to finish little better than Pajoy to be successful ultimately. But I still don’t understand why Olsen doesn’t like Salihi.


    • Helium-3

      From his highlights on Youtube, he seems like a Brazilian version of Will Bruin. Average speed, not overly technical. Time will tell if he is able to deal with the quickness and physical of MLS. As a benchmark, if you remember the beating Santos took from NYRB last year, I was surprised Santos were unable to cope in that game.


      • alex

        That’s an interesting recount of the Santos game.

        Wouldn’t use that as a benchmark. It wasn’t exactly an “A” choice squad even though there was a starter or two in there. Brazil would have been ramping up pre-season at that point. We all know how that goes, MLS teams have knocked off more than a few sides trying to find match fitness. These aren’t exactly games where each side is coming in on equal footing.

        You should watch a few games of the Brazilian league and make your own call about how fast / physical the play is. In my opinion, it’s not as physical but it’s faster and more tricky considering more players can come at you with pace. You also have the added challenge of closing out the attacker under control. Even in the RBNY – Santos game there was an obvious style clash where the MLS side would jump in carelessly and the Brazilians would dance away creating more space.


      • Andrew

        Back to the Santos-RBNY game. Santos may have not had their “A” team on the field, but neither did RBNY. RBNY was also, just finishing pre-season themselves. Now, I’m not saying the Brazilian League is worse than MLS. That’s far from true. But get your facts straight first Alex.


  • WK

    cam weaver must have come cheap, and for good reason. that guy must miss 9 open headers or more for every one he manages to put on frame.


    • ed - houston

      yeah he had that bad luck in mls play as a sub, but he is a tall physical target guy, he did goof for us in CCL though and i know he can hang in mls, he’s a good sub


  • Old School

    Impact Boss tweets: “For the record, both Mike and Dennis were offered other positions in the club, balls in their court.”
    That seems highly unprofessional to me and not “transparent”, “cool” or “new age”.


    • Nate Dollars

      yeah, i was thinking the same thing. granted, i don’t know about their background, but things like wouldn’t really make me want to work with the guy.


    • Bobb

      I agree, apparently when you’re a rich young dude who owns his own team you can just phrase things however you want and be so casual, but he’s talking about people’s jobs here…


  • Brain Guy

    So who’s going to coach RBNY? Did Alexi Lalas overestimate the likelihood that it would be Paulo Sousa? Is McAllister permanently out of the picture? Is there a sleeper American candidate out there? Are Houllier, de Bontin, and Roxburgh locked in a three-way steel cage match for front office supremacy?


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