Top Stories

Toronto FC to introduce DeGuzman today as its first Designated Player

Julian DeGuzman (Getty Images)

Toronto FC will introduce Canadian national team star Julian DeGuzman as the club's first Designated Player at a press conference today in Toronto in a multi-million dollar move that should help TFC make a serious push toward playoff contention.

DeGuzman, 28, joins TFC after a lengthy and successful career in Europe, where he played in Germany and Spain before agreeing to a deal this week to become the club's most high-profile signing since being founded in 2007. He is joining the team on a free transfer and a portion of the money spent to bring him to Toronto FC came from the club's revenue from the sale of midfielder Maurice Edu to Glasgow Rangers last season.

A central midfielder who's vision, skill and tenacity make him a dominating player in the middle, DeGuzman passed up offers in Europe to return to Canada and serve as the new face of a franchise that was still in need of another marquee player. DeGuzman, 28, is the second-youngest DP in league history, with recent Houston Dynamo signing Luis Angel Landin (24) being the youngest.

What's the SBI take? He has the talent to step in and be one of the best, and certainly one of the most influential, central midfielders in MLS. He won't score goals, but his workrate, leadership skills and vision will provide a boost that should help a TFC squad that was lacking a bit of fire in the lineup. The move is a bold one by Toronto FC, to go after a player who is still very much in his prime, a player who still had options in Europe. You can only hope that other MLS teams take notice and attempt similar moves to lure better and younger marquee talent to the league.

TFC currently sits in fifth place in the East, two points out of a playoff spot.

What do you think of this signing? Impressed with Toronto FC's successful push to land the Canadian national star? Think the club should have signed a forward instead? Can you see TFC making the playoffs for the first time in team history?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. @Matt. M – “In his prime, he’d be better than most of the league but Reyna certainly didn’t draw additional fans in the stands or on TV.

    Does Toronto think DeGusman will?”

    Its about winning. Not revenue.

  2. Great signing for reasons mentioned already, but really bad timing – it doesn’t sound like he’ll play Saturday leaving 5 games for him to make an impact – in a new league, new team mates, and on field turf. We still need someone to actually put the ball in the net as well!

  3. TFC failed to address weaknesses up front and in defense, but so what? This is a good signing. For the sake of their solid fan base, I’m hoping they at least get into the playoffs this year and then next year they can hopefully add 1 or 2 more solid players to the squad so we don’t have to see Nick Garcia or Chad Barrett starting anymore.

  4. There is no such thing attenborough. Every team has a DP slot unless they have traded it away.

    I believe what you are referring to is a discovery claim, but thats not relevant here. It is a stupid rule though, very stupid.

  5. Poor league is still about forty “DPs” away from any sort of legitimacy.

    Anyway, does the league still employ that list of teams in order of who gets a shot at the next DP? And if so, where does that stand now?

  6. @Matt M

    I don’t think they are worried about bringing people into the stands. It seems Toronto has that covered.

    I think they are looking for help on the field. They do need help on the field.

  7. Schelotto brought a championship…….those are tangible benefits to one.

    For Blanco, check out the attendances, Chicago has been one of the highest drawing teams since he arrived (this year they might be leading, not sure). Do you think Best Buy would have sponsored the Fire without him? His draw with the Mexican community is huuuuge. Chicago have also consistently been one of the better teams in the league since he arrived.

    But that said JDG does lack a certain star power but Toronto don’t need to draw any more people in the stands, what they need to do is win. Otherwise they wont keep selling out every game.

  8. A good player, no doubt.

    I’m not sure if they need him given that central midfield is already a strong position but you can’t turn down a good player, I guess.

    My grievence against DP’s is that they never actually bring tangible benefits. I think virtually every DP this side of Beckham and Blanco (and I’ve never been certain of Blanco) has failed to bring in additional revenue to match their salaries.

    Obviously, being Canadian, Deguzman’s signing is a coup but I’m not sure what he’s going to accomplish.

    This is kind of the Canadian version of Claudio Reyna (hopefully healthier for Toronto’s sake). In his prime, he’d be better than most of the league but Reyna certainly didn’t draw additional fans in the stands or on TV.

    Does Toronto think DeGusman will?

    Good luck. Hope it works out.

  9. T-O,
    If you read correctly I didn’t say he had zero offers. All I’m saying is he wanted a lot of money and most teams didn’t want to give him that. Toronto did, so I was just saying he probably didn’t get the money he wanted in Europe and that was the only reason he came to Toronto.

  10. Hey guys…

    Correct if I am wrong. When Edu was transferred, I remember TFC management saying that some of that transfer money would be used to get grass for the stadium. So what happened?

  11. Well, you can have the best midfield, but if you don’t have the tactics to take advantage, they will still be a boring team.

    I love the fans at TFC.

    I think they have too much English influence in their game on the field. So, you have De Rosario, De Guzman, and Guevara. Hmm…coached by an English bloke.

  12. Love it. Other MLS teams need to stand up.

    If Toronto can do it, so can the rest of the league. I’m tired of seeing players go to Asia and the Middle East when MLS could have picked them up.

  13. Sounds like a great signing to me. A bit risky, like all DP signings but, he’s still young, and has played a higher level than any other player in MLS (well except for Angel, Lunjberg and Beckham), so how can anyone say it’s a bad signing? As a bonus he’s also Canadian.

    I look at this way; the DP slot is there, any team not using it is wasting it. Let’s be realistic, good DP candidates don’t come around too often. He’s doesn’t fit all the needs that TFC has, but he’s their franchise player that they can build around in the years to come…

  14. Ives, I thought I read an article a week or so ago about him being difficult to work with and therefore he was having issues signing a new deal.
    I thought he already turned down a first TFC deal. Did TFC manage to get him for less money now since other clubs were not trying to sign him as hard as he may have thought they would?

  15. Landin is a DP but not making the huge money you might expect. The talk around Houston is that he is taking up the DP spot because the loan fee + salary put him above the cap. It is likely he is actually making less salary than Ricardo Clark and Ching. I’m not sure of the MLS salary cap rules but that was the scuttle but here in Houston.

  16. Ives, can you do a little more on the back-story behind this move? Why would a 28 year-old, who played well at Deportivo come back at his “prime.”

  17. Right Victor, Julian had ZERO offers even though he’s just 28 and was one of Deportivo’s best players last year, if not their best.


  18. The canadian blogs painted it as he wanted to stay in spain but is getting black balled for talking out and was only getting offers from holland and other leagues on that level.

    But I think this will be interesting for him because in CONCACAF tourneys he seems to get marked out of games by physical play. Maybe this will make him a better player if he stays for a year or 2 and then heads back to europe.

  19. Ives, you say he passed up several offers from Europe. Are you sure about that? I mean he may of passed up some offers but that was probably because they weren’t offering him the kind of money he wanted. So I don’t think he wanted all that much to return back here to play for his Canadian team.

  20. With the low salary cap, you can only sign very few decent soccer players. Teams are forced to fill their rosters with mediocre players since they can’t afford anything else. A few good players plus a ton of bad ones doesn’t necessarily improve the product.

  21. De Guzman can boss the midfield like almost nobody in MLS. He can turn on a dime. He can pass extremely well. Great vision.

    The only negative is that TFC has just 6 games left. If he had come into the team in July, he would have made more of a difference.

    But I guess MLS is so close that anything can happen. If his play in the final 6 games changes a tie into a win, then TFC could be in the playoffs.

  22. You have to love that the two most recent DP’s are a young player and someone in their prime. It would be great to see this trend continue.

  23. Mo is certainly grabbing up all the Canadian talent while he can before he has competition within MLS rules for Canadian national roster spots.

  24. This is an incredible signing for Toronto.

    I fail to understand how Landin became a DP. What were Houston smoking? A striker with 33 goals in 147 games in his career? I’m not saying he wasn’t a good signing, but DP money? It’s a joke.

  25. If you mean he’s not old and slow, then you’re right, he’s no Blanco. Blanco came here from the Mexican league. DeGuzman is coming straight out of La Liga.

  26. Landin is the youngest DP, but I suppose is only on loan, if that makes a difference.

    JDG is Canada’s best player, but not their captain. That’s Stalteri in most circumstances.

  27. The fact that at 28 he is the youngest DP, shows part of the problem with the league, they are attracting players past their prime, we need more players liek DeGUzman or Montero, players in their prime or not yet there. Still a good signing for the league

  28. even though De Guzman isn’t a big name, he’s a huge talent and he’s a great signing for MLS. he’s young, has european experience and a ton of skill. having said that, TFC’s problems lie in the back and front, and this signing will in no way gurantee them a playoff spot.

  29. I thought the Dynamo’s recent signing, Landin, was the youngest signing. Or is he technically not a DP?

    (SBI-He’s technically taking up the DP slot but is in on a loan so it’s a tricky one. I’ll just say Landin is the youngest.)

  30. Somehow, I think TFC will manage to miss the playoffs. Even with the best midfield in MLS…….because that’s who TFC is…..the Cubs/Leafs of MLS.


Leave a Comment