By DAN KARELL
When new President and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Tim Leiweke promised to help turn Toronto FC’s fortunes around, most didn’t think it would come as soon as July.
According to reports in Canada, Leiweke, who helped bring David Beckham and Robbie Keane to the Los Angeles Galaxy, is set to complete the signing of Uruguayan forward Diego Forlan to a designated player contract with TFC, rumored to be around $4 million per season, which would make him one of Major League Soccer’s top earners instantly.
If the deal happens, it would be a massive coup for the Canadian club that has struggled mightily under new head coach Ryan Nelsen, sitting towards the bottom of the Eastern Conference for the second year running. However, Forlan’s signing should breathe new life into the club as they embark on a more positive second half of the season.
Though he is 34-years old, Forlan showed last month that he can still perform at a high level, as his Uruguay side finished in fourth place at the Confederations Cup in Brazil last month.
The former Manchester United, Villarreal, and Atletico Madrid player has slowly turned his fortunes around after a tumultous 12 month at Inter Milan, signing for Brazilian side Internacional in Porto Alegre, helping lead the club to the Rio Grande du Sol state championship this spring. On Sunday, Forlan played 78 minutes in a 5-3 victory over Vasco Da Gama, scoring a first-half goal.
Forlan was the star of the 2010 World Cup, earning the Golden Ball, awarded to the best player of the tournament, having scored five goals as his nation finished fourth in South Africa.
TFC currently have Dutch forward Danny Koevermans and Argentine midfielder Matias Laba as their other two designated players.
What do you think of this news? Do you believe Forlan can lift TFC into a playoff spot? Surprised that Forlan would go to Toronto? Not buying it until Forlan is on the field in a Toronto FC uniform?
Share your thoughts below.
Diego Forlan is awesome. He is still an outstanding player and has a lot to offer. We would be lucky to have him!!!!!! Hope he comes to TO!
Diego Forlan is awesome. He is still an outstanding player and has a lot to offer. We would be lucky to have him!!!!!! Hope he comes to TO
Well, ever since Mexican first division rebrand to LigaMX (just what MLS needs). LigaMX and MLS have been battling for the same Dps behind close doors in a way, since LigaMX wants to follow MLS blueprint and be like MLS. LigaMX wants every team to have 2 to 3 players, with a Becks background or Therry background. LigaMx has also implemented that every stadium should be at least 18,000 seats and that every stadium should sell over 15,000 tickets a game. LigaMx has also said, their teams need new stadiums and sponsors, in order to attract DPs like MLS.
Their biggest change was to division2, Liga de Acennso, that is that, every team that is promoted must have a 18,000 seat stadium with proper parking, security and concessions, if not they will be relocated or sold to another market.
So expect LigaMX to copy MLS with future moves, since LigaMX is now after MLS. Thats why I think MLS should do some reverse psychology and rebrand to NAPL North american premier league or NAPS North America Premier Soccer.
Yep…just by changing the name mls will all of a sudden be leaps and bounds better. Great idea! Sarcasm…thick….gun in mouth….
great signing, but it takes 11 men. Feel sorry for him won’t be able to shine without the service.
Whether the rumors happen or not, I love these posts, because the MLS haters start to come out in droves.
Messi signs tomorrow, he will be labeled as past his prime and he didn’t have a great year last year.
no matter some of the hate, this is a good move. the guy can play. sure, he’ll fit the stereotype of the retiree, but as we all saw at the Confeds Cup, he would bring a lot of quality with him.
First, I’ll believe it when I see Forlan wearing a TFC shirt on the field.
Second, for all you nay sayers look at Montreal to see how top International Players have helped them.
Finally. Who is Forlan going to pass the ball to in the last 10 minutes of the game when most of the players think the game is over?
I read that he promised Queretaro first dibs after his contact runs out with Porto Alegre, if the club is still interested.
Why would he sign for Queretaro?
Hmm, there’s quite a lot of denial coming from him and Internacional.
Yes, not happening according to espn. Makes sense. No way Forlan moves to MLS in a WC year. It would hurt his chances of making the squad.
Forlan is great. Maybe not as great as he was in 2010. But when you look at his career it’s really hit or miss. Depends on how he fits in with the team. At Man Utd he had 10 goals. At Inter he had 2. At other clubs he was a star. At Internacionalin Brazil now, he’s on fire with 19 goals in 37 games. Time will tell. $4M seems like a lot for a guy who runs hot and cold and is 34. Ya know???
How the duck did that not get moderated.
lol, now Forlan is denying the transfer!
Greedy old player
Forlan and friends (10 random guys ).
“…Tim Leiweke promised to help turn Toronto FC’s fortunes around, most didn’t think it would come as soon as July.”
Yah, sure Timmy is really turning them around by July. They have a solid lock on not being the worst team in the league. He could have them up at two from the bottom before July is out.
Diego Forlán is a partial shell of the player he was three years ago in the Copa do Mundo.. His production at Internacional in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil has been marginal. His play during the Confederations Cup did not look good either. His penalty shot during that tournament was one of the weakest penalty shots I’ve ever seen. He appeared slow, tired, and quite frankly looked like he was 34 years old! Because Forlán does have some skill, albeit that of a 34 year old, he might be worth US $1M as a marketing tool, but he is definitely not worth the $4M salary that is being discussed.
Yeah, because 13 goals in 17 games is marginal production.
Great player. Classy guy. If here’s anywhere near 2010 form it’s an amazing signing. I didn’t see any Uruguay games in the Confed Cup. Did Forlan play much? Did he play well?
Great signing for tfc, glad to have him in the league. Age might be an issue down the road but right now he is a warrior. TFC slowly returning to legitamacy.
I honestly don’t believe that we were ever legitimate.
Great signing though, Forlan has always been one of my favourite players. I don’t like signing older players but he is real quality.
Surprise me this does
Strong is the force with you
This is big news for Toronto and MLS. Nice pickup Toronto. Use him well.
Great coup for Toronto and the league. He still has some years in him.
Here in Brazil, his nickname is Doña Florinda, from “El chavo del ocho” !!!
And in argentina when he played at independiente before moving to europe his nickname was “cachabacha” means “crazy witch” because of his hair. Whenever I watch a game with him on it from an argentine channel they still call him that….haha Great nicknames all around though.
No question Forlan rocks… but how much difference will 1 player make on such a crap team?
Galaxy fans sure miss having Tim Leiweke around. AEG screwed the pooch.
I thought Uruguay won forth place and not third….anyhow, now TFC will be a good game to go to when they come to Frisco!!
You don’t win fourth place. You lose third and end up fourth.
I’m disappointed. I was enjoying watching the abysmal failure of British EPL, Championship League, and SPL players in the MLS.
Heard about this yesterday couldn’t believe it like a Justin Bieber concert at first, buuuut hope he pairs up well eith Earnshaw.
like a Justin Bieber concert? What?
Apparently you are not a belieber
If by “Belieber” you mean older than 12, then yes.
Their fan base deserves a winner
Why does their fanbase “derserve a winner?”
Because they show up and cheer on the team despite sucking for their entire existence.
Because they’ve never made the playoffs in their history — since 2006 — and have endured trials and travails like poorly timed ticket increases and last day eliminations, yet somehow have attendance in the high teens, used to be routinely over 20K. Chivas has been in the postseason wilderness far less time and they are imploding fanwise and down to 8800 fans a game.
Forlan will be a good player for them. I don’t expect him to dominate because the physicality of MLS will take a toll on a 34 year old but he should still be super solid.
Um. What r they going to do with Earnshaw. He’s the same type of player, just not nearly as good. Has Forlan ever played in midfield? I could see him at the apex of a diamond midfield, but almost nobody used that anymore. My guess is Earnshaw will have to go. If he can still do it, this will be great for the league. Fun player to watch!
Why would you get rid of a 6 goals for $150K forward like Earnshaw in favor of a who knows if he’s ever back Koevermans, no goals for $1 million-plus? TFC has a weird thing about mediocre lunk forwards like Dichio, they act like they’re the greatest thing ever.
But more precisely, I’d ask how close TFC is even to the cap, they’ve traded or released some veterans already this season. They may not have to move anyone, or at least anyone substantial. If I could keep all 3 I would.
Dichio was incredible for TFC
id also argue that Earnshaw and Forlan are not hte same type of player
Thanks for the info. Didn’t know Earnshaw was that cheap. Really hope Forlan still has a bit more magic still left in him. Kudos to the management for giving the fans a bit of a return for their devotion. I’m certainly eager to watch him.
Just don’t let Forlan take the penalties.
Amazing what good club management can do.
I definitely think that Tim Leiweke and Kevin Payne have the potential to put together some big players (i.e. Forlan – whom Tim was chasing for LA). You just have to hope for TFC’s fans sake that Ryan Nelson has a steep learning curve on how to coach a team with big names on it.
Forlan was linked with us (DC) for months near the end of Payne’s tenure. I can imagine he “brought” Forlan with him. So p*ssed. Forlan is exactly what we need. Him and a half-creative, passing central midfielder to actually get him the ball.
Money too holmes!
This is awesome! love this player, should help out Toronto tremendously