Benoit Cheyrou’s leadership and experience will be key to helping Toronto FC take the final step after the heartbreaking finish to last season.
Even though Toronto FC declined the option on Benoit Cheyrou’s contract in December, it was always believed he would be back this season. This belief strengthened, when head coach Greg Vanney recently admitted re-signing him was a top priority.
As such, it came as no surprise when it was confirmed on Wednesday, that TFC had agreed a new contract with Cheyrou. The new deal is for two years, with the Reds having a team option for the second year
The Frenchman’s signature cannot be underestimated, especially with the recent departure of fellow midfielders, Will Johnson and Daniel Lovitz. More than that though, is how much his experience and leadership means to Toronto FC.
Speaking to Sportsnet’s John Molinaro and the rest of the media, Vanney said: “He’s a guy who does a number of things for us. He’s very good (in terms of) leadership and working with the younger players, and he and Michael (Bradley) are guys who are in constant communication with the young guys, and sharing their experience.”
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TFC general manager Tim Bezbatchenko backed up his head coach’s words. Speaking to the Toronto Sun‘s Kurt Larson, he said: “Benoit has been an important player for Toronto FC over the past two seasons, and he is part of our core group,”
“His wealth of experience has helped us throughout the season in both the regular season and playoffs in what was a historic year for the club. We are very excited to bring him back to Toronto FC.”
During Cheyrou’s time with the team, he has scored just three goals in 52 total appearances. However, one of those strikes was the game-winner in extra time against Montreal, to send TFC to their first ever MLS Cup final.
In fairness, the 35-year old’s job is not to score goals, with him often being found at the other end of the pitch, in a more defensive position. He will also provide excellent cover, when Bradley is away on international duty.
Overall, the best thing about Cheyrou is the sense of calmness and stability he brings to Toronto FC, whether it’s on or off the pitch. Vanney said: “(The way he carries himself) and the way he goes about his work, it’s always good to have guys like him on your team.
Assuming no one has an issue with TFC re-signing Cheyrou, let’s look at the bigger picture. What are you predicting for the Reds this coming season? Are they destined to finally win the MLS Cup, or do you think they’ll come up short again? Share your thoughts in the comments section.