Brazilian midfielder Juninho is reportedly in Southern Ontario to undergo a physical with Toronto FC, as they aim to recover from a poor 2018 season.
There’s no getting around the fact the 2018 campaign was a disaster for Toronto FC. They conceded the fifth-most goals in MLS, on the way to finishing ninth out of 11 teams in the Eastern Conference.
If you’re looking for a silver lining, however, it’s worth noting this is still largely the same roster which won the MLS Cup just a season earlier. While this year was a nightmare scenario for fans, they are just as likely to return to the playoffs next season.
In this respect, the Reds are already taking steps to improve their chances of a more successful campaign next year. As per TSN, Toronto FC are on the verge of bringing in an MLS veteran to strengthen the team.
Originally reported by Joshua Kloke of The Athletic, Brazilian midfielder Juninho is in Toronto to undergo a physical with TFC. While it should be stressed there is no official confirmation the club will sign him, the implication is this will be the eventual outcome.
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Assuming the Red do go ahead and sign Juninho, he will make for an intriguing addition. He has extensive experience of playing in MLS and knows what it takes to succeed, having won three MLS Cups with the L.A. Galaxy.
While not being renowned as much of a goal-scoring threat from midfield, the 29-year-old’s talent in undeniable. He will also provide some excellent depth in the middle of the park, joining the likes of Michael Bradley and Victor Vazquez.
While physicals are a compulsory part of the signing process, Juninho’s will be particularly crucial. As per TSN, he has not played since undergoing arthroscopic surgery in November last year (although he was extremely durable prior to this).
Another factor which will influence signing the midfielder, is his potential earnings. While on loan with the Chicago Fire in 2017, his base salary was $700,008 which, as noted by Charlie O’Connor-Clarke of Waking the Red, puts him in TAM (targeted allocation money) range.
Assuming Juninho passes his physical, we fully expect Toronto FC to sign him. And it should be noted he holds a U.S. Green Card, which means he qualifies as a domestic player for MLS roster purposes.
What is your opinion of Juninho? Assuming Toronto FC do sign him, do you expect the midfielder to be a good addition to the team? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.