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Report: Diego Forlán to be unveiled by Toronto FC this week

Jul 7, 2013, 11:45 PM EST

Uruguay's national football team's forwa Getty Images

If the Toronto Globe and Mail is to be believed, Tim Leiweke is not screwing around with this move to Toronto FC. And as a result, the man who brought David Beckham to Los Angeles may be on the verge of landing the the league’s biggest catch since Thierry Henry touched down in New York. That is if ‘best player at the last World Cup’ is a big enough for you.

According to the report out of Toronto, Uruguayan international Diego Forlán will sign with the Reds this week. The 34-year-old is expected to agree to “a multiyear, multimillion-dollar deal likely in the Thierry Henry range (around $4-million U.S.).”

While Forlán’s had high profile club stints in England, Spain, and Italy, he is best known for his performance at the last World Cup. At South Africa 2010, Forlán won the tournament’s Golden Ball after guiding Uruguay to a surprise semifinal appearance. His five goals were tied for the tournament’s top mark.

At his age, many will speculate how much Forlán has left in the tank, but if recent returns are any indication, this is no Juninho Pernambucano. Forlán has recently worked his was back into a regular role with the Uruguayan national team, his goals against Spain and Nigeria at the Confederations Cup giving him 34 in 102 international appearances. For a player whose ability to stay in shape should never be an issue, Forlán’s recent goal scoring hints his age shouldn’t deter success in Major League Soccer.

At club level, Forlán has played with some of the most renown teams in the world: Argentina’s Independiente; England’s Manchester United; Villarreal and Atlético Madrid in Spain; Internazional in Italy; and Brazil’s Internacional. In 2009-10, he led Atlético to the 2009-10 Europa League title, the honor culminating a three-year stretch at the Vicente Calderon that saw him score 86 goals in 165 all-competition games.

Since moving to Internacional in 2012, Forlán’s accumulated 15 goals in 34 games, though nine of those scores were in the lower-level Campeonato Gaúcho, not the national Brasileirao. His resurgence over the first half of this calendar year has helped make up for a lack of production in last year’s Campeonato, where he scored five times in 19 games.

For Toronto, Forlán could slot in behind Danny Koevermans and Robert Earnshaw as an attacking midfielder or be played in tandem in support of either forward. While his arrival may prove too late to elevate Toronto, 13 points out of a playoff spot, to postseason contention, the prospect of an elite attacker may revitalize fan spirits around BMO Field.

That may the most important part of this deal. For as promising as Toronto’s start was in Major League Soccer, the enthusiasm around the franchise has waned amid the team’s recent failings. No TFC supporter needs to be told about the franchise’s lack of postseason play, but with Leiweke and Kevin Payne willing to go out and get a player of Forlán’s caliber, there should be little debate new management intends the team to be a more entertaining if not more successful one.

According to the Globe and Mail, Forlán could be introduced “Monday or Tuesday” and be available for Toronto’s Saturday game against Sporting Kansas City.

  1. mkbryant3 - Jul 8, 2013 at 12:07 AM

    Love this move. Always thought Forlan would be great for MLS.

  2. jpan007 - Jul 8, 2013 at 12:21 AM

    Great

  3. wfjackson3 - Jul 8, 2013 at 12:29 AM

    I love his game. I hate that he might be available in time for the SKC game.

  4. footballer4ever - Jul 8, 2013 at 12:29 AM

    I don’t doubt Forlan’s footballing skils on the pitch/field. The main concern will be how Forlan will be able to adjust to players who might not be the same quality he used to have around him.

  5. mvktr2 - Jul 8, 2013 at 3:22 AM

    Would be great if one of my fav. players on the world stage became one of my fav. players in MLS.

  6. Omar Ávalos Gallegos - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:29 AM

    Reblogged this on The Santa Ana Sentinel.

  7. dreadpirate82 - Jul 8, 2013 at 12:39 PM

    And now he’s saying he’s not coming? I’d love to see him in KC on Saturday.

  8. inhokewetrust - Jul 8, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    Typical mlse move…when there are problems throw money at it….I do like this move..BUT…and it’s a big BUT..Forland has told Brazilian press that he has had an offer..and gas NEVER agreed to it….imagin that..MLSE’S money doesn’t solve everything…

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