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Some interesting names to discuss as Toronto FC declines contract options on several notable veterans

Dec 3, 2013, 10:18 PM EDT

Bobby Convey 2

Toronto FC will be one of the more interesting teams to watch throughout the MLS off-season. (What little of it there is – MLS Cup is this weekend, but we can expect teams to be back into preseason camp by mid-January.) Even before the always-ambitious club reveals its DP dandy, presumably being chased at this very moment, according ot the reports of evocative names we keep reading, the “interesting” is already taking place.

Toronto FC’s list of players whose options were declined includes some names that aren’t necessarily shocking – but would have been at another time.

The list includes former US international Bobby Convey, strikers Danny Koevermans, Robert Earnshaw and Justin Braun and goalkeeper Stefan Frei.

Convey (pictured above), of course, continues to be one of the real head-scratchers of domestic soccer. The guy had so very much potential as he signed at an early age, then moved his promising career to England. After initial success, something went wrong there. Then something kept going wrong, whether through attitude or performance decline or whatever, as he sent from San Jose to Kansas City to Toronto. And now to … well, who knows?

Koevermans was hitting goals at a prolific rate when he initially arrived into BMO, but a big injury last year turned into a long rehab this year, and his 2013 campaign never achieved liftoff. At age 35, he’s probably done.

Stefan Frei was among the league’s top ‘keepers from 2009 to 2011, the unquestioned  starter during that time around BMO Field. But his is a cautionary tale of how injurious a serious injury or two can be to a career. He never regained his started spot after season ending surgery very early in 2012. And now he’s a “former TFC” man.

Braun is a big, fairly fast and hard-trying striker who just cannot seem to find the right place. If he could improve technically just a bit, he would easily find a home. As it is, the once-promising American will soon be on his fifth MLS team in five years … if someone bites this time, that is.

And finally there is Earnshaw, one of the real surprise stories of MLS in March and into April. But injuries and general Toronto FC-ness caught up with the Welsh striker, who faded right along with the team.

  1. jrocknstuff - Dec 3, 2013 at 10:29 PM

    Is there honestly any chance in the known universe that this club lands Jermaine Defoe in the upcoming transfer window?

  2. hildezero - Dec 4, 2013 at 12:05 AM

    Yeah, because Toronto didn’t resign those notable veteran players that is mentioned.

  3. jrocknstuff - Dec 4, 2013 at 4:43 AM

    I still can’t see it. I’d rather play only Europa Leaue matches for Spurs than be the best player in MLS. And he will be the best player in MLS. What Defoe can offer right now is still greater than that of Henry, Keane, Magee or what have you. Regardless, grabbing him would be a massive coup for the league. There wouldn’t be nearly as much noise made as when Dempsey came over, but he’d be a much bigger get. I just can’t see it happening. Him or Azpiliqueta.

  4. mdac1012 - Dec 4, 2013 at 8:58 AM

    Defoe could come to MLS and still remain in the EPL until the end of the season on loan. With that said, I still think there are teams in the EPL that would want Defoe on a permanent transfer and could guarantee him playing time, which is what he is looking for.

    If he does come to MLS though, his National Team career will be effectively over.

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