Pinto leaves Portugal, to sign with TFC?

September 15, 2009, 6:30 AM

Sportsnet.ca — Joao Pinto has reportedly terminated his contract with SC Braga, and according to sources the Portuguese international will sign with Toronto FC on Monday.

The 36-year-old Pinto was in Toronto as late as Thursday for a training session, but issues with Braga over the training schedule and a gap in contract expectations ended the session early. Pinto currently makes around 350,000 Euros ($500,000 US) and the MLS maximum for non-designated players is $325,000 US.

Midfielder Carl Robinson is the top earner on TFC at $315,000 US. It is uncertain whether or not the three-time Portuguese player of the year will receive designated player status.

Pinto notched two goals in 24 appearances in helping Braga reaching fourth place last season.

Perhaps his most notable act came at the 2002 World Cup, when the forward was given a straight red for striking Argentine referee Ángel Sánchez in the third game of the group stage. Pinto was suspended for six months and was subsequently dropped from the national team.

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