It took some time to get it done, but Tosaint Ricketts is officially a member of Toronto FC.
The Major League Soccer outfit announced on Wednesday that it has signed Ricketts to a contract after the Canadian forward spent the past few months training with the club. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Ricketts, a 28-year-old native of Edmonton, had been out of contract since parting ways with Turkish team Boluspor over unpaid wages earlier this year—hence his prolonged training stint with the Reds.
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The Canadian international could make his debut this Saturday night when TFC hosts D.C. United at BMO Field.
“We are pleased to add another Canadian international with valuable experience for both club and country,” GM Tim Bezbatchenko said in a released statement.
“Tosaint has trained with the team and has fit in well within the group. We are pleased to get this deal finalized and have him available for selection this weekend.”
Part of the holdup in signing Ricketts was that TFC was waiting for his International Transfer Certificate to arrive from his former club in Turkey. Toronto also had limited salary cap space, but the recent departure of defender Damien Perquis freed up some valuable room.
“I want to thank the whole TFC organization for being patient and working through the obstacles to make this happen. I’m excited to start this new chapter with TFC, in the country that I love,” Ricketts said in a message posted on his Instagram account.
Ricketts has 12 goals in 50 appearances (35 as a starter) for Canada since making his national team debut in 2011.
This will be his first time playing in MLS, having previously turned out for professional teams in Finland, Romania, Norway, Israel and Turkey. During the 2014-15 season, he made 18 appearances and scored one goal before parting ways with Boluspor.
What does his arrival in MLS mean for Toronto FC?
Well, he certainly gives the Reds more depth at the forward position, and in light of the amount of time Jozy Altidore has missed this season because of injury that’s a good thing.
With youngsters Mo Babouli, Jordan Hamilton and Tsubasa Endoh still in the formative portions of their respective careers, Ricketts offers a bit more experience up front, too.
He’s a quick player, and coach Greg Vanney will welcome his pace. Ricketts is also pretty versatile, as he can play as a winger, thus giving the Reds’ attack some much-needed width.
But does Ricketts’ signing fill a void on TFC’s roster or address a serious need? Not so much. In fact, an argument could be made that his arrival might stunt the progress and limit the opportunities of youngsters such as Hamilton and Babouli, who have shown great promise in recent months.
Also on Wednesday, Toronto FC announced it has acquired the Montreal Impact’s highest second round pick in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft in exchange for an international roster spot through the end of 2016.