A massive coup for the MLS has just been confirmed by the Toronto Star. English and former Tottenham Hotspur striker Jermain Defoe, 30, has signed for Toronto FC.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. His Salary Details Are Yet to be Released
Toronto source: Working on Defoe announcement for Monday. On interest in Michael Bradley: "That would be the greatest day ever in MLS."
— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) January 8, 2014
2. He Wasn’t a Starter at his Last Team
He had struggled to get into the team at his former club Tottenham Hotspur in the EPL. Since the summer, Defoe had mainly been used in the club’s Europa League games. In December, he became the team’s all-time highest European goalscorer. At the time of writing he is Tottenham’s all-time fifth highest goalscorer with 139.
3. Defoe Was ‘Bowled Over’ When Drake Reached Out to Him
According to earlier reports, rapper and Toronto native, Drake may have played some part in the deal. Drake is spokesman for for the Toronto Raptors. Both the Raptors and Toronto FC are owned by the same company, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment.
4. This Move Will Impact His World Cup Chances
Defoe will be eager to play with the World Cup coming up in Brazil in June, obviously, but it’s not stated if Defoe will be moving to the MLS before or after the tournament. Whether or not Defoe features in Roy Hodgson’s England team for the World Cup (and beyond) will speak volumes about how the MLS is viewed by more established soccer nations.
5. Toronto Have Been Making Serious Moves This Close-Season
This is the fourth move Toronto have made this close-season, with Justin Morrow, Jackson and Brazilian striker Gilberto all already signed up. The team’s GM, Tim Bezbatchenko told fans last week:
As I’ve said before, we are working this off-season to return the magic to BMO Field, and for that to happen, we need you there.
On top of the Defoe transfer, there are rumors that UMNT star Michael Bradley may be tempted to leave Roma for Toronto next week.