After years of obscurity in MLS, the management behind Toronto FC appear to have made a huge off-season splash; reports say they've signed Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe to a deal that will bring him to MLS next season. It appears to be legit, and is a true game-changer if he does end up taking his talents to North America.
If you don't know Jermain Defoe, here's a quick summary; he's 31 years old, has played for the English National Team 55 times and has 19 goals for them in that span.
Here's why it's good for MLS: the league gets another recognizable name to jump continents and reinforce the validity of our league. Even better, Toronto reportedly outbid the Queens Park Rangers and West Ham for his services, meaning not only did a Canadian-based soccer club that has never made the playoffs in MLS just snatch away a coveted player off the market, they did so under the noses of clubs that are infinitely more prestigious and have more weight behind their name.
Secondly, it means that MLS clubs (especially Canadian ones) aren't afraid to loosen the purse strings and actively pursue a top target. It's a good sign, because in MLS you generally need to spend some money to find results. Of course that's not an iron-clad rule, but every team is usually in the hunt for an expensive DP, no?
Now, it's unfortunate that Toronto had to shell out so much to get Defoe, and you have to wonder if he would've accepted if Toronto hadn't of blown every other suitor out of the water. I wonder, If Toronto submits a lower bid, but it's still the highest on the table, does Defoe make the jump?
Finally, let's just be clear here; for the Vancouver Whitecaps to bring in a name like Nigel Reo-Coker, and for Toronto FC to nab Defoe, I mean, this hasn't always been the norm, or even in the realm of possibility. This is a big deal, and while it pains me to compliment a rival, I must say Congratulations to Toronto FC. They needed change, and have reignited a fanbase that has been pleading for change for a while now. *cough cough* PLEASE GET US ANOTHER STAR *cough cough*