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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Letters from Camp: TFC wraps up some Turkey leftovers

"Mmm, you can really taste the Soolsma!"

From our Dutch horshe's mouth came word today that Toronto FC had snapped up its first new signings of 2011. During today's media scrum, manager Aron Winter informed the press that three of the players who were on trial with the club in Turkey are now indeed fully signed-on members of the Red-Oranje Army. The newest Reds are:
JAVIER MARTINA: The 23-year-old Dutch forward originally from the Netherlands Antilles impressed onlookers during all three of TFC's friendly matches. Usually the talisman when The Reds moved forward against their Balkan foes, Martina will have every chance to carve himself a place in the fairly barren Toronto front-line. The very technical former Jong Ajax prospect is the type of two-way forward Winter will need in his 4-3-3.
ELKEBAY BOUCHIBA: The versatile Dutch journeyman can play in the central and holding midfield roles and isn't afraid to spread his game to the flanks. Once again the two-way style Dutch player comes into the mix and the 32-year-old Bouchiba will be able to offer depth in a number of positions. With stops at clubs like AZ, FC Twente and Sparta Rotterdam, the sturdy midfielder will offer a Carl Robinson-like presence off the bench. Made a good impression despite only attending the second half of camp.
NICK SOOLSMA: Most definitely the most surprising of the signings. Going into camp, Soolsma was the least known of the trialists only having spent short spells in the Dutch lower divisions with clubs like HFC Haarlem and VV Young Boys. Considered the dark horse going in but impressed with hard training and a very good showing against a tough Dinamo Zagreb defence. The 23-year-old seems to have a burgeoning partnership with Martina.
There is yet to be any formal word out of TFC about the fates of the remaining Turkey-based (not turkey baste) trialists but there may still be a chance for some return appearances when the club travels to Florida next week. The most interesting prospect remaining would be talented Ghanaian midfielder King Osei Gyan but whispers are percolating that his asking price may be a bit steep for The Reds. With a new Americas-based group of trialists expected next week, the club isn't likely to pull the trigger on an expensive contract just yet.
One last potential player acquisition today sees TFC in a weighted MLS player lottery for the rights to USA U-20 defensive prospect Korey "Darth" Veeder. The young American has spent time with the US program's U-17 residency program as well as spending time with the USL's Crystal Palace Baltimore. TFC have a 45.52% chance of landing Veeder's rights. If The Reds feel the power of the force we will update below.
UPDATE: Columbus Crew beat the odds and won the rights to “Darth” Vedder. He has indeed fallen to the dark side.

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