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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Short tenure for tiny favourite as Joao Plata heading home

Adios tiny amigo?

What began as whispers a couple of weeks back was last night retweeted by the player in question, then backed by numerous sources - TFC's Joao Plata may be heading back to his parent club, Ecuador’s LDU Quito. Of course in true Toronto FC fashion this is about the clearest point of the transaction so far.

Many Reds supporters can be forgiven for thinking that the post-season hoopla surrounding Joao Plata meant that TFC was now the wee winger's parent club. However, reports indicate that LDU Quito were in fact the ones with the rights to recall Plata at this time and that the astronomically high fee (well, MLS astronomical) spent by TFC was simply to extend Plata's existing loan to MLS. On the other hand, the current proposed move is also being dubbed a "six month loan" to Quito with the suggestion that Plata returns to Toronto in the off-season. It is as clear as mud but stinks of an absolute managerial cock-up by TFC being quietly papered over. The club can't fault supporters for thinking this way when they operate with more secrets that The Stonecutters. (Don't mention Steve Guttenberg to Anselmi)

While Joao Jimmy Plata is an endearing character who became an instant fan favourite, his departure would not make a noticeable dent on the squad. His local fame has much more to do with his stature and short bursts of speed and (over) creativity than do his prospects. Despite his affable nature, Plata has been "found out" in MLS this season. Where his sideshow height and speed shocked some clubs last season, he was simply manhandled this year and pushed out of plays. He has become far too dependant on trying to take an extra step when dribbling and seems gun-shy at shooting on goal. A wonderful storybook player, but more of a bright spark in a dark time than a long-term MLS forward. At least at this point in his development.

We will link to any official word from the secret society that is Toronto FC below that isn't about Efrain Burgos Jr's release (with accompanied sad-face picture). In other news, the Ecuadorian version of "Webster" was greenlighted for production.

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