Toronto FC sign defenders Perquis and Zavaleta, Gilberto set to leave

Photo: O-Canada

It’s been another busy day for Toronto FC. The Canadian-based MLS side have confirmed that they have signed centre-back’s Damien Perquis and Eriq Zavaleta but Brazilian DP Gilberto looks set to leave.

Gilberto is one of four Designated Players on the Toronto FC roster as it stands, and he is not as important to the team as the any of the other three – Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco.

Regardless of whether the new collective bargaining agreement see’s the addition of a fourth DP slot, Gilberto is set to go imminently, and the Brazilian forward has not returned to Toronto for preseason training, as reported by the Toronto Sun.

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The club are looking to sell the 25-year-old, who scored seven goals with five assists in 2014, and supposedly have offers on the table for his services, with the player still in his native Brazil.

But the club have continued to bring names in and they have addressed last years defensive issues by signing French-born Polish centre-back Damien Perquis and the versatile Eriq Zavaleta in a trade with the Seattle Sounders.

Perquis, 30, is a major coup as he joins from Spanish club Real Betis, where he played for two-and-a-half years before cancelling his contract in order to force the move to Toronto FC.

“Damien’s signing addresses an area we wanted to improve upon this offseason,” Toronto FC GM Tim Bezbatchenko said in a club statement. “His experience and leadership both at club and international level will be a welcomed addition to our team.

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“Damien has a great defensive sense and will provide an upside on the ball with his strong distribution from the back. We are very excited to bring him to Toronto FC.”

Another defensive addition arrives in Canada in the shape of 22-year-old Eriq Zavaleta, who can play at centre-back or as a striker.

Zavaleta joins in a trade with the Seattle Sounders that saw Toronto give up a second-round pick in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft, in order to acquire the versatile youngster’s rights.

The American made five appearances in Seattle before spending the 2014 season on loan at Chivas USA, where he made 17 appearances, 15 of those as a starter.

Is Gilberto’s time with Toronto up? How good is the signing of Damien Perquis for Toronto FC?

About Louis East (1300 Articles)
Editor of Premier League and MLS reporter.

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