de Guzman to Toronto, a good move?

Well, let me start by saying that Toronto’s rumored DP-move for Canadian International Julian de Guzman makes far more sense that the typical Toronto DP-rumor (Gaizka Mendieta! Joey Barton!). This move is at least defensible for more than a couple of reasons. But here is my big question – is de Guzman really the kind of player than you want to spend a DP spot on?

Reasons in favor:

  • He has been a fixture for a decent Spanish La Liga team and before that with a decent Bundisliga team. That’s no small achievement.
  • He appears to actually want to go to Toronto (where he grew up) unlike some DPs who appear to be dragged here by their agents and the associated $$ signs.

Reasons against:

  • Is a 5-ft-6 defensive midfielder really the kind of game-changer that an MLS team would want to spend DP money on? I can understand if the guy were built like Patrick Viera and played that position. I can understand if the guy was built like he is but played a different position. But as it stands now, is this guy the ballwinner (both in the air and on the ground) that this position demands in this league. Now, if he is more of a no. 10, then maybe this will work.
  • What does it say about this guy that he wants to head home from Europe before he even turns 30? He should be a target for other Deportivo-level clubs across Europe, especially considering that he is out of contract and would not require a fee. Maybe he just wants to come home and live out a dream playing pro soccer in Toronto, there is nothing wrong with that. But what if it’s something else?

What do you think? Does this sound like a good move for TFC?

13 thoughts on “de Guzman to Toronto, a good move?

  1. True. My understanding is he plays d-mid for club and a-mid for country. Supposedly he is a skilled and creative player, maybe a two-way mid.

    I would hope we wouldn’t use the Groucho Marx argument, since it’s kind of defeatist. At least in this case, TFC is offering, from what I understand, both the chance to play in the hometown, and probably significantly more money than will be offered by the Euro competitors.

  2. Judging from what I saw against El Salvador, he will be an average MLS midfielder. He didn’t show any great quickness or skills but seemed to control the ball pretty well against a pretty awful team. However, De Guzman does possess great hair so maybe that makes him a DP candidate?

  3. I think TFC is trying to do two things:

    1. Placate their fans because they’re currently sitting in 4th place (not good enough for TFC fans).

    2. Guevara and Robinson are getting pretty old now (both about 33 years old) and while their production is pretty good (Guevara at least) eventually they’ll start feeling the effects of their age, and will need to be replaced. Why not get de Guzman while he’s available on a free transfer?

    I think bringing up de Guzman is a great move to hype up the fan base as well as bring in a quality midfielder who can complement DeRo.

  4. Makelele isn’t much taller and I would certainly consider him a game-changer. Defensive midfielders have a greater impact than they get credit for. I would do this if I were Toronto.

    I think it would be good for MLS too, to get a DP who’s not either aging, injury-prone, or a locker room problem. He’s a good player still in his prime.

  5. Defense is just as important as offense when it comes to winning games. I can’t see why you wouldn’t spend DP money on a DM. For that matter, how many other current DPs would still be able to acheive the type of success in Europe that deGuzman can?

  6. I just read about the de Guzman “transfer” on the website, The 24th Minute, and they’re reporting that TFC is readying a contract that will offer Guzman up to $7 million a year for two years.

    The contract is supposedly very performance-tied, so at least it’s not guaranteed, but being real, that is David Beckham money. Nothing against de Guzman, but when he’s making WAY more than hometown hero DeRo, as well as potentially making as much as Beckham, then TFC has lost its mind. They should try to bargain harder as there doesn’t seem to be too much interest in Europe for his services.

    Here’s the link to the story:
    http://www.24thminute.com/2009/07/tf…e-sort-of.html

  7. Interesting. I’ve seen deGuzman play only a few times, and its always been for Canada, not for his club. Each time he’s been an impressive, sometimes electric, offensive player. I’d expect TFC would want him in a creaive role.

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