We continue our off season ranking of Toronto FC players with number 19 on our list, Nick Hagglund.
It was a tough year for Nick Hagglund. After a strong rookie campaign that saw him start the majority of the season, Hagglund only made 12 appearances in MLS play, starting in eight and recording one assist.
It was even harder for Hagglund to cement a spot with the Reds this past season due to him missing four games with emergency appendix surgery.
When healthy, Hagglund could’ve been an important factor in helping the team when the going got tough for them. His strong ability to clear the ball out of danger and his aerial presence were important for a team that was close to making the playoffs in 2014 and showed people that TFC were right to select the Hagglund with the 10th overall pick in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft.
Even though he didn’t make that many appearances this past season, Hagglund was able to rank first in average clearances on the team with 5.5 per game, and fifth in interceptions with 2.5 per game according to who scored.
Although he only appeared in 12 games, Hagglund was still a big contributor to the Reds, ranking fifth in who scored’s total ranking of TFC. The ranking does seem odd considering he boasted a better rating than players like Jozy Altidore, Marky Delgado, and Jonathan Osorio, but since those players played more games, they all had a chance to bring their scores down.
Still, Hagglund was a decent player to have on the bench when he was healthy.
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Hagglund would rejoin TFC on August 8th versus Sporting Kansas City, and would make his first appearance after his surgery on August 15th against the New York Red Bulls. He would later be loaned out, along with keeper Chris Konopka, to Toronto FC II for one match on August 19 to gain more match fitness for the final stretch of the MLS season. Hagglund would only appear for 45 minutes, but was obviously a key player for the young Reds that match.
He would have trouble making the bench after recovering from his injury, thanks in part to the strong play of Josh Williams and Eriq Zavaleta. Also Damien Perquis started to look more comfortable after starting a bit shaky.
With the addition of Drew Moor, the centre back positions looks pretty crowded. The Reds would have six centre backs, not including Ahmed Kantari, who many think TFC would use their buy out option on. If he does stay, that just makes the backline even more crowded.
Also considering that the Reds are keen to signing Vancouver Whitecaps right back Steven Beitashour and look to be in the race for Canadian international Will Johnson. We will have to wait and see what Tim Bezbatchenko decides to do.
Could Hagglund be the odd man out? It is a possibility, but so are other players likely to leave. I, for one, hope he does stay, as he can be a very decent squad rotation player. If he does go, then hopefully it’s for a good cause and TFC get something valuable from the deal.