There is no denying Toronto FC had an extremely disappointing season in 2022. Finishing with the second-fewest points in all of MLS highlights this perfectly.
For all of the understandable hype surrounding the arrival of Lorenzo Insigne and Federico Bernardeschi, it's not enough. Football is a team game and the Italians can only carry TFC so far over the course of a full season.
In this respect, management is undertaking a significant overhaul of the roster. The Reds are determined to not miss the playoffs for a third consecutive season.
Along these lines, Toronto FC announced a couple of moves on Wednesday. The first involved Jacob Shaffelburg.
Toronto FC showed their intent to improve the team after failing to make the playoffs for a second consecutive year, by moving on from Jacob Shaffelburg and Auro Jr.
Per TFC's communications department, Shaffelburg has moved to Nashville SC in a permanent transfer. He had been with Nashville on loan since August, scoring twice in nine appearances.
In exchange for the Canadian winger, Toronto FC received $300,000 in guaranteed General Allocation Money (GAM). As part of the deal, the Reds will receive additional conditional GAM pending him reaching certain performance-based targets.
Shaffelburg made 61 appearances in all competitions for TFC, between 2019-22. Arguably his best season with the Reds was last year, when he scored four goals in 26 games and was named the Best Young Canadian Player of the Canadian Championship.
A case of what might have been
As per the Toronto Sun's Steve Buffery, it was also reported Toronto FC have declined Auro Jr’s contract option for 2023. He had been on loan with Santos FC since February.
Unfortunately for the right back, he failed to impress during his time in Brazil. He made just 15 appearances and Santos FC decided not to pick up the option to make the loan move permanent.
Auro Jr's departure brings a disappointing conclusion to what was a promising beginning in Toronto. After arriving on loan from Sao Paulo in 2018, he eventually moved on a permanent basis.
At one point, the 26-year-old was arguably the best right-back in MLS. However, he now moves on to pastures new after making 109 total appearances for the Reds.
From a financial perspective, it is worth noting Shaffelburgh and Auro Jr. had guaranteed compensation of $136,500 and $428,750 respectively this year. In total, TFC have now parted company with nine players since the conclusion of the 2022 season.
Do you agree with the decisions to move on from Shaffelburg and Auro Jr? Or would you have liked Toronto FC to keep hold of either or both of them? Let us know in the comments section below.