Toronto FC's Secret Weapon? Meet Alonso Coello, the Spanish Dynamo

Coello has been entrusted with maintaining this legacy at Toronto FC, as supporters already perceive him as a crucial player shaping the team's destiny.

Alonso Coello #14 (L) and Brecht Dejaegere #10 (R) in action...
Alonso Coello #14 (L) and Brecht Dejaegere #10 (R) in action... / SOPA Images/GettyImages

Since he arrived at Toronto FC in the MLS in 2023, Spanish midfielder Alonso Coello has swiftly risen as a cornerstone of the team, continuing the tradition of Spanish athletes contributing to professional sports in the Canadian city.

Toronto's professional sports teams have a history of featuring Spanish players. Notable figures like Jorge Garbajosa, Jose Calderon, Paul Gasol, and Serge Ibaka have graced the courts for the Toronto Raptors in the NBA. Similarly, the roster of Toronto FC in the MLS has seen talents like Alejandro Pozuelo, Victor Vazquez, and Jesus Jimenez.

Now, at 24 years old, Coello is tasked with upholding this tradition at Toronto FC, with fans already seeing him as a pivotal figure for the team's future.

TFC Republic, a leading website covering Toronto FC, hailed Coello's arrival in 2023 as one of the few highlights of that season. He was designated as the successor to Michael Bradley, the former captain of the United States national soccer team, who spent nine years with Toronto FC before retiring in 2023.

In an interview with EFE, Coello admitted that replacing Bradley was a daunting task. Reflecting on his journey, Coello acknowledged the unpredictability of his path to professional soccer, particularly considering his participation in the ProPlayer program by LaLiga, which facilitated his pursuit of higher education alongside soccer at Florida Atlantic University (FAU).

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"Two years ago, I wouldn't have imagined I would be in this position today, considering how the draft process unfolded and having the opportunity to play at a professional level," said the player.

Despite not being selected in the MLS draft, Coello's standout performances at FAU caught the attention of Toronto FC, leading to his signing with the club's developmental team, Young Reds, in 2022.

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Coello made his debut for the first team in 2023, quickly cementing his place in the starting lineup. His memorable encounter against Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets, and Jordi Alba in a match against Inter Miami CF marked a significant milestone in his career, reminiscent of his childhood encounter with Messi as a ball boy at Vallecas Stadium.

Toronto FC's strong start to the season, with Coello featuring prominently in every match, reflects the player's comfort in the multicultural environment of Toronto and the burgeoning competitiveness of the MLS.

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