There is no denying Toronto FC have a lot to do, to improve a team which has missed the MLS playoffs the past two seasons. As part of the solution, they decided to take a trip down memory lane on Tuesday afternoon.
More specifically, as per the TFC communications department, the club selected Victor Vazquez in Stage 2 of the MLS Re-Entry Draft. Almost immediately, this would have brought up fond memories for fans.
Vazquez was part of the TFC team which won a historic domestic treble in 2017. This included setting a then-MLS record for regular season points, together with the Reds' first ever MLS Cup.
On an individual level, the former product of the Barcelona youth team system was an inspiration for Toronto. During the regular season he scored eight goals and had a team-leading 16 assists.
Toronto FC have taken a trip down memory lane to their treble-winning season of 2017, by selecting former Barcelona midfielder Victor Vazquez in Stage 2 of the MLS Re-Entry draft.
A significant part of the reason for Vazquez's -- and the team's success -- was the partnership he formed with Michael Bradley in midfield. As per the Toronto Star's Laura Armstrong, at the time Bradley said:
"I love football, I love to watch football and I’m always curious so I went on the computer and found some games and watched. Right away, what you can see is that he knows football. He’s smart, he’s easy to play with, he makes others around him better."
Vazquez continued his dominant form in the playoffs, with a further two goals and an assist. At the end of the season he was named to the MLS Best XI team and picked as player of the year by supporters group, the Red Patch Boys. (This becomes more impressive, when you consider a certain Sebastian Giovinco was also playing for Toronto FC.)
Overall, the 35-year-old had 18 goals 28 assists in 65 total appearances during two seasons in Southern Ontario. Since leaving TFC, he has played for teams in Qatar and Belgium, before returning to MLS with the LA Galaxy in 2021.
What can Vazquez offer?
Understandably due to his age, there will be questions about how effective Vazquez can be with Toronto FC. In this respect, he produced three goals and six assists in 28 appearances -- including 21 starts -- for the Galaxy in 2021.
This prompted the Galaxy to offer a one-year extension, with a club option for 2023. Unfortunately for the attacking midfielder, his production dropped in 2022 and Los Angeles declined the club option.
This does not mean however that Vazquez cannot still do a job for Toronto FC. If nothing else, his experience could prove invaluable for a club looking to return to the glory days when they made three MLS Cup finals in four seasons.
Last season, Vazquez earned $440,000 with the Galaxy. In this respect, as per torontofc.ca, selecting a player in Stage 2 requires TFC to make him an offer by a date decided by MLS.
At this point of his career, what are you expecting from Vazquez? More specifically, how much do you predict he will help Toronto FC next season? Let us know in the comments section below.