Toronto FC closing in on Amado Guevara

Amado_guevara_isi_photos

                                                        Photo by ISI Photos

Toronto FC is close to landing former MLS MVP Amado Guevara, multiple sources told Soccer By Ives on Monday. Guevara could join Toronto FC in time for the team’s MLS season opener against the Columbus Crew on March 29.

Here is my story on Toronto’s bid for Guevara on ESPN.com.

If and when Toronto completes the deal, Guevara could step in and instantly give TFC one of the league’s best central midfields.

Wondering about the if and when? There are still some hurdles to be cleared, including Guevara being released from his contract with Motagua, but sources have told me that issue should be resolved this week. Also, Chivas USA does have the right of first refusal on Guevara, but will NOT be exercising that right (even if they wanted to sources tell me they couldn’t fit him on their current cap.)

So why will Guevara behave now after some stumbles in his last stint in MLS? Sources tell me he has matured and his strong play in Honduras and with the Honduran national team tells me he just might be as good a player now as he was as an MLS MVP in 2004.

Guevara will also be walking into a dream set-up. Toronto is planning to employ a 4-5-1 formation, which would place MLS rookie of the year and US national team midfielder Maurice Edu and Welsh international Carl Robinson behind Guevara in central midfield. Playing in that set-up and in front of sold-out crowds at BMO Field just might be the combination that brings the best out of Guevara.

I will readily admit to being one of Guevara’s harshest critics when he had his lapses, but there has never been any doubt about his ability to be an impact player when he is on his game. Considering Toronto won’t give up anything to acquire Guevara and will likely land him for a salary in the $250K to $300K range, it is a gamble worth taking considering the team’s need for a playmaker.

If you need reminding of just how good Guevara was with the MetroStars/Red Bulls, here is a pretty good reminder:

What do you think of this news? Do you like Guevara in Toronto? Do you think TFC is making a mistake? Share your thoughts below.

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49 Responses to Toronto FC closing in on Amado Guevara

  1. Phillip says:

    Now this is great news!

  2. Nuvi says:

    This is good new for Toronto FC. I like the fact you mention there are more moves on the horizon. From the season looking bleak, now i’m more optimistic.

  3. Geoff says:

    If he makes 250-300K range, I very much like the gamble. I sure hope he’s not a cancer off the pitch though. Robbo, Edu and Guevara in the midfield is lethal. I’m not sure how much cap room we have now, but I’d love to pick up a good winger still. Ives, if we play a 4-5-1, which striker gets benched? Cunningham or Dichio? I think its a little harsh to leave one of them on the bench.

  4. Falcon says:

    Ives,

    Toronto FC still had his MLS rights, correct. I remember Chivas USA having some claim to him as well. Clarification?

  5. Ives says:

    How about Cunningham on the wing? He can’t cross to save his life but his speed would be tough to deal with.

  6. cbr says:

    Bombshell….amado will slide right into that midfield

    If they sign Musapha to secure their flanks and bring in a DP they’ll be lethal

  7. Geoff says:

    Interesting thought Ives, but I’m really hoping that there are more signings to come so that nobody has to play out of their natural position.

    We actually have depth somewhere now. After drafting Phelan too, I like our situation in the middle for this year.

    We have a solid back line now, good in the middle. I think we need one or two wide midfielders and a striker, likely to come off the bench. I don’t want to get too excited here, but I’m very happy about the news.

  8. Ives says:

    Hey, maybe they deal Cunningham. I can think of a few teams that need a forward.

  9. aristotle says:

    This just in:

    Amado Guevara has signed with Toronto, but right after signing voiced his extreme displeasure with Toronto’s coach. He said he will be watching Toronto’s games with the fans in the bleachers until the coach is fired. It is rumored that Guevara also has a problem with someone higher up in management.

  10. Spencer says:

    Aristotle you got a link for that statement?

  11. Ives says:

    Aristotle was joking.

  12. Spencer says:

    Thats what I was hoping, I just knew he had previously had an attitude problem. As much as I was never a fan of Amado it will be good to see him in the league. He will be a great addition to that team and they could be a dark horse and should land in the play offs.

  13. jeremy says:

    so much for TFC being an easy team to root for.

  14. Joamiq says:

    Before I comment on the actual story, can I just say that I think it’s pretty remarkable that this story is on the freaking front page of espn.com?? I mean, seriously. Toronto FC and Guevara. A breaking MLS story not involving Beckham on the front page. Am I crazy for thinking this is progress?

  15. Dominghosa says:

    Well, it’s past midnight in the east coast and late pacific time, so I wouldn’t get too crazy about this being on the front of espn.com…

  16. Dominghosa says:

    Online media have a “fresh content” protocol, where they hope to put “fresh content” every 30 minutes. If every MLS move was reported on at this time at night, there would be a great chance on a MLS story on the espn.com front page every night.

    But most of the MLS news break in the morning or in the afternoon, when there is a plethora of news from the major sports coming in through the wire.

  17. Dominghosa says:

    That said, awesome stuff.

  18. Joamiq says:

    OK, good move for Toronto. I’m not looking forward to seeing the Red Bulls face him now.

  19. Joamiq says:

    Dom, you’re right. But it’s still pretty cool nonetheless…

  20. Matt in SF says:

    Nice scoop Ives. Bignews. I like it.

  21. Manchester 7 says:

    Does anyone know the status of Musampa, and that Colombian Montano?

  22. nico says:

    good player, but i must say there are much better players in Honduran league, in fact even better players on Motagua. I saw him play on Motagua, he did well but hardly the main reason for their success. But maybe signing a known quantity is better for Toronto, risk management(?).

  23. Tim F. says:

    Amado is good for MLS

    When Amado is at his best, he is among the best ever in MLS.

    The problem is Amado would sometimes inexplicably be ineffective in some games and/or his attitude was not conducive to his team’s efforts. I think Amado is really intent on winning and really wants to contribute to it, sometimes perhaps trying to do too much; ironically, this gets in the way of his always being an effective contributor.

    Still, he is one of our all-time favorites and we wish him the back. Welcome back El Lobo.

  24. Wow.

    Amado has always been one of my favorite players. To see him play again, but for another team, will be a hard pill to swallow. But that is a dream set up for him (if he can stand the cold)

  25. Tim F. says:

    He had a hat trick against Colorado in the snow… he’ll do fine in the cold.

    I’m more worried about his temperament and disposition. That is what sucks out positive energy of himself and his team.

  26. Michael F. says:

    Red Bull should figure out how to get him. I know it sounds crazy and I know he quit on the team at times but when he’s motivated he’s an MVP. I bet he’d love to “right the wrongs” and come back to NYC for redemption. Let’s go get him! :)

  27. Jerry says:

    This is great news for Toronto, I am from Honduras and I think MLS should also take a look at another player from Motagua the same team that Guevara plays for he is a LWB by the name of Emil Izaguirre the kid is brilliant on the flanks has speed, can deliver perfect crosses, and is a good defender not to toot my familys home countrys horn but Honduras does have a lot of talent that is well suited for the MLS can anyone tell me why Amado Guevara was dropped by the red bulls in the 1st place?

  28. centrejack says:

    A cancer comes to Toronto!

  29. Ossington Mental Youth says:

    ManchesterUtd7:

    Musampa is gone as he wanted too much money (suspect he wanted DP wages) and sadly Johnnier never made it up as Fifa said he was allowed to continue to play in Peru. We do have Victor Pacheco and Leonardo Mina Polo trying out still. Mina Polo has just come in and Pacheco played the first half of saturdays game against San Jose. Hopefully they both work out as we really need some of those midfield slots filled (i think Mina Polo is a striker tho). Also doesnt look hopeful for Pacheco as Carver has been quoted as saying that he had no problem subbing him at half and would do that to anyone as well as players have to a good fit for the team (i agree but is 45 minutes really enough time to figure out a good fit?) this is not to mention the fact that he plays attacking mid (but also as a winger if im not mistaken, ANOTHER slot we need filled…. Time will tell

  30. David - michfan2123 says:

    Wow

  31. Forrest says:

    When did Guevara’s attitude about playing in Toronto change? Wasn’t he the one who nixed the trade between Chivas USA and TFC before? What’s changed at Toronto that would make him consider playing for them now? The only thing that I can think of is that Mo isn’t the coach anymore. I still think he’s a head case who will alienate his teammates within two seasons. At least TFC won’t have to regret spending a DP slot on him.

  32. Squard says:

    The two things that Amado hates that will keep him from playing well: The cold of Toronto (he hated NY’s weather) and Mo Johnston.

  33. VictorM says:

    He is the type of player Toronto fans will love at first — at his best he’s a fighter and creative. How long that love affair lasts is another question. He just needs to be the one and only star on the field, otherwise he sulks.

    But he’s coming back to MLS with something to prove. It’ll be fun to watch him in general, but particularly against NYRB and Chivas.

  34. garbaggio says:

    The two things that Amado hates that will keep him from playing well: The cold of Toronto (he hated NY’s weather) and Mo Johnston.

    Posted by: Squard

    ********************************

    But Toronto’s stadium has even more seagulls than Giants Stadium, so he’ll love it!

    Somewhat even more off tangent:

    For those of you excited about ESPN covering a seemingly random soccer story – I was working out at lunch yesterday and ESPN showed a fairly lengthy series of highlights from the Mexican Oly team’s unsuccesful bombardbment of Haiti.

    Can’t remember which show it was but Sage Steele was the announcer (maybe Cold Pizza?).

  35. kpugs says:

    Matured at only 31? He’s way ahead of me.

  36. satan says:

    WTF is all this talk about Toronto being cold? huh?

    As a season ticket holder I burned myself to near death last summer in the heat at BMO Field. The weather last year was warm for most of the season (late-May to mid-September), and extremely hot in July and August (hotter than Texas I remember).

  37. Geoff says:

    Seagulls? at BMO?

    I’m afraid not, with Bitchy the Hawk patrolling the skies over BMO

  38. Larry Y says:

    I’d like to see more Honduran players too (as well as other Central Americans). But, Amado has a US green card.

    The question is whether to jeer or cheer him when he comes to NJ. I know he’ll get plenty of jeers at Chivas.

    BTW, his Wikipedia page isn’t updated, yet…

  39. cheers to that kpugs!

  40. Chewy Unikronik says:

    Yeah, this Toronto the Cold talk is a little off there. We don’t live in igloos ALL the time, eh?

  41. inkedAG says:

    HAHAHAHA!!! Enjoy the headaches that is Amado, TFC!! HAHAHAHA!!!

  42. kevin says:

    a great pickup if he is ready to play… i had forgotten just how great he was but those highlights are pretty amazing. why the 4-5-1 considering that they have cunningham and dichio? will one of them be coming off the bench?

  43. Geoff says:

    Kevin:

    I asked that near the top of this page, and ives answered….you may want to have a look.

  44. kswiss says:

    I hope this works out for TFC. It will be good for the league to see an expansion club succeed early on.

  45. dan says:

    maybe in this case it is one “teams” ‘garbage’ another teams treasure!

    hard to discard talent… it is another thing to get rid of a bad personality and bad team chemistry .

  46. TFC says:

    Washington post is reported that there is to many obstacles for tfc to sign him so it aint happening, how true does this hold?

  47. Ives says:

    The Post calls it a long-shot based on one source’s suggestion. I have multiple sources saying it is moving forward. As I stated in this post to begin with, there are hurdles, but it is far from a long shot.

  48. Rico says:

    I heard Chivas is pissed about this, and want compensation. That’s one of the hurdles.