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Toronto FC to unveil big acquisitions in conference on TSN

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TSN.ca Staff
1/13/2014 12:42:22 AM
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Toronto FC is holding a major news conference on Monday to unveil their newest player acquisitions for the 2014 MLS season, including England striker Jermain Defoe.

You can watch full coverage live on TSN and TSN.ca right now.

"I'm excited (to arrive in Toronto); it's been a long couple months," Defoe said on his arrival to Pearson International Airport in Toronto on Sunday. "I just wanted to get over here and see the city. I'm looking forward to it; it's a fantastic challenge and great opportunity. I'm really excited, I feel like a little kid.

"It's always a challenge when you go to a new club. Playing against different opposition is always going to be a challenge but that's what I play football for; I'm going to enjoy it. I'm delighted I made the decision to come. My family came (to Toronto) about a month ago. They had great feedback and said it was a fantastic city with fantastic people."

Tim Leiweke, president and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, and Toronto FC general manager Tim Bezbatchenko also added Gilberto from Brazil this winter. Gilberto joins midfielder Matias Laba as the club's designated players.

The club also brought back 35-year-old Toronto native Dwayne De Rosario last week. The former league MVP, who ranks sixth on the all-time MLS scoring list with 103 goals, returns home for his second stint with TFC.

Defoe has scored 142 goals during two tours with Tottenham and is the club's top scorer in European competitions. Defoe first joined the London club in February 2004 from West Ham United, making 177 appearances and scoring 64 goals before leaving to join Portsmouth in January 2008. The England international was re-signed a year later and has since made 185 appearances, scoring 78 goals.

U.S. international midfielder Michael Bradley is the next piece of the puzzle to officially fall. AS Roma announced Thursday that it had sold the 26-year-old American to MLS for US$10 million. A source with knowledge of the league said Toronto was the lone MLS suitor.

The 26-year-old Bradley played for the U.S. national team at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and has also played for MetroStars in the MLS as well as Heerenveen, Borussia Monchengladbach and Chievo Verona.

Toronto opens its 2014 season Mar. 15 in Seattle. Defoe will miss almost all of Toronto's pre-season games.



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