The hunt for a designated player heats up for TFC
TORONTO — According to Steve Buffery of The Toronto Sun, Argentine winger/forward Pablo Piatti is being assessed by Toronto FC's medical staff on Wednesday amid speculation that he will be joining the MLS club as its designated player.
A source confirmed to The Canadian Press this week that the 30-year-old Piattir Barcelona-based Espanyol, is one of several players under consideration for Toronto's third DP slot.
Piatti is no stranger to Toronto. In 2007, he won the FIFA U-20 World Cup at TFC's home stadium with an Argentine side that featured Sergio Aguero, Angel di Maria and Maxi Moralez.
His career since has featured highs and lows, with injury disruptions in the past.
The five-foot-four 139-pounder has an eye for goal and can score with both feet. He won a senior cap for Argentina in 2011 in a friendly against Poland.
Spanish playmaker Alejandro Pozuelo and U.S. international striker Jozy Altidore are TFC's current designated players. The third spot came open in December when captain Michael Bradley accepted a new deal using targeted allocation money, opening up room for another marquee player under the MLS salary cap.
Toronto officials have said they are looking to add to their attack.
The search by GM Ali Curtis and others has taken the club from South America to Europe.
Piatti started with Estudiantes in Argentina, making his debut at 17 in 2006 under Diego Simeone, now manager of Atletico Madrid. The diminutive Piatti turned heads with an injury-time headed winner in the game.
He moved with fanfare to Spain's Almeria in 2008. Three years later he was sold to Valencia after Almeria was relegated. He fell out of favour with coach Miroslav Djukic but returned to form after the Serbian departed and flourished under Piortugal's Nuno Espirito Santo, now manager of England's Wolves.
Piatti was loaned to Espanyol in 2016. The Barcelona club eventually exercised his buyout clause to make the move permanent.
Piatti suffered right knee ligament damage last February, prematurely ending his 2018-19 season with Espanyol. He has also suffered a fractured arm and skull fracture during his career.
Espanyol (3-13-6) is currently bottom of the 20-team La Liga.
Piatti came on as a substitute last Sunday in Espanyol's 4-2 loss to Real Madrid. He has played seven games this season, including Copa del Rey and Europa League action.<p></o:p></o:p>The legend of Ilya Kovalchuk grew in Montreal just a bit more on Tuesday night, with the Russian sniper continuing his unlikely renaissance in Le Bleu, Blanc et Rouge.</o:p></o:p></p>