Toronto FC: Mark Delgado en route to Los Angeles; Jozy Altidore not at camp

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Toronto FC opened pre-season camp on Wednesday by sending home longtime midfielder Mark Delgado.

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The Reds traded Delgado to the LA Galaxy for US$400,000 in general allocation and an additional $100,000 if certain performance levels are met.

Delgado, 26, has been a loyal TFC midfielder since the Reds selected him in the 2014 dispersal draft after his former side Chivas USA folded. The native of Glendora, Calif., helped the Reds win numerous trophies during his seven seasons in Toronto and was part of the TFC team that won the domestic treble in 2017.

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TFC head coach Bob Bradley is confident young players Noble Okello (21) and Ralph Priso (19) can take Delgado’s place.

“Last year, Noble and Ralph certainly had periods where they played well. I think they are young players who are going in the right direction,” the coach said, speaking from the website. TFC training in Irvine, California.

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Bradley said Priso trained on Wednesday which was good news for the club. The Toronto native, who really started to become an MLS player as the 2021 season progressed, underwent surgery for a season-ending ankle injury suffered against the New England Revolution on 14 August.

“Ralph has made progress, he’s been working with the medical staff and we’ll have to watch him through this first part of pre-season. But it was great to see him on the pitch today,” Bradley said.

There are a number of new faces at camp this year – and a few old faces who aren’t there, namely designated players Jozy Altidore and Yeferson Soteldo. Bradley wouldn’t speak specifically about Altidore, who the club are trying to move to make room for Italy international Lorenzo Insigne. The Napoli winger will join TFC on July 1. The TFC are also reportedly close to swapping Soteldo to make way for a new signing from DP.

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“I’m not going to go into detail with where we are with certain players,” Bradley said. “Soteldo is with the Venezuelan national team at the moment. Like many teams as we start pre-season, for different reasons you don’t start with everyone – and that can range from personal reasons to simple discussions that take place within a club, I think you will see over the next few weeks, and maybe months, how some of these discussions end and how we move forward.

Bradley dismissed the suggestion that not having Insigne until July would be a huge challenge.

“You work on ideas as a team (now) and then you know how a player as talented as Lorenzo fits in – our attacking ideas, the way we get the ball going, finding the right players in the right places, those things start right away,” the coach said. “(Insigne) brings a particular level of creativity and flair, but the ideas of how to find the right players in the right places in the future, making sure that there is a structure when we have the ball, a structure when we lose the ball… in order for Lorenzo to be at his best, these are things that we have to do well as a team.

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ETOBICOKE NATIVE STALTERI A TFC COACH

Canadian soccer legend Paul Stalteri has been named TFC assistant coach. Stalteri and Mike Sorber will join Bradley’s staff. Sorber will serve as assistant coach and technical director of TFC and Stalteri as assistant coach.

Stalteri, a longtime Canadian national team player, has spent the past two seasons as assistant coach of Canadian Premier League side York United FC, helping the team qualify for the playoffs for the first times in franchise history in 2021.

As a player, Stalteri played 84 games with Canada’s men’s national team between 1997 and 2010. With Canada, he won the Concacaf Gold Cup in 2000, was twice named Canadian Player of the year (2001 and 2004), was named All-Team of the Tournament at the 2007 Concacaf Gold Cup and captained Canada in 30 games from 2007 to 2010.

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At club level, Stalteri began his career with the Toronto Lynx before spending the majority of his playing career in Europe, representing Werder Bremen, Tottenham Hotspur, Fulham and Borussia Mönchengladbach between 1998 and 2011. He played with TFC captain Michael Bradley in Mönchengladbach and against Team USA when the Americans were coached by Bob Bradley.

“It’s a shame it’s taken so long to recruit someone with his experience, quality and love of the game to our club,” said Michael Bradley. “He’s going to be a huge help in everything we do at all levels.”

Sorber has spent the past four seasons as an LAFC assistant coach (2018-2021) and previously worked with Bradley as an assistant for the USA men’s team.

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BRADLEY HAPPY FOR LARYEA

Michael Bradley says he and his team-mates are all happy for Richie Laryea, who signed with EFL Championship side Nottingham Forest last week.

“Bittersweet, of course,” said the TFC captain. “In a perfect world, if I had my way and it was only what was best for me, he’d still be here with us wearing our red. But this is Richie making a dream come true. He’s a guy who didn’t have it easy his early years in (MLS) He had a lot to prove to people about the type of player he was and he bet on himself, came home, is joined our team (and excelled).

“(Former coach) Greg (Vanney) was a big part of identifying (Laryea) as a guy who could really become a top on the outside and Richie didn’t shy away from doing that. “adopted and worked there and proved to be one of the best right backs in the league and established himself with the Canadian national team and got his award. I couldn’t be happier for him.

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