Toronto FC raids Turkish league to safe younger left-back Petretta

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Toronto FC has secured some much-needed assistance on the again line.

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The Reds introduced on Tuesday the signing of younger defender Raoul Petretta from Turkish membership Kasımpaşa Spor Kulübü, utilizing Focused Allocation Cash (TAM) via 2025 with an choice for 2026.

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“Raoul is an skilled younger left-back who established himself in a powerful European membership and has gained expertise enjoying at a excessive stage in European competitions with FC Basel,” mentioned Toronto FC Head Coach and Sporting Director Bob Bradley. “He is a great passer, disciplined defender, and has the work fee to rise up and down the left flank constantly. We’re excited to have him be a part of Toronto FC and strengthen our backline.”

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Petretta, 25, will fill in for Italian veteran Domenico Criscito, who determined to go away Toronto this low season after lower than one season. Petretta lately appeared in 12 matches throughout all competitions (Süper Lig and Türkiye Kupasi) for Kasımpaşa since becoming a member of the Turkish aspect in July 2022. Previous to signing with Kasımpaşa, Petretta spent 4 seasons at FC Basel (Swiss Tremendous League), the place he made 152 Appearances throughout all competitions for the group, registering 10 targets and 12 assists within the course of. In his 4 years with Basel, the left-back featured in 5 UEFA Champions League, 10 UEFA Europa League and three UEFA Europa Convention League matches and received three titles, together with the Swiss Tremendous League (2016/2017) and two Swiss Cups (2016). /2017 and 2018/2019). Born in Rheinfelden, Germany, Petretta started his profession with Basel in 2005, the place he got here via the youth ranks and made his skilled debut towards Lugano on April 2, 2017. On the worldwide stage, he has represented Italy on the youth stage. He made his debut with Italy U-21 in a pleasant match towards Portugal on Might 25, 2018.

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The Reds are at present at pre-season camp in San Diego earlier than returning to Toronto for a number of days this Friday. The rebuilding membership continues to be searching for some assist at middle again, midfield and in objective. TFC is claimed to be pushing arduous to signal free agent keeper Sean Johnson. Johnson performed the final six seasons with the New York Metropolis FC and was named the MLS Cup MVP in 2021. An extended-time American worldwide, Johnson, 33 lengthy been thought of one of many prime keepers in MLS. The Reds have been attempting to get Johnson to signal a contract for weeks. On Monday, information got here down that NYCFC have been finalizing a deal to accumulate goalkeeper Matt Freese from Philadelphia Union. Freese, 24, has backed up Andre Blake for the previous few years. He made six begins final season, and has additionally appeared for the USMNT U23 group. As of final week, NYCFC was mentioned to be nonetheless within the race to re-sign Johnson, a free agent.

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TFC didn’t convey again veteran goalkeepers Alex Bono (now with DC United) and Quentin Westberg (Atlanta United) this yr. In November, the Reds claimed 22-year-old keeper Tomas Romero within the 2022 MLS Re-Entry Draft, re-uniting the El Salvador worldwide along with his coach at LAFC, Bob Bradley, who Romero mentioned was within the combat for the No. 1 job, although it was a provided that TFC was nonetheless going to signal one other keeper, one with loads of MLS expertise.

Throughout this present low season, the membership signed 2016 MLS Defender of the 12 months Matt Hedges, introduced again veteran attacking midfielder Victor Vazquez, re-signed long-serving midfielder Jonathan Osorio and signed Norwegian ahead Adama Diomande. TFC has missed the MLS Cup playoffs two seasons in a row and Bradley vowed that the 2023 model of the membership might be probably the most aggressive golf equipment within the league.

The exhibition schedule begins in earnest for TFC in February because the membership performs for video games within the second annual Coachella Valley Invitational on the Empire Polo Membership in Indio, CA. The primary match might be towards the Vancouver Whitecaps on Feb.8. TFC performed a closed-door scrimmage towards Mexican aspect Membership Tijuana on Sunday. Not particulars from the match have been launched. The MLS common season begins for MLS on Feb. 25 when the Reds journey to DC United. Toronto’s dwelling opener at BMO Subject might be March 11 towards the Columbus Crew.

SBuffery@postmedia.com
Twitter @beezersun

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