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A popular player and fan favorite who returned to MLS in August 2012 after a four-year stint playing in Europe … a two-time MLS All-Star in his first go-round in the league while with Dallas in 2007 and the first half of 2008 … while in Europe, gained both UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League experience with Romania’s Steaua Bucuresti and Greece’s Aris Thessaloniki … a left-footed player who is naturally an attacking midfielder, but can also play deeper centrally or on the left wing … his signature long hair and tenacious playing style made him a fan favorite throughout the league … brings grit to the midfield by combining a flowing attacking style with toughness.
2012: Acquired by the Revolution on Aug. 23 through the MLS Allocation Process. Arrived in the U.S. on Sunday, Sept. 9, and trained with the Revs for the first time on Monday, Sept. 10. Made five substitute appearances at central midfield, battling knee stiffness as the season came to a close. Made his Revolution debut in a substitute appearance at central midfield at D.C. (Sept. 15), his first MLS action since July 19, 2008 when he was with FC Dallas.
SINCE MLS: Transferred from FC Dallas to Romania’s Steaua Bucuresti on August 1, 2008, ahead of the 2008-09 European season … spent 18 months in Romania with Steaua Bucuresti, making 51 appearances while scoring three goals and adding five assists … also helped Steaua Bucuresti earn a spot in the 2008-09 UEFA Champions League group stage … made five Champions League appearances as Steaua Bucuresti was drawn into a group with Germany’s Bayern Munich, France’s Lyon and Italy’s Fiorentina, and went 0-5-1 to bow out of the tournament … also made eight total appearances for Steaua Bucuresti in the 2009-10 UEFA Europa League, scoring one goal, as the club advanced to the group stage with Turkey’s Fenerbahçe, France’s Twente and Moldova’s Sheriff Tiraspol before being knocked out with an 0-2-4 record … transferred from Steaua Bucuresti to Greece’s Aris Thessaloniki in the summer of 2010 where he remained until he left the club in the summer of 2012 … made 37 appearances and scored one goal with Aris … also made 11 total appearances in the 2010-11 UEFA Europa League, helping Aris advance to the knock-out rounds … after winning two qualification rounds, Aris finished second in its group – with a 3-2-1 record – which also included Germany’s Bayer Leverkusen, Spain’s Atletico Madrid and Norway’s Rosenborg … Aris dropped its round-of-32 matchup against Ukraine’s Dynamo Kyiv.
2008: Purchased from Independiente de Santa Fe by Dallas in the 2007-08 off-season to make his move to MLS permanent … an MLS All-Star … made 16 appearances (15 starts) … scored two goals and added two assists … scored a goal in his first and last games of the season: March 30 against Chivas USA and July 19 against Colorado … added single assists in both away games at Houston (April 6 and June 26) … selected to the MLS All-Star Game against West Ham United in Toronto, drawing a start in the 3-2 win … transferred to Romania’s Steaua Bucuresti on August 1.
2007: Loaned to FC Dallas from Colombia’s Independiente de Santa Fe in February … an MLS All-Star and voted FC Dallas’ most valuable player … started all 27 games in which he played … scored six goals and added one assist … committed 83 fouls to lead MLS in the category … missed three games with ankle injuries: Aug. 11 vs. Columbus and Aug. 19 at Houston (left ankle sprain), and Sept. 15 at New England (right ankle sprain) … made his MLS debut on April 7 at Real Salt Lake … scored his first MLS goal – a game-winning goal – on May 12 at Kansas City, and scored the game-winning goal again in the next game at Chicago (May 17) … also added single goals against LA (June 9) and at Colorado (June 23), also a game-winning goal… scored his first multiple-goal game with two strikes at D.C. (July 14), earning MLS player of the week honors … recorded his first career assist on Sept. 20 against Chicago … started the MLS All-Star Game in Colorado against Celtic FC, scoring MLS’ second goal in a 2-0 win … started all three of Dallas’ SuperLiga 2007 matches, scoring one goal and adding one assist … also made four US Open Cup appearances, helping Dallas advance to the final against the Revolution.
BEFORE MLS: Began his professional career with Colombia’s Independiente de Santa Fe as an 18-year-old in early 2004 after playing two seasons with the club’s Under-19 team … made 25 appearances with Santa Fe in the next two seasons before being loaned to Argentina’s River Plate in January 2006 … played five games in Copa Libertordores with River Plate, scoring one goal.
COLOMBIA NATIONAL TEAM: Has two caps with the Colombian national team … made his senior team debut against Brazil in Rio de Janeiro in a World Cup qualifier – a 0-0 draw – on October 15, 2008 … later capped against Nigeria in a 1-0 win on November 20, 2008 ... a regular on the Colombia Under-20 team in his youth … was a key member of the team that won the 2005 South American Youth Championship … also a member of the Colombia U-20 team that participated in the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship in the Netherlands … Colombia were eliminated in the second round by Lionel Messi’s Argentina squad.
PERSONAL: Full name is Juan Carlos Toja Vega … his younger brother, Sebastián, then 13, was killed in an accident, when Toja was 14 years old … also played volleyball as a youth… has grown out his identifiable long hair since he was a child … is a fan of a variety of music, especially rock with his favorite performer being the Rolling Stones, the Doors, Led Zeppelin and the Police… also likes salsa music, as well as rap and reggae music…his fraternal grandfather, also Juan Carlos Toja, was born in Uruguay and played professional soccer for Peñarol, and later moved to Colombia to play for Medellin and Cúcuta … his maternal grandfather, Victor Vega, is Colombian and played professionally for Santa Fe, Millonarios and was a member of the Colombian national team.