TORONTO – The stamp of new Toronto FC Academy director Thomas Rongen is on the arrival of two trialists during preseason training in Orlando.
Attacker Moises Orozco (above), 21, and left back/midfielder Kevin Huezo, 20, both played for Rongen when he was coach of the US Under-20 team and are busy now trying to win a spot with the Reds.
Both became available after playing in Mexico. Huezo was with Pachuca FC and Orozco with Tigres UNAL.
“I think they’re two fairly talented players that Toronto needed to look at,” Rongen told MLSsoccer.com on Wednesday. “Kevin Huezo is a traditional lefty as we call it, he can play in various positions on the left side. He’s probably more comfortable in the [midfield], but at Pachuca last season, he played [at left back] as well. Moises Orozco is probably, I think, [an attacking midfielder or center forward]. He’s played all those positions with Tigres.”
Both players also will be familiar with the 4-3-3 employed by Toronto FC under head coach Aron Winter, a former Dutch international. Rongen, a native of the Netherlands, used the 4-3-3 as coach the US Under-20 team for the past half-decade.
Rongen – who's also coached four different MLS clubs – drew on his network after discussions with the first-team coaching staff revealed certain needs.
“One is for a left-footed player, we’re not very deep on the left,” Rongen said. “And one is an attacking player who can play in various positions. The coaching staff felt that maybe we could look at somebody there as well.”
Both players on trial did most of their playing for the U-20 sides of their respective Mexican clubs, but did train with the first teams during two preseasons.
“These guys have been professionals for three years with good clubs,” Rongen said.
Having so much coaching experience helps give Rongen a dimension beyond scouting reports.
“I do know a lot of players, I know them personally which is sometimes the hardest thing,” Rongen said. “We know they are good players, [but] what is their character like? What are they like off the field? Are they good pros?”