TORONTO – Former Portuguese international Luis Boa Morte could be worth more than just a look on trial, according to Toronto FC manager Aron Winter.
“He is a good player and we can get him, probably,” Winter said on Tuesday at BMO Field after Boa Morte trained with TFC. “We want to give him at least a trial to watch him first. I think that he is a player, if you’re going to sign him or whatever, he could be an advantage.”
The 34-year-old has played for such teams as Arsenal, Fulham and West Ham in England. He most recently played for the Orlando Pirates in South Africa but left the team last week and has been released from his contract.
“He’s a striker,” said Winter, pointing out how the Reds have missed too many scoring chances this season. “And we have to make goals.”
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Toronto FC, who are off to the worst start in league history at 0-9-0, are tied for the fewest goals scored in MLS with seven and they sit 13 points out of the fifth and final MLS Cup Playoffs spot in the East. On Wednesday, they can gain redemption when they play the Vancouver Whitecaps at BMO Field in the second leg of the Amway Canadian Championship finals (8 pm ET, Sportsnet One).
During Tuesday’s training, Boa Morte worked on shooting drills with former England international Paul Mariner, TFC’s director of player development.
“He’s on trial,” Winter told reporters. “We have to watch him first to see how he’s doing it. And if he also fitting on our team.”
Winter indicated that a final decision on Boa Morte's future at the club would be made during a break in the schedule that comes after Saturday’s match at BMO Field against the Philadelphia Union.
“We have got some time,” Winter said. “The most important thing is to get everybody ready tomorrow for the game and then Saturday. Then we have a break for two weeks and we can analyze things and maybe sign players.”
Toronto’s obvious needs are on the backline, especially at center back, but Winter said he will take help at any position.
“An opportunity came to us and I think you have to evaluate it always," Winter said, "because if he is a good player and he can be an asset and he can make your team stronger, why not? If those players are coming for trial and you can get them for nothing, it’s always worth it to take a look at it.”