TORONTO – While Toronto FC’s defensive struggles in the latter stages of matches have made all the headlines recently, a closer look at the team’s 2013 performances also reveals a lack of productivity from the wing positions.
TFC made a move to address that deficiency on Thursday with the acquisition of Sporting Kansas City's Bobby Convey, an MLS veteran who Reds head coach Ryan Nelsen believes ticks off all the boxes.
“Bobby Convey has been around the league for a long time. He has had success and has had about 50 US caps,” Nelsen told MLSsoccer.com. “He has played over in Europe and has a lot of experience. He is hungry to play and we are really happy that we have had the opportunity to acquire someone like him.”
WATCH: Nelsen talks Convey
With many of TFC’s recent acquisitions this season coming in the form of players who are new to Major League Soccer, the Philadelphia native arrives in Toronto with 189 MLS appearances to his credit although he was not able to crack Sporting's starting lineup this year.
“We are a very young team, an extremely young team,” Nelsen added. “So we need to bring in guys who have been around the league and who know how to win in the league. Bobby is a winner. That’s what he wants and what he likes to do.”
TFC has employed Hogan Ephraim and John Bostock out wide for much of this season. New Zealand International Jeremy Brockie arrived in Toronto earlier this week and is a versatile player capable of slotting in at striker, on the wing and as an attacking midfielder. However, all three players are on loan and at least two of the three are not expected to stay with Toronto for more than a few weeks or months.
“We have some young guys playing out wide and obviously we will be losing Hogan very soon,” Nelsen said. “We needed to address the wide positions and to get some productivity out of those positions. And Bob does that.”
Steve Bottjer covers Toronto FC for MLSsoccer.com