Facundo Pellistri - Penarol - 2019


Toronto FC are in a battle to sign young Penarol midfielder Facundo Pellistri, according to reports out of Uruguay.

The 18-year-old winger has enjoyed a breakout season with the Penarol first team after coming up through the club’s academy. Pellistri, who also played with River Plate Montevideo and La Picada’s youth programs, made his professional debut in August. A month later he earned his first start and scored his first goal in a 3-1 win over Cerro in November.

In his first season as a professional, Pellistri has shown a diverse skillset primarily on both wings, working to win the ball defensively, sometimes deep in his defensive third, cut inside to combine with teammates, take defenders on and is a threat in the box with both feet.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Penarol are in no hurry to part with the budding star with one report indicating the team would like to retain him until at least the middle of 2020.

Toronto FC are not the only suitor for the winger they call “Facu.” Spanish side Almeria are also interested, and Boca Juniors and Atletico Madrid have reportedly sniffed around, but there’s no concrete offer from those teams.

Should Pellistri make the jump to Toronto FC, he’d continue the Penarol pipeline to MLS, following in the footsteps of LAFC Young Designated Players Diego Rossi and Brian Rodriguez.