TRANSFER_16x9-Raoul_Petretta

TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Signing

Toronto FC made their second defensive signing of the offseason Tuesday, announcing the arrival of left back Raoul Petretta from Turkish top-flight club Kasımpaşa Spor Kulübü.

The 25-year-old former Italian youth international joins TFC through the 2025 MLS season with an option for 2026. The club used Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) to acquire the player.

“Raoul is an experienced young left back who established himself in a strong European club and has gained experience playing at a high level in European competitions with FC Basel,” Toronto FC head coach and sporting director Bob Bradley said in a press release.

“He is a smart passer, disciplined defender, and has the work rate to get up and down the left flank consistently. We are excited to have him join Toronto FC and strengthen our backline.”

Born in Germany, Petretta came through the ranks at FC Basel. In his four years with the Swiss giants, he scored 10 goals and added 12 assists in 152 appearances across all competitions while winning the Swiss Super League (2016-17) and two Swiss Cups (2016-17 and 2018-19).

After transferring to Kasımpaşa in mid-2022, he tallied 1g/1a in 12 matches across all competitions (Süper Lig and Türkiye Kupasi).

Petretta seems poised to inherit the left back spot from Domenico Criscito, who returned to his native Italy after just a half-season in MLS. Another left back, Luca Petrasso also departed this winter in a trade with Orlando City SC.

After giving up a third-worst 66 goals and missing out on the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs last season, Toronto appear focused on addressing their defensive issues. Their first order of business was signing former FC Dallas center back Matt Hedges in free agency.

Petretta is their sixth offseason signing, as Bradley looks to build on a squad centered around Italian superstars Lorenzo Insigne and Federico Bernardeschi.

Toronto open their 2023 MLS season on Feb. 25 when visiting Eastern Conference rivals D.C. United (7:30 pm ET | MLS Season Pass).