Amid a host of injuries and a Concacaf Champions League hangover that led to an unforeseen putrid first half of the season for Toronto FC, there has been one bright spot: Jonathan Osorio is enjoying a career year.
Osorio has helped keep Toronto's season on life support while Jozy Altidore, Eriq Zavaleta, Chris Mavinga, Justin Morrow and others have missed time in 2018, giving TFC a flickering hope of making the playoffs. Since the aforementioned injured starters have returned to the pitch, and the team has stayed within striking distance of the final playoff spot, currently six points off New England's pace. There's still time.
On top of his MLS exploits, Osorio has been even better in cup competitions. He scored twice against Ottawa over two legs in the Canadian Cup semifinals and netted another goal in leg one of the final on Wednesday night against Vancouver, setting up his side with a 2-2 aggregate score heading back to Toronto. He also scored in leg one of the Concacaf Champions League final, one of his four goals during TFC's run to the CCL final, where they lost in penalties to Guadalajara.
All in all, Osorio leads Toronto in goals with 15 across all competitions this season, seven of which in cup matches. Injuries have created the need for his goals much more than planned, but he's outpacing Sebastian Giovinco, who has 11 goals in 2018, despite playing a similar number of games.
Osorio's career year is playing out under the cloud of an uncertain future with his contract expiring at the end of the season. He's watched teammates Alex Bono and Victor Vazquez sign extensions this season while he remains in the balance. Toronto's cap situation is tight; there's still the giant question of what to do with Giovinco, who has been public with his frustration of the lack of movement on his own contract, which is up after next season. What kind of salary cap gymnastics would general manager Tim Bezbatchenko have to execute to fit all of them, plus Altidore and Michael Bradley, on the same wage bill?
While nothing is certain, this could certainly be the last season in Toronto for the homegrown star and Canadian international. If Osorio's time in Toronto ends, it wouldn't be due to performance: he'd be more of a cap casualty. The 26-year-old has played 161 regular season MLS games for TFC since signing in 2013, with 21 goals and 24 assists. He's played 12 MLS Cup Playoff games, scoring twice, helping his side win MLS Cup in 2017.
Irrespective of what happens for the rest of the season, Osorio won't be short of suitors. He's reported to have admirers in both Europe and Mexico should he move on from his hometown club.
Until then, Osorio has at least one more final to play in and will hope to push Toronto back to the playoffs this season in MLS. With the form he's in, as well as the squad finally reaching a state that even resembles generally healthy, anything is possible.