Transaction tracker: Toronto FC waives Adama Diomande

Instead of buying the Norwegian forward out of his contract, TFC put him on waivers on Friday.

Transaction tracker: Toronto FC waives Adama Diomande
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Toronto FC transaction tracker
The transaction tracker at TFC Republic is a special feature where we will list all of the roster moves made by Toronto FC.

Feb. 23, 2024: Toronto FC waives Adama Diomande  

Toronto FC announced it has placed forward Adama Diomande on waivers. 

Quick analysis: Instead of buying Adama Diomande out of his contract, Toronto put him on waivers on Friday, a move that has the same result: It ends the Norwegian forward's injury-marred run with the club. 

Diomande was originally signed by TFC last January after previously playing for Odds BK in his native Norway. He also enjoyed spells at Hull City in England, Norway's Stabæk, LAFC, FC Dinamo Minsk in Belarus, Cangzhou Mighty Lions of China, and Qatari clubs Al-Sailiya and Al-Arabi. The hope for TFC was that Diomande would duplicate the form he displayed at LAFC where he scored 24 goals and added 11 assists in 52 appearances across all competitions from 2018 to 2020. 

But injuries limited him to just five MLS appearances (two starts) and 166 minutes of action for Toronto in 2023. Ultimately, the Achilles tendon injury in his left leg ended up ruling him out for the rest of this year when he was placed on the season-ending injury list in August.  

Diomande had spent all this pre-season training camp working out and training on his own away from the rest of the team. John Herdman repeatedly said the club was taking a cautious approach with the Norwegian's return given his history.

"He's not been healthy for a long time. He's not been able to get consistent game time in clubs that he's been at recently, particularly with Toronto. We're just trying to reverse that trend rather than throw him in," Herdman stated. 

It sounded like the Reds were going to give the Norwegian international every chance to get healthy and finally prove himself during his second spell in MLS after previously playing for Bob Bradley's LAFC from 2018 to 2020 

"A durable Dio is going to [make] a big impact for Toronto FC if we can get him consistent this season and not [plagued] by injuries... He's got good experience; he's been around, and he knows how to score. Our mission is don't rush it. Let's take him to the pitch to the point where he's ready and not at any risk," Herdman explained. 

Ultimately, Toronto decided to let the 34-year-old forward go by putting him on waivers. 

Buying Diomande out of his contract – he earned $585,000 US – would have cleared up that same amount of salary cap space, but it would have been an expensive move by MLSE. However, TFC can still free up some salary cap if Diomande is picked up off waivers by another MLS team. 

MLS club can put a player on waivers at any time during the regular season at which point he is made available to all other teams in the league. The claiming period begins on the first business day after the league notifies all the clubs of the player's availability and expires at 5 p.m. ET on the second business day. If the player is not selected (if he clears waivers) then he becomes available to all MLS clubs on a first-come, first-served basis. 

During that 48-hour period, a bidding process takes place between teams who are interested in claiming the player off waivers. Toronto did the same thing when they picked up Cristián Gutiérrez after he was put on waivers by the Vancouver Whitecaps last season. 

"The way that waivers basically work is that the club that has the player, in this case Vancouver, they basically said, 'We're going to move on from Gutiérrez and waive him.' At that point, every MLS club gets an opportunity to bid for the player," Jason Hernandez told TFC Republic at the time. 

"Whoever wins the bid, that team is responsible for that portion of his salary cap hit, but Vancouver picks up the balance. So, hypothetically, if Cristián was on a $1 million contract, and we got him off waivers at $100,000, then that's our cap hit for him, and he would sit on Vancouver's salary cap at $900,000 for the rest of the season." 

He later added: "Vancouver or any club who waives a player is hoping for a massive bidding war amongst other teams; that there's a big market for the player so that they end up assuming as little of his salary cap hit as possible." 

Putting Diomande on waivers also opens up a valuable international slot on TFC's roster. 

(Top photo courtesy of Toronto FC)

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