Without intending to do so, Toronto FC has travelled back in time this off-season.
Cast your mind back to Feb. 26, 2013, when TFC found themselves in the middle of a major roster crisis just four days before the start of the MLS campaign. The sudden retirement of Torsten Frings meant Toronto only had 21 players under contract going into that season. And that 21 number was misleading.
Dutch striker Danny Koevermans was still recovering from knee surgery and didn’t end up returning to action until June. Goalkeeper Stefan Frei was recovering from a broken nose and missed the first few weeks of the season. There were also injury concerns over defenders Ashtone Morgan and Emory Logan, and Julio Cesar (the midfielder, and not the well-known Brazilian goalkeeper who joined Toronto in 2014 ).
With only 16 or 17 healthy bodies, TFC’s roster was looking pretty thin and badly in need of reinforcements. They eventually came in the form of future captain Jonathan Osorio, Hogan Ephraim, John Bostock, Darel Russell, Robert Earnshaw, Taylor Morgan and Ashton Bennett, who all signed either permanent or loan deals with the Reds just prior to their season opener.