TFC Republic Weekly: January 15-21

Toronto FC still has several important roster moves to make with the start of the new MLS campaign just six weeks away.

TFC Republic Weekly: January 15-21

Welcome to the latest edition of TFC Republic Weekly, an email newsletter that will land in the inbox of both paid subscribers and free members of TFC Republic every Monday.

This newsletter will look at what's in store over the next seven days for Toronto FC, and also get a glimpse of what to expect at TFC Republic in the coming days.

So, without further ado...

Happy (belated) New Year from TFC Republic!

I'd like to take this opportunity to wish all of you a Happy (belated) New Year, and the best for you, your families and friends in 2024. I'd also like to welcome the many new readers who purchased a subscription to TFC Republic during the past three weeks while I was on holiday. Just a reminder that all subscribers can reach me via email at

After taking a vacation over the Christmas season, I have returned to work which means TFC Republic's hiatus is now over. You can expect regular and daily coverage of Toronto FC through training camp leading up to the Reds' MLS season opener on Feb. 25 away to FC Cincinnati.

This is going to be one of the most important off-seasons in the club's history, as coach John Herdman and GM Jason Hernandez still have several important roster moves to make with the start of the new league campaign just six weeks away. Be sure to check back with TFC Republic every day for fresh content as Toronto FC gets set for the 2024 MLS season.

Toronto FC heads to Florida this week

TFC departs for West Palm Beach, Florida on Tuesday and will train down there for the first leg of training camp. While in Florida, the Reds will play an exhibition match against Nashville SC on Feb. 2.  

The team then returns to Toronto after the Nashville match before heading to Santa Barbara, California on Feb. 8. for the second leg of pre-season. While there TFC will play the Columbus Crew (Feb. 10), Real Salt Lake (Feb. 14) and Los Angeles FC (Feb. 17). 

Toronto FC opens the 2024 MLS season on Feb. 25 against FC Cincinnati at TQL Stadium. 

Toronto FC adds Honduran midfielder Deybi Flores

Toronto FC announced last week the signing of defensive midfielder Deybi Flores from Hungarian team Fehérvár Football Club to a two-year contract with an option for 2026. Flores has 35 caps for Honduras since his international debut in 2015.  

Flores, 27, spent the past two seasons in Hungary where he made 32 appearances. Prior to that he turned out for Greek side Panetolikos Football Club, where he scored four goals through 54 appearances across two seasons. The combative midfielder began his career as an 18-year-old at CD Motagua in his native Honduras in 2014 before making the move to MLS the following year when he joined the Vancouver Whitecaps. 

He made 15 appearances across all competitions in his first season with Vancouver, but then returned to CD Motagua in 2016 for a second stint, where he played a key role in the club's 14th Liga Nacional championship during the 2016-2017 Apertura season. He also played for Club Olimpia Deportivo in Honduras before going to Greece in 2021. 

Although slight of build – he stands just five-feet-eleven and weighs 176 pounds – the Honduran is a midfielder destroyer who is noted for his ability to win 50/50 balls. The retirement of former captain Michael Bradley left TFC with a rather large hole to fill in central midfield this season. So, the hope is that Flores can help fortify Toronto in the middle of the park with his physical play, presence and boundless energy. 

Terms of the deal with Fehérvár were not released and we also don’t know how much money Flores will earn with Toronto and what his salary cap will be, so it’s difficult to evaluate whether the Reds overpaid to bring the Honduran back to MLS. But they clearly had to do something to strengthen its midfield core and bring in a player who can help protect a back line that conceded 59 goals in 2023, the second-worst defensive record in MLS. 

While hardly a transformative move by TFC, this does fill a need and Flores does have the kind of profile that should be a good fit for the style of soccer that Herdman wants to play, which stresses physicality and athleticism. 

De Vos, Galindo added to Herdman's staff

Former Canadian men's team captain Jason de Vos joined Toronto FC as an assistant coach under John Herdman earlier this month. 

De Vos, 50, was Canada Soccer's director of development for the past seven years and had been serving as the organization's interim general secretary since last spring. 

The London, Ont., was also a part of Herdman's staff with the Canadian men's team as an assistant coach, including at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Capped 49 times by Canada, de Vos was inducted into Canada's Soccer Hall of Fame in 2013. 

Also, noted soccer journalist Peter Galindo was recently hired as TFC's performance analyst. Galindo wrote about Canadian soccer for several media outlets during his journalism career and was a regular contributor for TFC Republic since 2021. 

Stories to look out for at TFC Republic

Toronto FC players reported to the BMO Training Ground this past weekend to undergo medicals before the start of the pre-season. Before the team travels to Florida this week for the first leg of training camp, John Herdman and a few players will talk to local reporters for the first time in 2024 during a media availability on Monday. Look for my in-depth report later today. 

Other stories that will be published later this week include:     

  • My random thoughts column on Toronto FC.   
  • The latest instalment of our "TFC flashback" history series.  
  • The latest instalment of the reader mailbag. 
  • And much more! 

TFC Republic mailbag

TFC Republic will feature a regular reader mailbag column where I answer questions from subscribers about Toronto FC and Canadian soccer in general.

I'll answer the best questions submitted to me by TFC Republic readers, so feel free to drop me an email at You can also reach out to me via Twitter and Facebook.

(Top photo courtesy of Andy Truong/Toronto FC)

TFC Republic has a comments section! At the very bottom of every story, there is a feature where you can post your comments, so be sure to share your thoughts and views.