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Toronto FC is releasing a handful of veteran players, including goalkeepers Bono and Westberg
It turns out that Toronto FC’s goalies aren’t goalies.
The club announced their end-of-season moves on Friday and two veteran Reds who won’t be returning are veteran goalkeepers Alex Bono and Quentin Westberg. Both are out of contract at the end of the year and will not return to TFC for the 2023 season.
Also out of contract and not returning are midfielder Noble Okello and defender Donil Henry. Henry remains under contract with MLS after being waived by LAFC on July 3, 2022, and will be eligible to go through waivers again.
Bono and Westberg played eight and four seasons respectively for TFC. Bono, 28, finished fourth in the voting for the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year award in 2017 and had a sensational year that year, helping TFC win MLS’s domestic treble — the MLS Cup, the Supporters’ Shield and the Canadian championship. Westberg helped guide TFC to the MLS Cup Final in 2019. Both goalkeepers have struggled at times this season behind a very porous Toronto defense.
TFC also declined the 2023 contract options of forward Ifunanyachi Achara, who was selected 25th overall in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft by the Reds and scored in his first TFC game on March 7 of that year, Toronto’s season opener . Achara’s goal was the winner as TFC beat New York City FC 1-0. However, that turned out to be the only game of the rookie season, as shortly after that game Achara tore his ACL during practice. His TFC career never took off. The Enugu, Nigeria native has scored three career goals in 30 appearances for TFC.
In other moves, TFC did not exercise the 2023 contract option for defender Chris Mavinga, but continued to discuss a potential new contract with him. The veteran center back has had an inconsistent season for Toronto. He has earned $1.038 million according to the MLS Players Association salary guide this season, but will likely have to take a significant pay cut to stay.
Midfielder Jonathan Osorio’s contract will expire at the end of the year; however, the club continues to negotiate with the Brampton native over a potential new contract for 2023 and beyond. Osorio, 30, said he will choose the best option in terms of a new contract, whether that is with TFC, a club in Europe or even another MLS team.
Defender Richie Larriea’s 2023 season loan with TFC runs until June 2023 and the Reds are likely to try to keep him. The Reds have exercised the contract option of defender Temi Antonoglu. Winger Jacob Schaffelburg is on loan at Nashville SC until the end of the 2022 season, and Nashville has the option to exercise the transfer permanently through 2023. TFC coach Bob Bradley hinted this week that Nashville will likely exercise that option. Defender Auro Jr. is on loan at Brazilian club Santos FC and TFC have until the November 14 MLS deadline to exercise or decline Auro Jr.’s 2023 contract option.
Twenty-one players are contractually guaranteed for the 2023 season: goaltender Greg Ranjitsing; defenders Antonoglu, Kadin Chung, Domenico Criscito, Lucas McNaughton, Jacquile Marshall-Rutty, Luca Petraso, Luke Singh (currently out on loan), Shane O’Neill; midfielders Michael Bradley, Marc-Anthony Kaye, Jaden Nelson, Kossi Thompson and forwards Ayo Akinola, Federico Bernardeschi, Lorenzo Insigne, Jesus Jimenez, Deandre Kerr, Hugo Mbonge and Jordan Peruzza.
TFC president Bill Manning said the club would look at all options to move some players still under contract to strengthen the club’s roster. TFC finished the 2022 season with nine wins, 18 losses and seven ties and missed the playoffs for the second year in a row. Manning and Bob Bradley promised changes in the offseason.
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