Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Toronto FC GM Tim Bezbatchenko Continues Talent Hunt for MLS Champions

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Toronto FC GM Tim Bezbatchenko Continues Talent Hunt for MLS Champions

Article excerpt

Toronto FC GM continues talent hunt


TORONTO - MLS champion Toronto FC continues its search for help on the right side and an attacking player.

With free agent Steven Beitashour departing for Los Angeles FC, Liechtenstein international Nico Hasler becomes the incumbent at right fulback/wingback. Depth is needed.

General manager Tim Bezbatchenko says the team is looking for a right-sided player in the international market but declined to comment on reports that Dutch defender Gregory van der Wiel is in his sights.

And while the MLS team likes its attacking options, Bezbatchenko is looking to add to the TFC toolbox.

"We are looking possibly for one additional piece that can provide maybe a little bit different of a look and variation to our group than we currently have," the GM told a media conference call Wednesday.

"But we also want to make sure that the player is the right fit for our team both on the field and off the field . . . We're looking to try to find the best player for our budget that can help our attack."

The new piece is expected to be an attack-minded winger.

While TFC is currently training in the Los Angeles area, Bezbatchenko remains in Toronto working the phones.

Bezbatchenko said he hoped to have any new signings in place ahead of the CONCACAF Champions League round-of-16 series with Colorado starting Feb. 20, but added he would not take shortcuts in the talent search.

He did say that Toronto's success in 2017 had helped the recruiting process.

"Players are competitive. They want to win championships. They know that they have a limited window to be professional soccer players and they want to come to a winning organization.

"Certainly winning helps, no doubt."

Toronto has targeted allocation money to spend, which can be used to reduce the salary cap hit of an elite player or helping finance his acquisition. …

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