Home MLS Toronto FC O’Dea back in Toronto to “finalize a transfer”

O’Dea back in Toronto to “finalize a transfer”

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In a sports-journalism dominated by rumours, Twitter, unnamed sources and loose lips, it’s not too often that a team can issue a press release that raises eyebrows. Usually, by the time a team announces news, it’s been on the Internet and the paper for days.

But, on Saturday, Toronto FC unleashed a stunner of a press release. An hour before kickoff of its match in Sporting Kansas City, the team gave a simple explanation why veteran Irish defender Darren O’Dea won’t be in the lineup.

“Darren O’Dea went back to Toronto to finalize a transfer. As per club policy we will not discuss terms and cannot provide any further information at this time.”

Yes, it looks as if the TFC captain, who has a base salary of US$350,000 and a pay packet that reaches past US$450,000 — according to numbers from the MLS Players’ Union — is on his way out. O’Dea isn’t a Designated Player, but actually carries a cap charge that’s higher than a DP would have.

O’Dea has been an automatic starter for TFC since he arrived in August of 2012. The Irish national-teamer has, in many ways, been the face of the team for almost the last full year, always answering questions after the tough losses or unlikely draws. When the team needed him to fill in at left back this season, he made the move without complaint.

Now, it looks as if he’s in Toronto to sign some paperwork and pack his things, which will lead fans to ask where all the freed-up cash is going to be spent. And it will do nothing to quell the Diego Forlan-to-TFC rumours.

TFC added fullback Mark Bloom on loan from the Atlanta Silverbacks on Friday.

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