Toronto’s Lorenzo Insigne deal is huge but highlights MLS limitations and inefficiencies – The Athletic

There have been several high-profile outbound transfers, multiple head coach hires and a new owner announcement, but so far no MLS news in 2022 has been as notable as Lorenzo Insigne by Toronto FC. While the move has the potential to be transformational for both Toronto and MLS, it also serves as yet another indicator of the downsides of the MLS roster creation model.

Let’s start with the good news. Insigne, who will come to TFC on a free transfer in July after the expiry of his Napoli contract, is coming to the league at the height of his considerable abilities. The 30-year-old Italy international helped his country to the European Championship title last summer, scored 19 goals and seven assists in 35 Serie A matches last season and has four goals and five assists in 17 league appearances this season. As long as he is fit and motivated, he should be an absolute force in MLS for most of his massive four-year $60 million guaranteed contract. TFC also expects him to fuel enthusiasm for the club in the wider Toronto area, something that seems somewhat necessary after the misery the club endured in a brutal 2021. director Bob Bradley, a resounding statement that the club is not here just to win, but to win everything.

Signing Insignia is also kudos to MLS. He will not generate the same amount of mainstream media attention or sell as many tickets as previous designated players such as David Beckham, Thierry Henry or Zlatan Ibrahimovic and his place in the Italian national team may be secure regardless of his club situation but his decision to participate to TFC in a World Cup year is a signal to other international stars that the league is an acceptable place to spend at least some of their firsts.

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