The Model Foreign signing for MLS?

Juan Toja/

With all the hype about David Beckham coming to MLS, the media seems to have missed perhaps the biggest impact foreigner to sign with MLS in past several seasons. I am of course speaking of Juan Toja, the 22 year old midfield dynamo for the Hoops. Toja is probably the most skilled foreign player I have seen this season in the league. This includes such big name signings as Juan Pablo Angel and Guilermo Baros Scheletto both of whom have had a remarkable impact on the league.

Toja’s performance in last night’s dramatic 3-3 draw for FC Dallas versus DC United was a case in point. DC United took a 3-0 lead behind two excellent goals from another skilled foreign newcomer, Luciano Emilio. At that point Toja took over the match and dictated the tempo in midfield. Toja scored two goals and helped set up Carlos Ruiz for another as Dallas scored three goals in 29 minutes to escape RFK Stadium with a draw.

Toja’s outstanding performance has allowed FC Dallas supporters to not fret over the dumping of Ronnie O’Brien and Richard Mulrooney after last season. Toja, at just 22 provides a model for MLS contrary to that of Beckham, Angel and Scheletto. Those players all enhance the profile of MLS overseas, but Toja like Ryan Nelson and Stern John before him could be the type of player MLS scouts from smaller leagues (or in Nelson’s case from US colleges) and then sells to European clubs for a big profit. Since MLS is intent on spending money on the Beckham’s and Angel’s of the world, it is wise to have a financial safety net which can be achieved by good scouting of young Latin American talent.

4 thoughts on “The Model Foreign signing for MLS?”

  1. I agree. He is probably going to be sold to Europe. Even so, I think it still helps build up the profile of MLS to have “alumni” playing in the top European leagues. Even if they had the money to keep those kind of guys, the lure of playing on the highest stage would probably be too much to overcome.

  2. Toja is a stud but of every 3 young guys MLS signs from Latin America maybe 1 pans out. Toja is an exceptional player but you may want to remind Dallas about Joselita Vaca, a complete bust.

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