Toronto FC has been a laughingstock of MLS since entering the league in 2006, but it looks as if they have finally given their fervent supporters something to get excited about. The Reds have signed Germany World Cup midfielder Torsten Frings and former PSV striker Danny Koevermans as Designated Players to bolster a team that is off to a bad start and looking as if they will miss the playoffs for the sixth consecutive season.
Frings and Koevermans will join Julian de Guzman as Toronto FC's designated players. De Guzman earns $1.9 million per season, but it is unknown how much the club's two new signings will earn. To get a third Designated Player slot, Toronto will have to pay MLS $250,000, which will be split among the other clubs in the league.
According to reports, both Glasgow Rangers and Leeds were bidding to sign Frings, but the 34-year-old chose a move to North America instead. He was capped 79 by Germany and played in both the 2002 and 2006 World Cups. In the United States, Frings is well known as the German player who handled the ball on the goal line to deny the U.S. the tying goal in the 2002 World Cup quarterfinals, a tournament that saw Frings feature for a German team all the way to the final. He won one Bundesliga title with Bayern Munich, but spent the majority of his career with Werder Bremen.
In Koevermans Toronto gets the goal scorer they so sorely need. With just 16 goals in 18 matches, the Reds could use any goal scoring and the 32-year-old Koevermans gives them that. He established himself as a good finisher in the Dutch Eredivisie, the last four years with PSV after stints with AZ and Sparta Rotterdam. He appeared just four times for the Netherlands, scoring once in a Euro 2009 qualifier.
Koevermans will step in immediately for Toronto and fill their gigantic hole up top. Frings will become the Reds' best midfielder, but it does throw the future of de Guzman into doubt. The Canadian has been a disappointment since joining the Reds and with Frings possibly stepping into de Guzman's preferred defensive midfield position, de Guzman could be expendable. Add in the young Tony Tchani, who also plays defensive midfield and Toronto has three players for, at most, two spots. Frings is capable of playing anywhere in the midfield though, making it possible that they can play together.
Neither Frings nor Koevermans will be able to play for Toronto until July 15, when the transfer window opens. A home match against FC Dallas on July 20 will likely be their first appearances for the club.