The Montreal Impact today moved to bring in another striker giving Thierry Henry more options up front.
Mason Toye, who gave a match-winning performance by scoring twice on his only visit to Stade Saputo, arrives in exchange for a total of $600,000 General Allocation Money and a 2021 MLS SuperDraft pick.
The former Indiana University student earned u23 international recognition in the latter half of 2019, playing and scoring in victories for the US over Japan and El Salvador and appearing off the bench in a 0-1 defeat to Brazil.
2019 was his breakthrough year in MLS with 6 goals in 9 starts. His goals did dry up towards the end of the season however. After his brace at Stade Saputo he scored in only one of his next 13 appearances (8 starts) - another well-taken brace as Minnesota won at LAFC.
2020 has been a frustrating year seeing action in only 9 (6 starts) of The Loons’ 14 games to date, scoring once in a 2-3 defeat by FC Dallas.
Paraguayan Luis Amarilla began the season as first-choice at Minnesota, but Toye got his chance when the newcomer was injured. However since the recent arrival of well-travelled Kei Kamara, it‘s been back to bench duty for the 6ft 3in striker.
Toye is not without his admirers in MLS but perhaps lacks a certain consistency. He’s displayed an ability to finish although his goal stats suggest a regular return is still lacking. But that’s a criticism which comes without the player really having had a steady run of games and Loons coach Heath acknowledges Toye could thrive elsewhere.
“I’m fully aware what will come back to me in a year or two if Mason is flourishing and scoring plenty of goals.”
Toye had two years left on his Minnesota contract and according to Heath has ambitions to play abroad thereafter. “We couldn’t guarantee him the #9 starting position, we had to weigh all that up. I do wish him all the best. he wants to do well. He works so hard.”
This season’s lack of game time had frustrated the player and he let Minnesota know last week that if another club wanted to give him more game time then he’d like to take that opportunity.
Heath stated that Montreal was one of many clubs to express interest in the player once made available, and that their offer was the best one “... by far”.
It’s no secret that the Impact lacks firepower despite Romell Quioto hitting the ground (and unfortunately an opponent’s head) running and Sporting Director Olivier Renard is pleased with the business just conducted...
“We are happy with the acquisition of Mason, who fits the profile we wanted, meaning a striker who can score and who has already demonstrated what he’s capable of in this league.
“This addition is in line with our sporting philosophy of having young players with high potential in the squad.”
Any news about the arrival of a striker in Montreal is going to be welcomed excitedly since the club has not had a recognized centre-forward since the days of Didier Drogba.
Toye should provide much needed presence up-front and hopefully complement Quioto or Bojan, but patience will be required. The Impact are investing in potential, a striker with a fledgling MLS career behind him. Not one yet firmly established in MLS.
Let’s hope Toye’s development gathers apace in tandem with the latest Impact project under the guidance of Renard and Henry.
Toye will join the squad in New Jersey and is expected to be available for the game on Wednesday, October 7 against the Crew in Columbus.