Toronto bring home Canada midfielder De Guzman
TORONTO -- Canada midfielder Julian de Guzman has returned from Europe to join his home town team Toronto, the Major League Soccer club said on Friday.
The 28-year-old, who signed a three-year deal, will be available for Saturday's game against Colorado Rapids pending international clearance.
"This is a dream come true for me, to be part of a professional team at this level in Toronto," de Guzman told a news conference. "I'm home again. Couldn't ask for anything better."
The former Deportivo Coruna player, who has 40 caps for Canada, has spent his entire professional career in Europe.
He came through Olympique Marseille's youth system and played for Saarbruecken and Hanover in the Bundesliga before spending four years at Deportivo, making 95 appearances for the Spanish club before his contract ended on June 30.
Guzman has signed under the designated player (DP) ruling that allows MLS clubs to sign one player whose salary, above a certain amount, is not part of the team's overall cap.
The ruling allowed LA Galaxy to sign David Beckham and Seattle Sounders to bring in Swede Freddie Ljungberg.
"We are absolutely delighted to have Julian back playing in his home town," said Toronto director of soccer Mo Johnston.
"He ticks all the boxes in what we were looking for in a DP and will help our team straight away," he added.
Toronto are fifth in the seven-team Eastern conference.
Information from Reuters and The Associated Press was used in this report.