TFC Agree To Terms With Joao Plata
Toronto FC announced Wednesday that the club has agreed to terms on a multi-year deal with forward Joao Plata, keeping the Ecuadorian international at Toronto FC. As per team and league policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“We are very happy to get this deal completed and keep Plata at our club,” said Toronto FC Head Coach & Technical Director, Aron Winter. “Plata had a great year with us in 2011. He made a strong contribution on the pitch.
“Re-signing Plata was a high priority for our club during the offseason. I have to compliment everyone involved for making this a reality. Plata wanted to remain in Toronto and we wanted to keep him. We know our fans will be happy with this announcement.”
Plata, 19, completed his first season in Major League Soccer (MLS) and Toronto FC after being selected 49th overall in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft. The Ecuadorian finished the regular season with 26 appearances adding three goals and five assists. He was also the recipient of MLS Player of the Week for Week 8 when he scored his first goal in league play and set-up the eventual winner in a 2-1 victory over the Houston Dynamo at BMO Field.
In the Nutrilite Canadian Championship, Plata made his first ever start for Toronto FC, contributing two assists in a 3-0 victory over FC Edmonton. Plata made four appearances during the tournament, scoring one goal and recording three assists during the national championship. He was named the George Cross Memorial Trophy winner, as the tournament’s MVP.
In CONCACAF Champions League (CCL) play, the teenager’s performance was pivotal in the team advancing in the tournament. Plata made five CCL appearances scoring four goals and adding one assist. The first pair of goals came against Real Esteli FC of Nicaragua during a qualifier, helping the Reds advance to the group stage. On October 18, Plata added another brace in a 3-0 victory over FC Dallas to put Toronto FC into the quarterfinals of the Champions League for the first time in club history.
To date, Plata has earned one international cap for his native Ecuador. He entered the match as a substitute in the 92nd minute of a 2-2 friendly draw against Canada at BMO Field on June 1, 2011.
Toronto FC fans will have the first opportunity to see Joao Plata return to the pitch for the Reds on Wednesday, March 7 at Rogers Centre during the CCL quarterfinal match against the LA Galaxy.