O'Dea's Departure Can Open New Doors

On Saturday, Toronto FC head coach Ryan Nelsen announced to the club over a team lunch that captain Darren O’Dea would be leaving on a transfer. Little was known about the deal early on, though Nelsen elaborated further following a 3-0 loss in Kansas City on Saturday night.

O’Dea addressed TFC players and staff before his departure, saying he made many good friends in Toronto, that he believes the club will turn things around on the pitch and though he may not be there to see it in person, he will be following that progress closely and “buzzing” with the Reds’ every result. 

It had to be a swift 'goodbye' as the popular Ireland international - liked and admired by fans, teammates and staff - had a flight to catch. 

More details of O’Dea’s transfer will emerge in coming days. Prior to Saturday's match the club had issued a statement on its website. 

In losing a top talent, Toronto gains significant room in the salary cap in what has been an eventful week of outgoing transactions. 

On July 9, Toronto traded midfielder Luis Silva to D.C. United for allocation money that can go toward cap relief. Three days later, defender Danny Califf announced his retirement. With O'Dea's transfer Toronto reclaims his international spot, which is the second one acquired this month following a trade with Chivas USA. 

What Toronto does with these new international roster spaces and newfound salary cap flexibility remains to be seen. Club president & general manager Kevin Payne said on Thursday he is looking at a number of players for potential new signings.

In O'Dea's absence, defender Steven Caldwell took the captain's armband on Saturday night. The Scotland international, whose brother Gary played with O'Dea at Celtic, said it was an "honour to be (O'Dea's) teammate."