Toronto FC goalkeeper Alex Bono and midfielder Jay Chapman recently wrapped up their offseason training stint in Spain with Segunda Division team Elche CF.
“Training has been eye opening. Elche is a talented side in Spain with a lot of good young players. We were able to take in a couple matches while we were here and they were fast paced and highly entertaining, just the way you picture Spanish soccer,” said Bono of his time in Spain.
The former 6th overall pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft spent the majority of the 2015 season with TFC II where he made 12 starts and registered one clean sheet.
He made two appearances for Toronto FC – both friendly matches – against English Premier League sides Sunderland A.F.C. and Manchester City F.C.
Chapman split his time with Toronto FC and TFC II this past season. He made 10 appearances for the first team and nine with TFC II where he registered two goals and one assist.
Being able to train with Elche was an incredible opportunity for both players to further develop their skills in a country that is notorious for producing some of the best footballers in the world.
“There is a lot to be said for Spanish goalkeepers, as they are consistently some of the best in the world, so trying to integrate their style into mine, I believe, can benefit me in the future,” said Bono.
“It has been an awesome opportunity and a great learning experience. The football [in Spain] has taught us a lot in terms of how kids our age are being developed in some of the best countries for football in the world,” added Chapman.
“Overall, it has been a humbling experience because living wise, we have it so good in Canada. If players in Spain can become great players, then I think young players like us have all the resources to do the same.”