TORONTO – Those heart-shaped hands will be seen at BMO Field for a few more years at least.
It was announced on Wednesday morning that Toronto FC have re-signed Victor Vazquez to a multi-year contract extension.
The 31-year old midfielder joined the club prior to the 2017 season, where he was instrumental in guiding them to a never-before-seen domestic treble: Canadian Championship, Supporters' Shield and MLS Cup.
“I'm really happy,” said Vazquez. “That's why I came, to be here as many years as possible. Last year was amazing for all of us and now I get the chance to re-sign. I'm really happy for my family and I.”
Vazquez was introduced as the lock-picker--the player of the final pass--that TFC needed to become MLS champions. He proved as advertised, registering 16 assists and eight goals in the regular season, helping TFC win the Supporters' Shield. Come playoff time, he was just as influential, scoring twice and collecting another assist through the five matches en route to the MLS Cup.
The decision to ensure Vazquez would be in Toronto long-term was a “no-brainer” for Greg Vanney.
“Of the new players that came into the league last year, he was at the top of the charts, in terms of his impact on the team and his ability,” explained Vanney. “To be able to get him settled in--looking beyond this year, and into the future--for him and his family to know they are going to be here for a while... it's huge.”
“We all know the difference he makes for our team,” added Vanney. “It's fantastic; I'm happy we've been able to get that sorted out.”
Arriving in Canada after an ill-fated spell in Mexico with Cruz Azul, Vazquez has found a spot in Toronto.
“I want to be here as many years as possible,” smiled Vazquez. “Maybe I can finish my career here.”
“I feel like I'm at home in another place, another country,” he continued. “I'm really comfortable. I hope I can re-sign again in a couple years. I still have many years to play; my family is happy here – that's most important for me, when they are happy, I'm happy.
“The club is working well. It makes sense.”
Having been limited by a back injury through the opening phase of the season, Vazquez is looking forward to getting back out on the pitch after the international break.
“It's getting better,” Vazquez told reporters on Wednesday afternoon. “I have time now to recover, 10 days to get fit for the game against Salt Lake. I will be ready to go. And also against [Club] America on April 3.”
“I'm looking forward to playing again,” added Vazquez. “When you are injured, you feel like you are not helping the team. Also we lost again in Montreal. We have to change this... We are going to change it now in the third match against Salt Lake.”