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Juan Toja (and his fabulous mullet) re-sign with MLS


You know the old saw about a talented soccer player who relies on just one foot, right?

About a guy who is overly prone to use his left foot, for instance, we would say, “He only uses his right foot for standing.”

The words have never been more spot-on than with Juan Toja, the mulleted one-year wonder at FC Dallas, who is back for a second spin of the MLS wheel.

Toja was technically an MLS man for a season and a half. But he was truly a “wonder” only in 2007, when the left-sided midfielder quickly established himself as an out-of-nowhere dynamo. Using almost exclusively his left foot, Toja earned a place at that year’s MLS All-Star contest. He even scored there, helping MLS earn a 2-0 win over Scotland’s Celtic at DSG Park outside Denver.

By 2008 the wanderlust had apparently kicked in. Toja was OK, but clearly not the same driven soul. (Even if he did retain the Jim Morrison-inspired mullet.) He wanted to be in Europe; FC Dallas sold the Colombian midfielder to Romanian side Steaua Bucharest in July of 2008.

The Bucharest stay lasted two years; Toja was then at Aris in Greece for two years.

I think it’s safe to assume that wherever he lands in MLS, he will probably remain in place for about … wait for it … two years.

The trend looks pretty clear.

So, where will Toja land? That’s tricky, because he’s subject to Major League Soccer’s allocation process. The order is down below.

Here’s the deal: we are fairly late in the season, so there probably will not be many more players subject to the allocation pecking order. So, grab him, right?

But hold on there, trigger! It’s a gamble. Because Carlos Bocanegra remains out there; it’s probably a long shot, but I’m saying there’s a chance. And he would absolutely be worth it.

Plus, someone else might just tumble in unexpectedly prior to the mid-September roster freeze.

So, teams high in this order must decide: A) If Toja is worth whatever contract number for which he’s been signed by MLS, and; B) Do they feel lucky, as in, will they not miss out on something better by using their spot in the allocation order?

Here’s the allocation order, which will re-set at the end of 2012.

  • 1) New England Revolution
  • 2) Toronto FC
  • 3) Chivas USA
  • 4) San Jose Earthquakes
  • 5) D.C. United
  • 6) Portland Timbers
  • 7) Chicago Fire
  • 8 ) Columbus Crew
  • 9) FC Dallas
  • 10) Vancouver Whitecaps
  • 11) Seattle Sounders
  • 12) Sporting Kansas City
  • 13) Real Salt Lake
  • 14) Houston Dynamo
  • 15) LA Galaxy
  • 16) Montreal Impact
  • 17) Colorado Rapids
  • 18) Philadelphia Union
  • 19) New York Red Bulls