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Toronto FC sign Argentine striker Maximiliano Urruti. The real deal?

Maximiliano Urruti, Yuber Mosquera

Venezuela’s Deportivo Lara Yuber Mosquera, left, and Argentina’s Newell’s Maximiliano Urruti go for a header during a Copa Libertadores soccer match in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013. Deportivo Lara won 2-1. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)


One of Major League Soccer’s most underachieving franchises continues to improve this season, as Toronto FC have officially acquired Argentine striker Maximiliano Urruti.

The 22 year-old striker has signed from Newell’s Old Boys in the Primera División de Argentina. Urruti has long been linked with a move to BMO Field for a while, after TFC head coach Ryan Nelsen and President Kevin Payne spent plenty of time in South America over the offseason.

Now, after some serious negotiating, they’ve got the guy they wanted.

“We are thrilled to finally get this deal concluded for Maximiliano Urruti. He is a player that we have been aware of for nearly two years and we have scouted him extensively in person,” Toronto FC President Payne said. “We think he’s really going to help our team and he is going to be an exciting player for our league so we couldn’t be happier about this outcome.”

In the past three years Urruti has scored 14 goals in 56 games for Newell’s in league and Copa Libertadores action. The famed South American club have produced plenty of exceptional players along the years. Argentinian international captain and legendary striker Gabriel Batistuta came up through the ranks at Newell’s while tough-tackling defender Gabriel Heinze and Seattle Sounders playmaker Mauro Rosales have all graced Newell’s with their presence.

Urruti’s arrival is a major coup for Toronto. They’ve been after him for quite some time.

“Maximiliano is a promising young striker and he is a natural goal scorer,” Ryan Nelsen said. “He has great character and work ethic and we are really excited to have him join Toronto.”

And they certainly needed a bit of extra help up front. Despite Robert Earnshaw’s blistering early-season form, the goals have dried up and TFC have looked elsewhere of late. Plenty of combinations have been tried, but just 21 goals in 23 games played is the third worst total in the league.

Urruti needs to hit the ground running. But if he’s anything like Toronto’s other new Argentine arrival, Matias Laba, then we’re in for a treat. Laba, 21, has shone in the midfield destroyer role for TFC after putting in some sensational displays of work rate, composed passing and gutting out the opposition.

The two Argentinians could turn Toronto’s season around. A trip to the playoffs may be out of the question this year but that summer scouting trip to South America has helped TFC build a strong foundation for the future.

That future revolves around two hugely talented Argentinian youngsters. Sounds like a good plan... let’s see how this pans out.

For now, he’s a video of Urrati doing what he’s good at. Scoring goals.

Follow @JPW_NBCSports