Tim Leiweke, Jermain Defoe and Michael Bradley were all smiles at Toronto FC's press conference on Monday. (Tom Szczerbowski/USA Today Sports)
Jermain Defoe, fresh off scoring a goal over the weekend for Tottenham, arrived in Toronto and was being presented as the club's new Designated Player Monday, when he was joined at the podium by a (somewhat) surprise guest: U.S. international midfielder Michael Bradley.
After A.S. Roma announced it sold Bradley to MLS for $10 million on Friday, Toronto FC made his signing official and unveiled Bradley and Defoe to its success-starved fans in a watershed event for the organization.
Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment president and CEO Tim Leiweke made sure to thank Drake and David Beckham for helping convince Defoe to leave Tottenham and join MLS, while adding that he never thought landing Bradley -- still just 26 and a fulcrum for the U.S. men's national team -- would be a possibility at the current time. Nevertheless, both players are locked in as DP signings, forever changing the face of TFC's roster.
While them, in addition to new signing Gilberto, give the club its full allotment of three DPs, that means another rostered DP, Matias Laba, will have to have his deal restructured if he is to remain with the club. TFC general manager Tim Bezbatchenko said that the club was in talks with Laba and is working on a solution before the league's roster compliance date in March.
Watch how Monday's events unfolded below: