January 26, 2007 Toronto FC coach comments on Abdoulaye Ibrahim (from Toronto Star)

Toronto's eager to feed success hungry Ibrahim

TFC coach expects forward to 'come in and help' new team

Jan 26, 2007 04:30 AM
Matthew Chung
Sports Reporter

With its first training camp set for early next month, Toronto FC acquired forward Abdoulaye Ibrahim yesterday with promises of more signings soon.

"It's a difficult job because we're working on a lot of visas and we're working on immigration," said Toronto FC coach Mo Johnston. "But we'll have a lot more in the near future."

FC gets the speedy 20-year-old from Togo for a fourth-round pick in the 2008 SuperDraft and a swap of allocations (money from the league used for player acquisitions and a team's order on the waiver wire). Financial details were not disclosed.

"This is a young kid who can come in and help," Johnston said. "He needs to make progress obviously, but the kid's hungry for success."

Player and coach are old acquaintances.

Ibrahim made his debut in the MLS with the New York/New Jersey MetroStars (now Red Bull New York) in 2005 when Johnston became the club's interim manager.

Ibrahim scored twice and assisted on three goals in 16 games as a rookie.

He then set his sights on playing for Togo's 2006 World Cup squad and landing a larger contract in Europe.

He had trained with Manchester United and Scottish Premier club Hearts in 2005.

He didn't make it to Togo's training camp and visa problems coupled with a communication breakdown kept him out of Europe and off of New York's roster as well.

So the 5-foot-9, 155-pound native of Lome, Togo, was playing in Africa with his rights still owned by New York when Johnston remembered him.

"His name was brought up to me the other day," said Johnston. "When I heard it ... the alarm bells went off.

"He's someone coming off your bench, in the last 10, 15 minutes that can certainly help teams."

Johnston said he hopes Ibrahim would be able to join FC in time for its training camp, Feb. 12 to 24 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Also yesterday, the Toronto Lynx and Lady Lynx released season schedules with their home openers May 12 at Centennial Park Stadium.

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