MLS

Napoli star Insigne to join Toronto at the end of the season

By Sports Desk January 08, 2022

Lorenzo Insigne will leave Napoli at the end of the season to join Major League Soccer side Toronto FC.

The 30-year-old has spent his entire career in Naples despite regularly being linked with a move away, but will finally say goodbye to his hometown club when his contract expires in June.

Winger Insigne has signed a four-year deal, which will begin on July 1, after agreeing to move to Toronto as a designated player.

The Italy international has played 412 games for Napoli, scoring 113 goals and registering 88 assists, and was a key part of Roberto Mancini's side that won Euro 2020 last year, scoring two goals in six games 

Toronto president Bill Manning said: “This is a historic and exciting day for our club.

"Lorenzo is a world-class attacking player in the prime of his career. He was a European champion with Italy and has performed on the biggest stages during his club career with Napoli.

"Lorenzo has the talent to change games. He plays the game with joy and passion, and our fans and supporters are going to love watching him as a member of our team."

 

Insigne will become the second big-name Italian to play for Toronto, following in the footsteps of Sebastian Giovinco, who joined the Canadian side from Juventus in 2015.

The club's head coach and sporting director Bob Bradley said it was a move they had been hoping to make for "many years", stating: "We are all looking forward to having Lorenzo join us this summer.

"His ability to create chances for himself and his teammates is special. Having watched him for many years, I also know he's also a player who works for the team.

"Lorenzo is the kind of player you come to watch because there's always a chance he'll do something unforgettable."

Related items

  • Minnesota United v San Jose Earthquakes: Under-pressure Ramsay chooses to see hope Minnesota United v San Jose Earthquakes: Under-pressure Ramsay chooses to see hope

    Minnesota United head coach Eric Ramsay says the club are "onto a good thing" despite their nine-match winless streak as they prepare to face the San Jose Earthquakes.

    Minnesota ended a six-match losing run against Houston Dynamo last weekend with a 1-1 draw but could not build on that in midweek as they let a lead slip in stoppage time against D.C. United to lose 3-2.

    Sitting ninth in the Western Conference with teams below them are starting to close in, but Ramsay, who is starting to come under pressure due to this run of results, remains optimistic.

    "I always see hope," Ramsay said. "We've got a group that is very willing to throw themselves into a challenge and a coaching staff that are largely very positive and constructive.

    "We're doing everything we can to make sure that we roll from one game into another. We look at ourselves hard in the mirror, but we're also realistic, and I am absolutely adamant that we're onto a good thing here.

    "The big thing is we remain calm and level, with lessons learned, and everything still intact."

    Meanwhile, San Jose sit rooted to the bottom of the table having collected just 14 points this season.

    Despite winning just one of their last 12 matches, interim head coach Ian Russell says he sees improvement in the team, especially defensively.

    "We've had three games in a week, and you want to focus on each game, but that's really hard," Russell said.

    "Defensively, we're better, but we've got to get the attack going. It's a fine line. It's a matter of every player buying in defensively, staying compact, small details.

    "If you do that as a collective, you start seeing results and, defensively, we've been pretty good."

    PLAYERS TO WATCH

    Minnesota United – Tanitoluwa Oluwaseyi

    Minnesota's 3-2 defeat to D.C. on Wednesday marked the second time in club history that the Loons lost an MLS match when leading entering the 90th minute, also doing so at home against Seattle in August 2018.

    Oluwaseyi scored the opener in that game, netting for the eighth time this season, and he will be key as they look to bounce back.

    San Jose Earthquakes – Jacob Jackson

    San Jose have lost four straight, and nine of their 11 road games this regular season (winning one, drawing one). The Earthquakes have allowed at least four goals in five of those 11 games.

    Jacob Jackson has endured a torrid run in goal, and he will be keen to enjoy a shutout before the Leagues Cup break.

    MATCH PREDICTION: MINNESOTA UNITED WIN

    San Jose won each of their first four meetings with Minnesota, spanning the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Since 2019, the Earthquakes have managed just one win in 10 meetings with the Loons in all competitions (drawing four, losing five).

    Minnesota are winless in a club-record nine straight regular-season matches (drawing two, losing seven) following a 3-2 loss to D.C. on Wednesday. The Loons have lost three straight home matches for the first time in the club's MLS history.

    Meanwhile, San Jose's 14 points through 24 games this season equals the fourth-fewest at this stage of a season in MLS history, behind only the MetroStars in 1999 (nine), D.C. United in 2013 (13) and Chivas USA in 2005 (13).

    OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

    Minnesota United – 56.1%

    Draw – 22.7%

    San Jose Earthquakes – 21.2%

  • Zverev soars past Zhang to reach Hamburg Open semi-finals Zverev soars past Zhang to reach Hamburg Open semi-finals

    Alexander Zverev booked his place in the Hamburg Open semi-finals with a straight-sets victory over Zhizhen Zhang.

    The top seed - and reigning champion - kept his title defence very much on track, prevailing 6-4 6-3 after 66 minutes on Center Court.

    Zverev dominated on serve during the opening set, dropping just three points, while a break in game five paved the way for him to move halfway towards victory.

    The home favourite made another statement of intent when he broke in the opening game of the second set.

    Another break followed at 5-3 to secure victory and send the Italian Open champion through to his seventh ATP semi-final of the season - and third on clay, having also reached the French Open final.

    There, he will play Pedro Martinez after the Spaniard beat fourth seed Francisco Cerundolo in three sets.

    Data Debrief: Statement of intent from Zverev

    The German demonstrated his desire to maintain his hold on the trophy he won in front of his home crowd last season, and become only the third player this century to successfully defend the crown after Roger Federer and Nikoloz Basilashvili.

    Indeed, Zverev hit 10 aces and won 29 of 33 points on first serve (88%), while converting three of his four break-point opportunities.

  • Tsitsipas sets up Swiss Open semi-final showdown with Berrettini Tsitsipas sets up Swiss Open semi-final showdown with Berrettini

    Stefanos Tsitsipas will play Matteo Berrettini in the Swiss Open semi-finals, after seeing off Fabio Fognini in straight sets on Friday.

    The two-time major finalist, who is making his first appearance in Gstaad, took 66 minutes to wrap up a 6-4 6-3 victory over the Italian on Roy Emerson Court.

    Though he relinquished an early break in the opening set, Tsitsipas claimed a crucial one at 5-4 to edge his nose in front.

    Despite seeing another early break cancelled out in the second set, the Greek managed to earn another, and eventually progressed to the last four in comfortable fashion.

    "My returns worked pretty well, I was very consistent with them," he said. "I insisted on staying back throughout the match and giving it a bit of a loop, trying to get the angles from the very beginning. It worked pretty well.

    "I'm happy with how I started serving towards the end of the match. In the beginning, I was still trying to figure out how I was going to open up the court and create opportunities on my serve. It took me a while to figure out. I unlocked the code towards the end."

    Another Italian lies in wait for Tsitsipas in Berrettini, who overcame Felix Auger-Aliassime 7-6 (9-7) 7-6 (7-2).

    The former Wimbledon finalist is seeking his second clay-court title of the season, having also triumphed in Marrakech, while he was runner-up to Jack Draper in Stuttgart last month.

    Data Debrief: Another Italian Job well done by Tsitsipas

    Reigning Monte-Carlo Masters champion Tsitsipas is through to his fourth ATP semi-final of the season, with three of those coming on clay, while recording his fifth straight victory in as many meetings with Fognini.

    The Greek now boasts an impressive 14-1 record against Italian opponents on surface - his only such defeat coming against Jannik Sinner in Rome four years ago.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.