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Toronto FC want Beckham or Henry-type Designated Player

Toronto FC chief Tim Leiweke has indicated that the club are seeking a high-quality Designated Player.

The Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment CEO is well-versed to know what type of player will fit into a MLS club after luring David Beckham to the LA Galaxy back in 2007.

Leiweke is aware that signing big name players who want to become the heart and soul of a MLS franchise is much more difficult these days, citing Didier Drogba's decision to move to Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua rather than MLS as an example.

"I don't think that would have happened eight years ago," Leiweke told The Canadian Press. "I just don't think those other countries and leagues were a player at the time. So we have to acknowledge it's going to be harder to find these guys.

"The second thing is you cannot make a mistake on a DP. You have to be right. You've got to find a guy with character, a player that's willing to understand the uniqueness of Major League Soccer and the style of play that we have here.

"You had to have a player that will be unusually patient with the young, developing players and the kids. They had to be selfless.

"You had to have a player that's willing to be an ambassador."

Leiweke also touched on Arsenal great Thierry Henry who is doing a great job as the main man at New York Red Bulls.

"He's a man that wants the pressure. He wants to be the guy and I think especially this year he's done a very good job of getting everyone on the same page in that locker-room and on that pitch," he added.

"Those are unique, unique guys to find and you can't make a mistake. I'd rather wait and find the right player than feel that we have to do something today, even if it's a bad decision. We cannot make a bad decision here. We've got to be careful because those will stay with you for a while. You only have a few of these slots, you cannot bring in the wrong guy because then you're stuck."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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