Marco Velez, top, was released by Toronto FC on Thursday. (Aaron Harris/Canadian Press)
Toronto FC continued to revamp its back line on Thursday by releasing Puerto Rican defender Marco Velez.
Velez, 29, joined Toronto prior to the 2008 Major League Soccer season after spending three campaigns with the Puerto Rico Islanders in the USL-1, one division below MLS.
He ended up making 38 appearances (31 as a starter) and logged 2,753 minutes of playing time during his time in Toronto, but often drew criticism from fans and coaches for his erratic and inconsistent play.
«We wish Marco all the best in the future, but we needed to make some changes going forward into the final stretch of the regular season,» club GM Mo Johnston said.
Velez’s release comes one day after the club signed free-agent defender Lesly Fellinga. Fellinga, a 23-year-old native of Haiti, spent last season with SC Heerenveen in the Dutch first division.
This summer, he was a member of the Haitian national team that competed at the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Felling’s arrival in Toronto, along with the emergence of fellow defenders Emmanuel Gomez and Amadou Sanyang (two Gambian teenagers who have seen their playing time increase the last few weeks) made Velez somewhat expendable.
Toronto, currently holding down the eighth and final playoff spot with 10 games left in the season, hosts D.C. United on Saturday.