Toronto FC have signed Spanish striker Jesus Jimenez from Poland’s Gornik Zabrze on a contract until 2024 with an option for 2025.
“Jesus is a skilled striker who combines excellent movement and dribbling,” Bob Bradley, Toronto’s head coach and athletic director, said in a statement. “He scores goals and creates chances for his teammates. We can’t wait to see him join our team in training camp as we prepare for the season.”
Toronto needs help from the start, with Venezuela international Yeferson Soteldo having left for Mexico’s UANL Tigres and fellow countryman Jozy Altidore set to be bought out.
TFC have attacking talent on their roster, but it’s young in the form of Ayo Akinola, Ifunanyachi Achara, Jordan Perruzza, Deandre Kerr, Jayden Nelson, Jahkeele Mashall-Rutty, Jacob Shaeffelburg and 2022 draft pick Reshaun Walkes .
Italian star Lorenzo Insigne has signed but won’t be in Toronto until July when his contract with Napoli expires.
Has risen through the ranks of the Spanish league
Jimenez, 28, came through the Spanish league ranks before joining the Polish club in 2018. He started with the academy of CD Leganes before playing for AD Union Adarve (2013-14), AD Alcorcon B (2014 -15) and Atletico Pinto (2015) in the Spanish lower leagues.
The six-foot, 176-pounder joined CD Illescas (2015-16) and CF Talavera de la Reina (2016-18), where his play won him the contract in Poland.
Jimenez scored 26 league goals in 33 games for Talavera in the 2016-17 season, helping the club win promotion to Spain’s second tier. Jimenez scored 36 goals in 68 appearances in all competitions during his two seasons with Talavera.
A native of Leganes, Jimenez has made 134 appearances and scored 43 goals in all competitions for Gornik, including the Europa League.
Toronto was scheduled to travel to Austin on Monday to continue training camp ahead of the Feb. 26 season opener at FC Dallas. The club held the first part of the camp in California before returning to Toronto for a few days.