Toronto FC sign veteran Italian defender Domenico Criscito

 

Dusan Vlahovic of FC Juventus and Domenico Criscito of Genoa CFC competes for the ball during the Serie A match between Genoa CFC v FC Juventus on May 6, 2022 in Genova, Italy.

Toronto FC have signed veteran Italian defender Domenico Criscito as he departs ex-Serie A side Genoa, the club announced Wednesday.

The 35-year-old, who's been capped 26 times by the Azzurri, joins the Canadian side on a Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) deal through 2023.

“Mimmo is a player who will add a valuable veteran presence to our team,” Toronto FC president Bill Manning said in a release. "He has played in a number of important games for his club and country in his career, has been a captain at Genoa, and we're excited he will be joining our club.”

The versatile defender has spent the bulk of his career at Genoa, who were relegated to Serie B following the 2021-22 season. He also spent seven seasons in Russia with FC Zenit, scoring 20 goals in 224 appearances across all competitions – including the Russian Premier League, the UEFA Champions League and Europa League.

In his third and most recent stint with Genoa, between 2018-2022, he netted 20 goals in 109 games.

“Mimmo is a versatile defender who is a very good passer and a smart player,” said TFC head coach and sporting director Bob Bradley. “He can play as a left back or a center back and should be an excellent role model for our young players.”

Criscito arrives in Toronto just days after fellow Italian Lorenzo Insigne's official unveiling at the club. Insigne and Criscito are eligible to debut on July 9 against the San Jose Earthquakes (7:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US; TSN in Canada), two days after the MLS Secondary Transfer Window opens.

Criscito, a 2010 FIFA World Cup veteran, is Toronto's second major defensive signing under Bradley after center back Carlos Salcedo joined in January from Liga MX's Tigres UANL on a Designated Player deal.

 

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