With today's announcement that former Toronto FC player Amadou Sanyang has signed with the Seattle Sounders the team makes its first entry into the transfer market since Mauro Rosales. Sanyang started play with the Toronto FC Academy and in his two years as a professional with the Reds started 15 matches with 5 other appearances. Amadou also played in two Canadian Championship matches for a total of 1316 minutes in all competitions. Almost all of his time with Toronto was as a defensive midfielder, with some time as a left mid. He is reputed to be able to play the back line as well.
Not yet 20, Sanyang still has time to develop into what Toronto once thought they had. As a Free transfer there was little to no risk. The Gambian national has played with their U-20 and U-17 teams already. At one point in 2010 he was being scouted by the likes of PSV Eindhoven.
Amadou Sanyang will likely not be an addition that pushes the team over the top now, but instead will be a depth piece at CDM, CB and maybe even the fullback spots. A young player who still has plenty of upside it will be interesting to follow his developmental path. His salary in 2010 was 40,000$ making it quite likely he fills the final non-Senior roster slot that was open. Seattle still has one Senior roster slot open for a signing without a subsequent move.
Now updated with thoughts on Sanyang from the SB Nation Toronto FC blog Waking the Red
I was a bit surprised when we let him go at the end of the season as he has potential to be a very good DM in this league. He's young, athletic, with a physical and destructive style, though his passing left a lot to be desired. He was a bit young and thin to be too effective when he was with us, but with a couple of years of growing and filling out he could do very well, especially at the right club. A lot of fans and people at TFC got weary of Preki's defensive system and how it seemed to be favour 'plumbers' over skill guys, so at the end of the year it seemed like there was a very enthusiastic purge of those types of players that he got unfairly caught up in. In a skilled team that needs a hard tackle then simple pass guy, he could do very well. If he fulfils his potential he could become, if not a Shalrie Joseph, at least a Tony Tchani level midfielder. In conclusion, if you don't really need him this year, he's worth a shot.
Press Release follows;
Sounders FC Signs Midfielder Amadou Sanyang
19-Year-Old Gambian Youth International Played Two Seasons for Toronto
RENTON, WASH. - Seattle Sounders FC has signed Gambian midfielder Amadou Sanyang, the team announced today.
Signed at age 17 by Toronto FC, Sanyang made his debut on his 18th birthday, August 1, 2009, playing 14 minutes as a reserve versus New England. His first start came two weeks later in midfield versus D.C. United. He went on to play in 20 regular season games over two seasons, starting 15.
Sanyang, 19, was a free agent. Toronto had declined to exercise an option on Sanyang on December 3, 2010.
"Positionally, Amadou is a good fit for us because he can play either central midfield or in the back," said Coach Sigi Schmid. "He's a good passer, a good defender, and he can cover a lot of ground."
Sanyang's professional career began in 2007 with Real de Banjul. He helped lead the City Boys to the Gambian first division championship and was named the league's top midfielder that year. Sanyang has also represented Gambia internationally at the U-17 and U-20 levels.
Not eligible to see action in MLS until turning 18, Sanyang played for the Toronto FC Academy for the first five months.
Hometown: Banjul, Gambia
Previous Clubs: Toronto FC (MLS, 2009-2010), Real de Banjul (Gambia, 2007-2009)