Gone are star English striker Jermain Defoe (homesick) and Brazilian forward Gilberto (one designated player too many), along with eight others.
Toronto GM Tim Bezbatchenko and manager Greg Vanney appear to have bought wisely in replacing them, dipping deep into the Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment coffers to assemble one of the costliest rosters in MLS history.
Star midfielder Michael Bradley has been handed the captain's armband and the keys to a franchise desperate for success. Early signs are Toronto has got a serious upgrade in skill, savvy and experience.
Newcomer Sebastian Giovinco, a pint-sized Italian star full of pace, vision and guile, will be the schemer in attack.
Hard-nosed Polish international Damien Perquis joins former skipper Steven Caldwell in a centre-back pairing with edge and experience. French veteran Benoit Cheyrou is a silky smooth midfielder with Champions League pedigree. And U.S. international striker Jozy Altidore looks to resurrect his club career after a disappointing spell with Sunderland.
There is also more depth with the acquisition of defender Eriq Zavaleta and midfielder Marky Delgado, rookie goalie Alex Bono (pronounced Bow-noh) and midfielder Jay Chapman, a talented homegrown player, among others.
"We feel good about the group that we have," said Bradley. "We're improved, there's no two ways about that. But we also understand that that doesn't guarantee us anything."
Toronto will bid to finally make the playoffs in a new-look Eastern Conference, with Sporting Kansas City and the Houston Dynamo moving west to make space for expansion teams Orlando City SC and New York City FC.
Six teams instead of five will make the post-season from each conference, opening the playoff door a little wider.
Toronto will have to survive a brutal opening, however. Renovations to BMO Field mean the team will have to play its first eight games on the road with the home opener not scheduled until May 10.
The flip side is Toronto plays 10 of its last 14 games at home.
Vanney offered a look at his strongest 11 in the final pre-season game in Florida.
Joe Bendik started in goal behind a back four of Justin Morrow, Perquis, Caldwell and Warren Creavalle. Bradley and Cheyrou were flanked by Robbie Findley and Canadian Jonathan Osorio with Giovinco behind Altidore in a 4-4-2 with a midfield diamond.
At times, it resembled a 4-3-3 with Giovinco surging up the middle flanked by Altidore and Findley in a three-pronged attack.
Fullbacks Morrow and Creavalle stationed themselves on the touchline, often in advance of their midfielders, leaving room for Cheyrou and Osorio to move in and out.
It's a fluid formation that offers options. And with Giovinco, Findley and Altidore showing off one-touch football and Bradley and Cheyrou pulling the strings, it promises attractive offence.
"It's an exciting group to be a part of. Absolutely," said Altidore.
Vanney says timing is key, with players having to move off each other and read movement.
"I think it's just a glimpse of what's to come as the group starts to get more comfortable with each other and the connections start to really come about," he said.
The formation is not cast in stone, with players adapting to take advantage of what's on offer.
"We're going to have the ability to be dangerous in a lot of different ways," said Bradley.
The five-foot-four Giovinco has been tasked with set pieces, with Bradley a more than capable option. Giovinco offers a reliable and accurate delivery that comes in with such pace that even his own players have had to adapt to it.
Having the Atomic Ant take set pieces also allows the six-foot-two Bradley to help add to the mayhem in the opposition penalty box.
Toronto's depth will be tested in July with Bradley, Altidore and Osorio, among others, likely lost to the Gold Cup.
With an 11-15-8 record in 2014, Toronto missed the playoffs for the eighth straight year since joining the league in 2007. Vanney became the club's ninth manager when Ryan Nelsen was fired in late August with the club at 9-9-6.
On the plus side, Toronto set franchise records for wins (11) and points (41).
Toronto has 18,000 season tickets and hopes to reach 19,000 by opening day. Still the early arrival of Giovinco, who was originally meant to come in July, means the team will be slightly in the red this season despite 8,000 new seats upping stadium capacity to 30,000.
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