Panama international Armando Cooper (pictured) appeared in 12 combined regular- and post-season games for Toronto FC in 2016 after his loan from Arabe Unido. (Photo: Adid Jimenez/Straffon Images)
TORONTO – Toronto FC announced Monday that it has exercised the contract option on Panama international Armando Cooper for 2017.
That’s good news for the midfielder, who last week expressed his desire to compete for the 2016 Canadian champion and 2016 MLS Cup runner-up in the 2017/18 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League.
“I would like to play the Champions League with Toronto FC,” said Cooper. “I have played it before with Arabe Unido. It is going to be different with another team, one that is going to compete a little more, that is going to go a bit further with the great players that are around me.”
While as a member of Arabe Unido, Cooper played in the 2010/11 SCCL, appearing in the five games and scoring one goal (in a 2-1 loss at Real Salt Lake).
In August, the Panamanian power loaned the 29-year-old to Toronto. The move worked out well for all parties as Arabe earned a berth in the 2016/17 SCCL quarterfinals and Toronto benefitted from his performances in advancing to the MLS Cup final.
Cooper pointed out the SCCL’s significance and highlighted potential match-ups against some of the region’s heavyweights.
“You get to face teams from Mexico, teams from the United States,” he finished. “It is going to be interesting because it is a good cup. It is a cup that is growing and we hope to enjoy it in a good way.”
Toronto FC has played in four previous SCCL editions, reaching as far as the semifinals in 2011/12, where it was eliminated by Mexico’s Santos.