Thursday, January 8, 2015

Scouting Series #2: Ricardo Goulart

Heading into the 2015 season, TFC-Rumors will do a weekly scouting report of players that the club should consider acquiring to bolster the 2015 Toronto FC squad. This series will run every Monday for the next few weeks leading into the transfer window. 

However, we are doing a second scouting report this week as a thank you to our followers on Twitter since we recently eclipsed 500 followers.

For the second installment of this Scouting Series, Toronto FC Rumors will cover Ricardo Goulart, a striker with ties already to the MLS and Liga MX. Goulart is the younger brother of the LA Galaxy's midfielder, Juninho.

Ricardo Goulart, a 5-11 striker was born in São José dos Campos, Brazil and is only 23 years old. He is most known for his scoring prowess, heading, and footwork.

Club and International History
After being part of the Santo Andre system from 2006-2011, Goulart joined Brazilian second-division side Goias. During the 2012 season, he scored 21 goals in 55 league games (0.38 strike rate) as his club side won the league. Top Brazilian side Cruzeiro signed him the following season where he scored 13 goals in 43 league games (0.30 strike rate). This past season, the young Brazilian scored 16 goals in 36 games (0.44 strike rate) as Cruzeiro repeated as champions of the Brazilian first division.

In the 2014 Copa Libertadores, Goulart had a joint club-leading 4 goals in 9 games. The top Brazilian side would lose 2-1 on aggregate to eventual champions San Lorenzo in the Quarterfinals.

On the international side of his career, Ricardo Goulart has been called up to the national team twice, both in friendlies. In May 2014, Goulart was called up by Luiz Felipe Scolari in a pre-World Cup game against Colombia but did not make an appearance in the 1-0 Brazilian win. His first international game would happen in New York against Ecuador in September. Also a 1-0 Brazilian win, Goulart came on at halftime for Chelsea FC striker Oscar.

Fitting into Toronto FC
The question is, does Ricardo Goulart fit in the Toronto FC system? Goulart is an example of a player that could fit the "Youth Designated Player" slot and could come in should Jermain Defoe leave the club. There has been multiple reports of the club in search of a striker in South America and Goulart certainly fits the bill. The issue is who fits well with Gilberto up top because at times last season it seemed liked Defoe and Gilberto were not always on the same page. Goulart, however, brings a different pace and certainly could be an asset for years to come.

Two things to note, the Los Angeles Galaxy have previously been linked as a possible destination for Goulart but with their recent signing of Steven Gerrard, that interest may have fallen. Toronto FC, on the other hand, have been linked with forward Jozy Altidore, a potential Jermain Defoe replacement.

*TFC-Rumors is using this #ScoutingSeries purely as a way to potentially recommend players to the club. Ricardo Goulart or any other player in our series are not rumored to join the Reds.

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