Unlike fellow loanees Robert Earnshaw and Hogan Ephraim, new Toronto FC midfielder John Bostock has been with the team for weeks and will be much more familiar with his new teammates when he steps onto the field for his first MLS action, which looks likely to happen Saturday afternoon at Rogers Centre versus Sporting Kansas City.
"It took a little while for it to finally get over the line, but I signed last night," Bostock told reporters after TFC's training session at the domed stadium on Friday. "Hopefully I'll be ready for the game tomorrow."
Bostock is another one of the players that club president and general manager Kevin Payne talked about as being given an extended look in MLS play. Like with Earnshaw and Ephraim, it's expected that if Bostock shows that he can handle the unique rigors of the North American league, then he'll likely be offered a more permanent deal.
"Really excited to have John over on loan," TFC head coach Ryan Nelsen said. "He was over at Tottenham for a while and he's had so much potential. He's still a really young guy, he has a lot of experience under his belt, and hopefully we can bring it out."
Bostock, 21, has bounced around England after debuting with Crystal Palace as a 15-year-old wunderkind. After impressing at Palace, he joined Tottenham, where he became the youngest player to ever feature for Spurs' first team when he played in a UEFA Cup match at 16 years of age.
From there he struggled with consistency, and he has been sent on several loan stints to other English clubs, the most recent of which was Swindon Town in League One. Still a young player, Bostock sees his move to North America as a much-needed fresh start in a stalled career.
"I've always been open to moving to the MLS and a teammate of mine, Simon Dawkins, went on loan to San Jose Earthquakes last season, and it was fantastic for his career, so when I heard that Toronto were interested in me, I jumped at the opportunity," Bostock said. "At my age now, I'm just so hungry and keen just to get games under my belt and just to gain experience and to enjoy my football again, and I feel like here's a great platform for me to do that."
Bostock hopes to bring a bit of creativity to TFC, a trait that's sorely needed as the team looks to find its offensive groove.
"I'm an attacking midfielder, so I'm always looking to attack and hurt teams," Bostock said. "I'd like to think I've got a good shot on me, so for me goals and assists are my aim. I feel like if I get the ball in the right areas, I can always do my best to hurt teams."
Bostock will have had the advantage of taking part in several training sessions with his new club, meaning he can jump directly into game action as seamlessly as possible.
"It's been a good opportunity for me," Bostock said of his prolonged trial with Toronto. "I travelled with the team to the game [last week] in Vancouver, so I had a little bit of time to settle in to see how the team plays, see how we work, get to know the team more. It's been a real good chance for me just to take some time and settle in, but now I'm just raring to go for the game tomorrow."
If he gels with the team and fulfills his potential to Nelsen's liking, Bostock said that a longer, more permanent agreement with Toronto could be in the works.
"I'm here on loan until July and then from there will see how things progress."