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Toronto FC parts ways with MF Bostock

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The Canadian Press
5/24/2013 6:42:45 PM
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TORONTO -- John Bostock's brief tenure with Toronto FC ended Friday when the former teen soccer sensation was put on waivers.

The MLS club announced his departure in a two-paragraph release, saying it had "ended the loan agreement with Tottenham Hotspur."

Bostock, 21, joined Toronto on loan on March 8. The English winger made nine combined appearances for the club in league and Amway Canadian Championship play.

Bostock saw some time as a starter but gradually became a bit player in Toronto despite its 1-6-4 record. At times a dazzling player in practice, he failed to showcase his skills during games.

It's another chapter in the up-and-down career of a player who at 15 was wanted by the likes of Barcelona, Chelsea and Manchester United.

In October 2007, he was just 15 years 287 days when he debuted as a second-half substitute for Crystal Palace. He was the youngest player ever to represent Palace and the then 17th-youngest to play pro soccer in England.

"Meet John Bostock, aged 15, the boy Barcelona can't buy," was the Daily Mail headline at the time.

Since leaving Palace for Tottenham for a 700,000-pound (C$1.075 million) fee in 2008, Bostock became the youngest player to play for the Spurs, at the age of 16 years 295 days in a UEFA Cup match against Dynamo Zagreb.

Toronto manager Ryan Nelsen, who knew the winger from his time at Tottenham, said upon acquiring Bostock that he had "so much potential."

"And hopefully we can bring it out and fans can see what a really good player he is."

The fans only saw glimpses of a player with fast feet and some trickery. More often than not, they saw him fade out of the play or exhibit frustration.

He won a penalty for Toronto in its lone league win of the season, a 2-1 decision over Sporting Kansas City on March 9.

Toronto FC represented his fifth loan deal. Nelsen had said Bostock would remain a Tottenham player until July and then become a Toronto FC property.

Bostock has represented England at the under-16, U17, and U19 levels. He also served as captain for England's U17 side.

Bostock's departure opens up an international spot on the roster that Toronto will need with the pending return of Dutch striker Danny Koevermans.

John Bostock (Photo: Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
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