Ali Gerba’s days as a member of Toronto FC are officially over.
The Major League Soccer club announced Monday that it reached an agreement with Gerba to terminate his contract, ending the Canadian forward’s tenure with the Reds after less than a year.
"We want to wish Ali all the best and thank him for his contribution to the club," TFC general manager Mo Johnston said in a prepared statement.
The team did not reveal any details of the agreement, including how much, if anything, it paid to buy Gerba out of his contract or what kind of salary cap space the move will create.
Gerba declined to comment when contacted by CBCSports.ca on Monday.
Gerba, 27, signed with Toronto last June after being released by English club Milton Keynes Dons. TFC acquired his MLS rights as part of a trade earlier that month that brought defender Nick Garcia over from the San Jose Earthquakes.
It was hoped that Gerba, who was born in Cameroon and moved to Montreal, would bolster Toronto's offence, giving the team a legitimate goal-scoring threat up front.
But it didn't work out. Gerba appeared to be overweight and out of shape when he arrived in Toronto. He scored one goal in 11 regular-season games (five as a starter) last season and routinely sat on the bench as rookie forward O'Brian White took his place in the starting line-up.
Gerba's future with Toronto FC became a hot topic when he was sent home by the team from a pre-season tournament in South Carolina last month.
Johnston explained that the coaching staff felt it was necessary for Gerba to return to Toronto because he was under-performing in the Reds' pre-season campaign. In the aftermath, coach Preki told Gerba that the forward wasn’t in his plans for the coming season.
Gerba took issue with Johnston’s comments.
"They're saying anything. At the moment, I'm in good shape. That's [just an excuse] they found to explain my dismissal," Gerba said in an article on Radio-Canada's website.