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It’s been a whirlwind start to life with Toronto FC for forward Lucas Janson.

After arriving early last week, the 24-year-old Argentine went through a series of orientation meetings, picked up a medal after watching his new teammates win the Canadian Championship, celebrated his birthday and flew to San Jose, where he scored a goal on his debut in a 1-1 tie Saturday night.

“In a span of a week so many things have happened. So many nice things,” Janson said via an interpreter.

“I think in a week he’s already probably endured probably a season’s worth of MLS,” joked coach Greg Vanney.

Janson will likely come in handy again Saturday with news that striker Jozy Altidore has been given an extra game suspension in the wake of his red card for kicking out at a New York City FC defender in an Aug. 12 game. Altidore also received an undisclosed fine from the league.

Altidore has already served a one-game ban, missing the San Jose contest.

Toronto (6-12-6) hosts Montreal (10-13-3) on Saturday in essentially a must-win game for the defending MLS champions, who are struggling to climb back into the playoff picture with 10 games remaining, Janson, who arrived on loan from Argentina’s Tigre, capped a nice TFC buildup with a comfortable tap-in of a Gregory van der Wiel cross after splitting the San Jose defence.

“You can see that he’s a smart player,” said Vanney. “You can see he’s technically clean. He understands how to move himself around the field and obviously got himself into a good goal-scoring position.”

“I feel like it can only get better with a little bit more time and getting to know the group and tactically a little more clarity for him,” he added. “But I feel like all signs are positive ... I’m looking forward to what’s to come.”

The hope is Janson (pronounced Han-sohn) lives up to his credentials as an opportunistic, pacey forward, slick with his feet and good in the air despite his five-foot-seven stature – able to make goals and score them.

While Victor Vazquez is the straw that stirs the TFC drink, the Spanish playmaker has a reconstructed knee that needs rest at times. And Vanney is looking to ease the load on the diminutive Sebastian Giovinco, who takes a beating every time out.

Janson can hopefully pick up the slack for both of Toronto’s offensive sparkplugs.

Last season he had three goals and three assists in 24 appearances (16 starts) for Tigre, which finished 24th in the top-flight Superliga with a 4-11-12 record that featured just 26 goals for.

Vanney has wasted no time throwing Janson into the fray.

“I figured let’s see what we have here as we go into these (last) 10 games.”

With Giovinco coming off the bench in San Jose because of a sore groin, the two only got eight minutes on the field together. But it produced a goal with Giovinco feeding van der Wiel, who came on at the same time as Giovinco, ahead of the cross.

In person, Janson is a compact package with a wide smile who is clearly happy to be here.

After learning of Toronto’s interest, he says he instructed his agent “to make sure that he gets it done.”

“Five years with Tigre and I felt like it was time for a change,” he said.

While he had never been to Canada, he did his due diligence on MLS by speaking to Atlanta defender Leandro Gonzalez-Pires, a fellow Argentine whom he played with at Tigre. Gonzalez-Pires told him Toronto was a top club.

While he is currently here on loan, he hopes to make the move permanent which could explain why he is eager to please, saying he’s comfortable in playing any position “from midfield up.”

Janson also says he’s impressed by what he has seen of Toronto so far and has already found a restaurant for Argentine BBQ.

A native of Olavarria, a city of some 100,000 located 375 kilometres southwest of Buenos Aires, Janson wears No. 16 in honour of his birthday (Aug. 16).

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