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Deybi Flores, a Honduran international midfielder who grew up on the hardscrabble streets of San Pedro Sula, is back in Major League Soccer – this time with Toronto FC.

The former Vancouver Whitecap is expected to help fill the void in midfield left by the retirement of long-time captain Michael Bradley.

“Obviously that’s a positional need for us. The [No.] 6 position and having a guy week-in and week-out who can cover a ton of ground, break up plays and kind of initiate our transitions,” Toronto GM Jason Hernandez said in an interview. “Certainly a hole we were looking to fill and prioritize in the off-season so we’re really happy with the signing.”

Flores has won 35 caps for Honduras since making his debut in December, 2015, against Cuba.

He joins Spain’s Alonso Coello, one of TFC’s few bright spots in a dismal 4-20-10 campaign last year, as central midfield options for coach John Herdman.

The 27-year-old Flores, who played the last two seasons in Hungary with Fehervar FC, joined the Whitecaps in February, 2015, as an 18-year-old on loan from CD Motagua in Honduras.

Flores made 15 total appearances, including 11 starts, with the Whitecaps that year.

Flores, who signed a two-year contract with Toronto with a team option for 2026, grew up in San Pedro Sula, once dubbed “the murder capital of the world.” He left home at 12 to join Platense Junior, a team about an hour away, before moving to the capital of Tegucigalpa at 15 to join Motagua, one of Honduras’ biggest clubs.

Hernandez says the club currently has salary cap room “to make probably two more key additions in the short-term.”

Toronto players are expected to gather this weekend for medicals before leaving for training camp in Florida early next week. TFC opens the season Feb. 25 at FC Cincinnati.

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