Until now, he was little more than an "if" around MLS circles -- a world-class attacker Toronto FC supporters and media talked about with both cautious optimism and uncertainty.

Still distrustful from the Diego Forlan fiasco this past season, TFC supporters have been patiently standing by, waiting for MLSE head honcho Tim Leiweke -- The Ultimate Entertainer, as past employees refer to him -- to produce his final act.

On Friday, Leiweke and the Reds provided fans with an appetizer.

Gilberto Oliveira Souza Junior, a 24-year-old Brazilian striker, was unveiled at the Air Canada Centre as Toronto's newest Designated Player, spurring little more than a golf clap.

"I am very excited to join Toronto FC and MLS," Gilberto said. "There is a lot of opportunity here, both with this side and the league and I am excited to help grow Major League Soccer with my fellow Brazilians back home. This is a great city with a great quality of life and I look forward to winning titles here."

But he's poised to complement a much bigger name, someone Leiweke claimed this off-season will be one of the biggest signings in league history.

The Toronto Sun has learned Tottenham Hotspur striker Jermain Defoe will join Toronto FC next season in what's sure to be the biggest off-season move MLS-wide -- both financially and tactically.

The Reds are believed to be dropping as much as $10 million on a transfer fee to secure the services of a player they'll pay upward of $150,000 per week, numbers that will make Defoe the highest-paid player in MLS history.

It's unclear whether the 31-year-old will join the Reds before next summer's World Cup, but TFC general manager Tim Bezbatchenko told the Sun last weekend he's working to have both DPs settled in Toronto before next season.

By the end of next week, expect TFC's roster to be -- on paper -- a lock to make the post-season, a prediction Leiweke made two months before the Reds embarked on what will eventually turn out to be the most transformational few weeks in club history.

Combine the additions of Jackson, Gilberto and Defoe with a number of likely veteran signings next week and we might be witnessing the start of an unprecedented turnaround by league standards.