TUCSON, Arizona — Before playing a decade in Major League Soccer, Donny Toia scored the first goal in FC Tucson's history, and he's now coming full circle by returning to his hometown team.
FC Tucson announced Toia's return, with head coach Jon Pearlman, at Pueblo Vida Brewing Company in downtown Tucson.
When Toia, who has a long standing relationship with Pearlman, first played for FC Tucson, they were an amateur team in the Premier Development League.
"Yeah, obviously times have changed," said Toia. "Players have changed. Coaches have changed minus Jon Pearlman. "It's a good time to come back. The team is moving in the right direction. And, it's only going upward from here. If I can help in any way possible, I'd love to do that."
The Oro Valley native graduated from CDO High School where he led the Dorados to a pair of state championships. He then played for Pima Community College.
"There was an opportunity for him to play and give back to his home club and contribute to the team," said Pearlman. "I'm excited to have him and he's very excited to be playing here and playing with me again."
Toia was on the inaugural FC Tucson team in 2012 when he scored the team's first goal in a 2-1 loss to Fresno Fuego FC.
The forward played for Real Salt Lake, Chivas USA, Montréal Impact, and Orlando City before returning to RSL in 2019-21. He played in 172 games and made 158 starts.
Toia was a member of the 2015 Montréal team that reached the CONCACAF Champions League finals before falling to Mexico's Club America. He was also selected first overall in the 2016 MLS Expansion Draft by Atlanta United FC, after which he was traded to Orlando City.