Sidra is currently out of contract after leaving Energie Cottbus, the German side that signs so much Canadian talent, last year. TFC announced that he is one of three confirmed Canadian trialists who will join the team for its preseason camp in Turkey.
Of the trio that includes goalkeeper David Monsalve, who enjoyed a brief spell with the Reds in 2007 (anyone who follows Monsalve’s Twitter feed knows that he’s remained a devoted TFC follower during his time in Finland) and midfielder Gianluca Zavarise, who couldn’t break into the lineup with Greek side Iraklis, Sidra is the most interesting option.
Sidra left Cottbus in the hopes of finding a job with a larger European side. But that hasn’t worked out — and MLS would be a perfect fit. Sidra is a wing-back who can actually be moved from side to side on the pitch. Anyone who watched TFC labour along with the likes of Maxsim Usanov and Raivis Hscanovics last season knows that the outside defender spots were areas of massive concern for the club. A player of Sidra’s speed would at least partially make up for the gaffe that was the trade of Marvell Wynne to the Colorado Rapids in 2010, when the Preki-Mo Johnston brain trust decided it was best to trade the one speedy player in a position where the club had no depth whatsoever.
Sidra would also be notable because he came from the University of Alberta-sponsored Green and Gold club (which was also home to the Whitecaps’ Randy Edwini-Bonsu), and spent time with the U of A’s Golden Bears. If Sidra was to stick with Toronto FC, it would be a small victory for those wanting to see players from the Canadian collegiate programs getting the chance to move up to MLS. (This has been a real sore point for my old Sun colleague, Gareth Wheeler, who has wondered since day one of the club’s existence why Toronto FC hasn’t spent more time scouting CIS teams).
But, more important than the fact that Sidra is an Edmonton kid who came up through his local university’s soccer club, is that he’s an outside fullback who has speed to burn. And, since Marvell Wynne was sent away, that’s something Toronto FC doesn’t have.