Archive for March 21st, 2012

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U-23 cutdown day was bittersweet for Impact midfielder Evan James

Evan James

When Canadian U-23 coach Tony Fonseca announced his 20-man roster for the upcoming Olympic qualifiers, it was a bittersweet moment for midfielder Evan James.

James, the kid who was cut from the National Training Centre program, a guy who beat the odds by coming out of the Supplemental Draft and making the Montreal Impact roster, had made the team.

But, his best friend was one of the four cuts made by Fonseca.

James will be with the Canadian side when it begins its CONCACAF Olympic qualifying campaign Thursday in Nashville against El Salvador. But James admits it wasn’t easy watching Kyle Porter, the FC Edmonton forward who he grew up with in Mississauga, leave camp.

“He’s my best friend from back home, and it was hard to see him go,” said James, who missed the Impact opener with a high ankle sprain before being called to Canada’s camp. “It’s the coach’s decision. I can’t do anything about it. I just have to do what I can to help us qualify, and hopefully he will be added to the roster before we go to the Olympics.”
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With more fullbacks in camp, FC Edmonton decides to part ways with Saler

Niko Saler

Fullback Niko Saler survived the last year’s purge of the FC Edmonton backline. But, with more defensive prospects coming into the NASL team’s camp, the Canadian left back was let go on Wednesday.

Saler, who was invited to the Canadian U-20 camp last year but didn’t make the final squad, got into a few matches last season as an understudy to left back Alex Surprenant. Eddy Sidra, who was still returning to match fitness, wasn’t ready to play early in the year and so Saler was able to get some time. When Sidra was healthy, he became the No. 1 choice at left back.

But, both Surprenant and Sidra were part of a postseason purge after 2011’s playoff loss to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers which saw FC Edmonton chop 11 players from its roster. But Saler, a Lethbridge, Alta. native, was spared, even though the club’s Director of Soccer Operations, Joe Petrone, had repeatedly stated that improving the left side of defence was the team’s major off-season priority.
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Toronto FC adds Burgos Jr. to roster

The speculation is over. The signature is on the contract.

Toronto FC announced Wednesday that the club has signed midfielder Efrain Burgos Jr., who was on trial with the Reds during the preseason and had been widely expected to sign.

“Burgos is a player that has many qualities we like and he can play our style of football,’ said Toronto FC Head Coach and Technical Director Aron Winter in a release issued by the club.”He did well during preseason and we felt he can add depth and quality to our midfield.”
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