Numbers game: San Antonio terminates the contract of Canadian Shaun Saiko

Shaun Saiko

Shaun Saiko

Maybe if Canadians were treated as domestics on both sides of the border, it would not have come to this.

But, to make room for Costa Rican international Cesar Elizondo, Canadian midfielder Shaun Saiko was released from his contract by the San Antonio Scorpions on Tuesday.

Saiko has suffered through an injury-plagued season. He had to have surgery to deal with a double hernia. Since returning to active duty, he’s been used exclusively off the bench by coach Alen Marcina. He made just six appearances this season, with one goal.

“We wish Shaun all the best as he has been a consummate professional on and off the field for the Scorpions,” Scorpions General Manager Howard Cornfield was quoted in a release from the club.

When the Scorpions acquired Elizondo in a trade with the Carolina Railhawks — with midfielder Danny Barrera going the other way — they went one over the limit of seven internationals on their roster. So one of the internationals had to go — and in the end it was Saiko, a former member of the NASL Best XI, who got the short straw.

In USL-PRO, Canadians and Americans are treated as domestics. In the NASL and MLS, Canadians are treated as domestics on the rosters of the Canadian teams, while Americans are domestics on both Canadian and U.S.-based teams. So, in NASL, a Canadian player is a domestic if he plays for Edmonton or Ottawa, but it is an international if he plays in an American city. But, an American player has protected “domestic” status no matter if he plays in Edmonton or San Antonio.

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About Steven Sandor

I'm currently the colour commentator for FC Edmonton broadcasts on Sportsnet, NASL.com and TEAM 1260. I've covered the Toronto FC beat for four years, worked for the Edmonton Aviators of the USL for a season, covered the Edmonton Drillers of the NPSL and started covering Canadian World Cup qualifiers in 1996. I've covered the CONCACAF Champions League and the U-20 World Cup. I'm passionate about soccer in North America.