The Ottawa Fury faced the Atlanta Silverbacks on the final weekend of the 2015 NASL regular season. During the visit, Fury assistant coach Martin Nash developed a rapport with then-Silverback Kyle Porter.
As Porter, a Mississauga, Ont. native who has been capped by the Canadian national team, looked for work in the off-season, he kept in contact with Nash — and soon both the player and the Fury came to realize they were the best fits for each other. On Wednesday, the Fury announced they had signed Porter.
Porter and fellow Canadian Dominic Oppong played for the Silverbacks in 2015; in fact, Porter got more playing time than any other Canadian in MLS or NASL last season. But the Silverbacks players knew that they might be on borrowed time; the NASL ran the Silverbacks last season and, in 2016, they pulled the plug — deciding against bankrolling the team for a second season.
“Everyone was aware of the situation,” said Porter. “We were league-owned last year and we all knew they were trying to pursue a local owner.”
At the end of the season, he said the players were told that they should go out and try to find new teams — but, if things changed, they could get a call back to come to Atlanta. So, Porter headed home to the Toronto area, where he worked out with a group of Canadian players who had dubbed themselves “Free Agent FC:” that group included former FC Edmonton players John Smits and Alex Semenets, retired MLS great Dwayne De Rosario and defender Nana Attakora.
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