Home NASL & USL FC Edmonton The repatriation acts: Dixon yet another Canadian who decides to return home in 2016

The repatriation acts: Dixon yet another Canadian who decides to return home in 2016

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If there’s a word that best describes Canadian soccer right now, it’s “repatriation.”

We saw another example of it Wednesday, as the Ottawa Fury announced the signing of 27-year-old midfielder and Ottawa native Jamar Dixon. He had been playing in Finland for FF Jaro, but said in the team’s release that he was thrilled to come back home.

“I’m happy to be a part of Ottawa Fury FC. This has always been a dream to play for a professional team in my city and I’m excited to get started,” said Dixon. “Hopefully this move will also give me more exposure for the national team. At this point in my career, I think it’s a positive move and a great step to be playing back home, especially in the NASL which is growing so quickly.”

Dixon is just part of a growing trend of Canadians who are deciding that home soil is the best place for them to be. Dixon, who got his first national-team call-up earlier this year, is the newest member of the “come back to Canada club.”

So, far, what we have seen this 2016:

PPadThe11caFB• David Edgar returned to Canada from England to sign for the Vancouver Whitecaps; • Marcel de Jong, who returned to Canada in 2016 to join the Ottawa Fury, is now with the ‘Caps;

• The much-travelled Tosaint Ricketts has been on trial with Toronto FC (update: About an hour after this was originally posted, Ricketts signed a deal with TFC), and Marcus Haber has been linked to the club;

• Ben Fisk, who spent the last two years in Spain, is on trial with FC Edmonton;

• Nik Ledgerwood, an Alberta native, signed with FC Edmonton in 2016; • Daniel Haber, who had played in Israel and Cyprus, is now with the USL’s VWFC2;

• Mozzi Gyorio, who was with the USL’s Austin Aztex last season, is with the Fury in 2016-07-20

• Will Johnson crossed the border to sign with Toronto FC; he was with Portland last season;

• Fraser Aird came to the Whitecaps, on loan from Rangers

Just as national-team coach Benito Floro has been successful in bringing in players like Scott Arfield, Steven Vitoria and Junior Hoilett into the national side, the Canadian club teams are finding that national-team-pool-calibre players are coming back to this country in a way, well, that’s unprecedented.

The way this is going, there may no longer be a point in Floro setting up friendlies for Canada in European soil. After all, the point of those games was to give the European-based Canadians an easier to commute to the national-team camps. Soon, those Euro-based camps may be pointless.

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7 Comments

  1. Alex

    July 22, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    In reply to left back.
    Sorry if I originally mis-read your comments, I do agree that in the past FC Edmonton hasn’t been marketed the best way. I’ve been trying to find an answer as to why soccer has a hard time lifting off here in Edmonton. We have tons of ppl from all over the world, but have little to no interest in the team.
    cheers!

  2. left back

    July 22, 2016 at 10:20 am

    JA.

    I understand what you are saying… but you have to look at the nature of the league itself. North American soccer (nasl / mls) is built on athleticism. The game in Europe is built on technical ability and tactical awareness. You take Tosaint Ricketts for example. Just signed for TFC. He couldn’t score a goal in Isreal or Turkey to save his life. He is a converted track athlete. Not a footballer. But he will do well in North America because defenders aren’t as tactically aware in this league as they are in Europe. Good, smart defenders have Ricketts figured out… he hasn’t figured good defenders out. Nasl / mls take a few good talented Central Americans and put them in the middle of the park to be creative enough to score goals. Everyone else revolves around those players.

    Anyway… i have been around the US watching mls games. Your average american player is technically poor but a good athlete. Your average European player has good skill. It is just how the game is developed from a young age. Canada has a lot of catching up to do. Coaches are full time paid professionals at clubs when kids are 5 years old in Europe… that is the environment they are in from day one. Parents coach 5 year olds here in Canada… and that parent probably never played the game. It will change but will take time. It is slowly changing… you can see it in the club soccer system here in Edmonton… there is more money… better coaches… it is a slow grow.

    No hate. Just realistic.

  3. John Anderson

    July 21, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    You can’t argue the Finland is higher level than the nasl. Randy Edwin bosu scored a goal a game n couldn’t make the whitecap MLS. Nasl player get paid more, have more attendance than finland. Mason Trafford left Finland to trial with the a sounders n whitecap. Now he plays in by the nasl.

  4. left back

    July 21, 2016 at 9:23 am

    Alex,

    yes… i know the Finnish (and all Scandinavian) leagues are better than the nasl. In Europe it is the number one game. It makes a huge difference. These smaller towns/clubs live and breath there teams and the culture around supporting that team… and the results the team get are a part of everyday conversation. The players are under intense scrutiny. No disrespect to the nasl or FCEdmonton.. i don’t see/hear alot of chat in the media about the team and don’t think the average Edmontonian is up to speed on why Mallan Roberts is in Ottawa…..

    I am not a hater. I want to see Canadian soccer succeed and the culture is improving. It is frustrating to watch FC Edmonton grow in the way it has. Putting a lot of money into a poor facility… not being marketed properly… not being more of a presence in the community…. and in the media…

    just my 2 cents Alex… i may be wrong… ;-(

  5. Appreviewer101

    July 20, 2016 at 11:20 pm

    Nice blog …
    i found a soccer training course which helps me to build my soccer drills

  6. Alex

    July 20, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    so Mr. left back, you think Finland’s league is better than NASL or MLS ?. have you ever played on Turf ?, instead of hating, why don’t you come our and support your local team, and support many Canadians playing.

  7. left back

    July 20, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    Steve…. the way you are writing it… it sounds like a good thing… but it isn’t… no disrespect to the nasl or mls for that matter… the European leagues have more to offer than a growing but uncertain market in Canada or the States… it just lacks overall quality… as well as culture.

    couple of simple questions –

    Can you really call it professional soccer if you are playing the game on Turf?

    Can you call it professional soccer if your salary is less than a entry level teacher?

    Can you call it professional if in the off season you have a part time job?

    The mls is a bit different but… nasl still has a long way to go.

    my 2 cents….

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