By DAN KARELL
Toronto FC made a big splash this offseason by signing Ryan Nelsen to be their new manager, but things on the field haven’t exactly gone to plan.
Looking to close all the holes in a leaky defense, Nelsen has dipped into England again, signing Birmingham City defender Steven Caldwell on-loan through June 30, when his contract will expire. Caldwell made 38 appearances for the League Championship side this season, and should slot into the defense alongside Ireland international defender Darren O’Dea.
“We’re pleased that Steven has agreed to join us on loan until July. He’s a proven defender with great experience,” Toronto FC president and GM Kevin Payne said in a club statement on the team’s website. “We expect him to help shore up our defense.”
Nelsen also signed a forward on Monday, ahead of the end of the MLS international transfer deadline. Countryman Jeremy Brockie has joined TFC on-loan from the A-League’s Wellington Phoenix. The 25-year-old has made 35 appearances for the New Zealand National Team, including playing alongside Nelsen at the 2010 World Cup.
Here are some more stories to catch you up around the league:
MLS SUSPENDS NAGAMURA
It may have not been picked up by the referee at the time, but the Major League Soccer Disciplinary Committee has decided that Sporting Kansas City midfielder Paulo Nagamura’s actions couldn’t go unpunished.
The Committee announced that Nagamura would be suspended one match and fined an undisclosed amount for violent conduct. The incident in question was during SKC’s win over Chivas USA on Sunday, when Nagamura stepped on the hands of Edgar Meija whilst the latter was on the ground from a prior challenge.
Nagamura will serve his suspension during Wednesday’s match against the Seattle Sounders at Sporting Park.
RAPIDS SIGN COLOMBIAN DEFENDER
The Colorado Rapids have faced a slew of injuries this season that has forced the team down to the bare bones, giving youngsters like Chris Klute, Clint Irwin, Dillon Powers, and Shane O’Neill a chance to play.
On Monday, the Rapids made a move ahead of the transfer deadline to help stabilize their depth, especially in defense, picking up Colombian defender German Mera on-loan through the rest of the season from Deportivo Cali in Colombia. The 23-year-old has made just four appearances for Cali since the start of the year, seemingly deemed surplus to requirements and giving a chance for Oscar Pareja to bring in another countryman.
“Germán is a big, strong and talented young defender with experience at the top level in Colombia,” said Rapids Technical Director Paul Bravo told the club’s website. “Bringing him in gives us some good depth along the back line, as he can play both centrally and on the left. We’re looking forward to welcoming him to the club.”
Mera played a total of 53 games for the Colombian club since signing professional terms in 2008. Pareja played with Deportivo Cali between 1995-1998, amassing over 100 appearances for the club.
What do you make of this news? Do you see Caldwell helping fix the TFC defense? Do you agree with the Nagamura suspension? Do you like the Mera signing?
Share your thoughts below.
good, decent signings, by Colorado and tfc. Colorado absolutely needed another body at CB and Oskar’s track record for signings, especially in Colombia, has been good enough for me to give him the benefit of the doubt.
So if the international window is now closed for MLS does it re-open in a month or so when the European season ends? What is the point of even opening and closing it?
So, why did TFC sign Califf? If they have O’Dea, Gale, and now Caldwell….does that make him trade bait?
Maybe so… but who would want him anyways? High salary, punk attitude, inconsistent play.
Context and chronology, kid. When they signed Califf, they only had O’Dea in the center (as well as the youngster Henry). Boss was allocated after Califf was signed and obviously Caldwell has only just come in and is basically on an extended trial.
I’m not saying Nagamura’s suspension is undeserved, but it does seem a bit harsh. And it’s especially inconsistent and bizarre for the DisCo to decline to punish Eddie Johnson for his petulant knee to the chest of Hoppenot. I allege no conspiracy, as KC could’ve had Bieler punished for high elbows a couple of times earlier this year, but the lack of consistency from MLS DisCo is very frustrating.
So, Caldwell will be signing with TFC on loan until his contract runs out. Does that mean, if TFC likes what they see, they’ll attempt to sign him on a permanent basis or is that even a consideration?
That would be an option and he would be on a free at that point. Wouldn’t be wrong to consider this as an extended trial. Brockie however is strictly a loan deal, he will be returning to Wellington Phoenix at the resumption of the A-League season in August. I would call this emergency assistance to take some pressure off Earnshaw.
MLS does not do loans unless their is an option to buy.
the way I read it is this: They want him, but the only way to get him now, is via a loan. The loan allows him to bypass the transfer window and come in asap. Since he has a contract with another club, the loan can only run until his contract is up. So, as others have mentioned, this is effectively a trial
It’s like an extended trial via the loan. Ephraim and Bostock are with TFC under the same arrangement. They’re at TFC on loan until their contracts with BFC, QPR, Spurs expire and then if both like the situation they can work and permanent contract with no transfer fee.
Are any of these players difference makers? Caldwell seems to be a “Yes” but the other’s I’m not so sure.
I dunno, Jeremy Brockie can ball. You can def argue that the A-League is easier to score in, but his skills are the kind that transfer well (technical, fast, positionally sound).
Plus, you have to give credit to any guy who was an A-League best as a RM/RW and in his first season at striker scored 16 goals.