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SBI Spotlight: Fury’s Kyle Porter eager to impress for club, country

kyle porter

Kyle Porter was one of the most integral players in the NASL last season. He logged more minutes than any other Canadian player with the Atlanta Silverbacks, and now the 26-year-old has returned to his home country aiming for a championship with the Ottawa Fury.

Porter was one of the Fury’s marquee signings this offseason after a whirlwind of a winter. Fourteen players arrived at the club after 13 departed for greener pastures.

Despite the significant roster turnover, Porter will be a key piece this season for new Fury head coach Paul Dalglish’s plans.

“He’ll be a part of the squad,” Dalglish told SBI. “He gives us great flexibility to play anywhere down the flank. A player like him also allows us to free up spots on the roster to help improve our team. Somebody like that is great for a coach.”

When the Silverbacks folded at the end of last season, many of the players’ futures were uncertain. Thankfully for Porter, his new coach could sympathize with him.

Dalglish was the coach of the Austin Aztex, but the club announced that it would not compete in the USL for the 2016 season. The ex-MLS Cup champion still had two years left on his contract, but ended up landing with the Fury when he made the decision to continue his coaching career.

This likely played a factor in Porter’s decision to sign with the Fury, but he was also taken aback by the camaraderie in the squad, the passion of the fans and the club’s growth within the past couple of years.

“When I came here last summer to play the Fury with Atlanta, I saw a bond amongst the players that looked strong,” Porter told SBI. “[There was] a bond amongst the fans that trusted and supported the players, and [Ottawa] is an organization that was helping the game grow in Canada.”

Playing closer to home for a reputable club after was also very important for Porter.

“It means everything,” said Porter. “When I was younger if you really wanted to pursue the game you had to leave home and try to make it abroad. Now you have 5 successful clubs in the country. To play in your country and to be closer to home is honestly something you can never take for granted.”

Porter brings plenty of experience to the Fury. The 26-year-old spent three seasons with FC Edmonton before he joined D.C. United on a trial. He impressed enough to earn a full contract and made 27 appearances during the 2013 MLS season.

However, after playing in just five games in 2014, Porter signed with Atlanta and regained significant playing time, something he says will help him to get back onto the Canadian national team.

“I think I have to remain confident in myself and put forward another strong season,” said Porter. “The Canadian team looks strong right now, but anything can happen in the game of soccer, so I think if I’m playing and playing well, I deserve a shot again.”

Porter is currently listed on Ottawa’s roster as a defender, but his positional flexibility means that Dalglish may deploy him as an attack-minded right winger. Regardless, the former Silverback has become a staunch defender, so he will be able to contribute on both sides of pitch no matter where he plays.

As long as he continues to earn valuable minutes, the former Vancouver Whitecaps youth product will land on the radar of Canada coach Benito Floro. Porter may also cap his 2016 with some NASL hardware at the end of the season.

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