Midseason MLS Canadian Review

21 Canadians fill out the rosters of many 2013 MLS clubs
by Henrik Lonne   |   Thursday, July 18, 2013

Made in Canada - coverage of the Canadian MLS, NASL & USL Clubs, CSL, PCSL, Canadian Championship & Canada National Teams

With all teams in MLS having played more than half their games, this is a great time to look into how Canadian the 2013 MLS season has been so far.

Montreal Impact FC

The captain of L’Impact, Patrice Bernier, has marshalled the midfield for Montreal without missing any of the team’s 18 games, starting 15 of them. He played his way into the hearts of MLS fans, which led him to a spot on the MLS All Star team.

During the season he was joined on the field by fellow Canadians Karl Ouimette (4 games) and Maxim Tissot (2 games). Both the young defenders’ playing time has been limited and neither have seen playing time since May, and should therefore look forward to the CONCACAF Champions League, as the increased travel and number of games is likely to strain Montreal aging defense and give the young Quebecois a chance for further playing time.

Maxime Crépeau is the Impact’s 3rd string goalkeeper and is unlikely to see any playing time.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC

For fans of Canadian soccer, the Vancouver Whitecaps season so far has been about one guy: Russell Teibert. Many questioned the Whitecaps approach to Teibert during the team’s first 2 MLS seasons as he didn't take the pitch too often, but in 2013 he has shown that he was worth the wait.

At this point in the season he has already played as many games (11) as he did in the 2011 season and, given that he has been one of the bright spots for the Whitecaps, he is sure to increase that number this season. He is, however, the only Canada-eligible player likely to play for Vancouver this season.

Simon Thomas is currently 4th in the goalkeeper pecking order, and while Koffie may be Canadian outside of the pitch and in the eyes of the law, he cannot play for Canada as it stands.

To the Whitecaps credit, they have loaned Bryce Alderson to the Charleston Battery in the USL-PRO where he has received playing time.

Caleb Clarke, as announced on July 10, will be playing the FC Augsburg’s reserves in the German 4th tier. While this may not sound like much, he will be tested more than in the MLS Reserve League.

Toronto FC

The embattled Toronto side entered the season with a total of 8 Canadians on the roster. Very quickly, however, Matt Stinson was waived and play by Canadians was limited.

Terry Dunfield played 4 games before also being waived, while the 2 draftees, Emery Welshman and Kyle Bekker, have hardly played with Welshman getting 5 minutes in the 1st game and Bekker starting that game and getting subbed into the following 2 matches and didn't see any playing time at all until being subbed into last night's loss against Chivas USA.  

Doneil Henry and Ashtone Morgan have only played 7 and 8 games, respectively, and especially for Morgan this is disappointing, as he played almost all games last year. Henry, on the other hand, has improved his play after the arrival of Steven Caldwell and should continue his positive development.

The big positive story of the season for Toronto FC has been Jonathan Osorio, who didn’t sign with the team until March 1st but has been a positive spark for the Toronto attack and has played 16 games.

Finally, Quillan Roberts continues as the team’s 3rd goalkeeper with no playing time.

Rest of MLS

Had D.C. United been a Canadian team, they would have lived up to the demand set by the Canadian Soccer Association, as they had 3 Canadian players on their roster this season. Even better? All three, Kyle Porter, Dejan Jakovic and Dwayne De Rosario, have played at least 10 games for the Black and Red this season. The catch is, however, that D.C. has been absolutely horrible this season with only 10 points after 19 games. 

In Portland, it didn’t take long for Will Johnson to convince the Timbers and Caleb Porter to make him the captain of the team after his trade from Real Salt Lake. Not only has he played well, but he has also led his team to 2nd place in the Western Conference, only needing 1 point to tie the point total of last season. And while doing so he has earned praise from around the league for his play.

Nana Attakora came back to MLS and the San Jose Earthquakes this season and has gone back and forth from field and bench during the season so far and has played 8 games. As the CONCACAF Champions League starts in August, that should make more playing time possible for the Canadian defender.

A late pick in the SuperDraft for the Columbus Crew, few people expected playing time for Drew Beckie, and this came true, as he hasn’t played a single minute for the club.

Henrik LONNE

Copenhagen Business School
Club Domestic:
AGF Aarhus
Club Foreign:
Toronto FC
Born and raised in Denmark, the US performance in the 2002 World Cup dragged Henrik into the world of North American soccer. Subsequent trips to Canada made him a Toronto FC fan from abroad. The passion he now has for MLS outshines most European leagues.