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.