Toronto FC, as part of their continuing mission to serve as the training and development grounds for Canadian soccer, has signed another young American player.
Hot on the heels of the reported signing of US INTERNATIONAL MAURICE EDU by Glasgow Rangers for around $5 million, comes the report that they've picked up flavor-of-the-month American forward Johann Smith, after the latter was ingloriously dropped by Bolton.
Both deals are interesting on a number of fronts, besides the obvious fact that they can't find decent players in Canada.
Just the other day, Canadian media was gloating over the US loss in the Olympics because it meant TFC would be getting Edu back right away, saying that Nigeria "did Toronto a favor"
It now appears that it was in fact Rangers that the Super Eagles were helping out.
The linked article also contains this gem of wisdom:
"The clubs don't own the players over there so the MLS are happy to let him go."
This will be news to a lot of guys, most recently Kenny Cooper, but no matter.
Regarding Smith, Canadian papers - showcasing their usual complete ignorance of MLS rules - are crowing that TFC won "a bidding war" for the forward's services.
Several sources are also quoting Ranger's officials as saying that Mo Johnston is "helping them identify other top American prospects" which, if true, would be a breathtaking conflict-of-interest.
If he's getting paid for scouting out Americans for foreign teams then he's most likely in violation of his contract and if he's doing it for free then he's simply an idiot.
I'm not taking sides on that one.
Interestingly, it appears that Steve Nicol is delighted with the new toy he and Sigi Schmid came up with, ie. the "swap allocation spots" method of trading value, as he apparently used it in this case to allow Toronto to grab Smith.
By doing so, Nicol moved back down the list from second (the spot he got from Columbus) all the way to 13th (Toronto's spot).
I'm not seeing it reported anyplace, but there has to be a little more involved here. Nicol didn't agree to drop 12 spots on the allocation list for nothing.