Countries throughout the CONCACAF region are preparing for the upcoming Gold Cup tournament, and players are set to leave their clubs in order to link up with their national teams. Toronto FC is particularly affected with four players leaving, including Doneil Henry, Jonathan Osorio, Ashtone Morgan and Kyle Bekker set to depart on July 2nd for Canada’s training camp.
This leaves TFC to face the top team in the East, the Montreal Impact, and the top team in the West, Real Salt Lake, without four of their best players. “The Canadian national team has taken four of our players and a coach [goalkeeper coach Pat Onstad] as well without even a thank you,” said Toronto FC head coach Ryan Nelsen to MLSsoccer.com. “Other teams are complaining they have lost one player while we have lost four. Unfortunately, that is the problem we are in. We develop them and give them the opportunity more than any of the other clubs and then they take them away with not even a thank you or anything like that. It is a bit frustrating, especially when you have a game the next day and not such a big squad.”
Nelson was especially frustrated because he felt that his club had made efforts to build a relationship with the Canadian Soccer Association. “What is frustrating is that we let Canada Soccer use our facilities, we give them a coach and we try and develop as many good young players as we can,” Nelsen said. “All we are asking for is one day where we can keep a couple of players. Unfortunately, it seems to be one-way traffic between us.” Nelson also vented some frustration towards MLS and their in-house schedule makers: “Scheduling probably has to be considered. To play two games in a week when the national teams are starting their training camps, it doesn’t make much sense. Again, it is probably a question for more intelligent people making those decisions.”