Toronto-bound Dunfield understands he was odd man out
VANCOUVER, B.C. — With Mustapha Jarju joining the Whitecaps on Tuesday, someone had to make way for Vancouver to comply with Major League Soccer’s 30-man roster limit.
That man turned out to be Terry Dunfield, the club’s sole Vancouverite, who was traded to Toronto FC on Thursday in exchange for allocation money and future considerations.
“Terry was a valued member of the team and Toronto wanted him,” Whitecaps head coach Tom Soehn told MLSsoccer.com after training on Thursday. “[Toronto] gave us the tools to make our team better and we wish him the best in the future.”
Dunfield started his MLS career with a bang, scoring an emphatic goal in Vancouver’s opening day 4-2 victory against Toronto FC. His performances for the Whitecaps impressed Canada coach Stephen Hart enough that he became a starter for the Canadian national team at the Gold Cup, but it’s been a rocky road in league play this campaign.
“I’ve been with Vancouver now for nearly a year,” Dunfield told MLSsoccer.com by phone on Thursday. “I had a great start to the MLS campaign with them, which led to representing Canada at the Gold Cup. I’ve come back to a new manager under [Soehn] and they’ve moved me on. I loved every minute of being in Vancouver. It’s always difficult to say goodbye to the players and difficult to say goodbye to the city.”
The move comes shortly after Dunfield’s former side lost to Toronto FC in the Nutrilite Canadian Championship final, and while the midfielder said that still lingers in the memory, he’s looking forward to playing in the CONCACAF Champions League for his new team.
“It’s good to go somewhere where you’re wanted,” Dunfield said. “It also means we’re one game away from representing Canada at the CONCACAF Champions League and that was our goal in Vancouver, and now fortunately I’ll be able to see that through with Toronto.”
Both Toronto FC and the Whitecaps have been busy in recent weeks by signing Designated Players and making trades.
“I think both clubs have had a tough start to the season, and the result of that is both clubs trying to make moves in the transfer market,” Dunfield explained. “I’ve yet to train with Toronto, but I know speaking with [manager Aron Winter that] he’s upbeat and excited about not only this season, but seasons beyond. He said he liked my qualities as a player, and the character I am off the field."