Terry Dunfield training with Vancouver Whitecaps, but return to hometown club looks unlikely

VANCOUVER, B.C. — Terry Dunfield is back in Vancouver.

But the former Whitecaps midfielder, who played the last two-and-a-half seasons with Toronto FC before parting ways with the club in mid-June, likely isn't here to rejoin his hometown club.

The 31-year-old Canadian international participated in a Whitecaps training session on Monday at the University of British Columbia and looked lively as he makes a bid to return to Major League Soccer. Dunfield is currently rehabbing his knee after a meniscus injury, but showed few ill effects during Monday's session.

“It's great of the organization to give me the opportunity to train,” he told reporters said. “I enjoyed every minute of it this morning.”

Dunfield was non-committal when asked if Vancouver would be a preferred destination, stating he just wants to get back in shape and find a club after a couple of months as a free agent. The Vancouver native spent the first half of the 2011 season with the 'Caps before being traded to Toronto.

“One hundred percent,” Dunfield said of returning to Major League Soccer. “At the minute, it's just concentrating on training and getting stronger, and I definitely want to get back playing.”

The former Manchester City youth player expressed disappointment with how things ended in Toronto, but was careful with his wording when asked about the way his time there ended.

“I enjoyed my two-and-a-bit years in Toronto, and things were going OK at the beginning of the year there and then the team sort of went through a tough patch,” Dunfield said. “It was tough watching from the sidelines and the club decided to go in a different direction.

“You can't dwell on it too long. It's just important to get fit again and hopefully find somewhere to play.”

Where Dunfield's final destination turns out to be remains uncertain, but Whitecaps head coach Martin Rennie poured cold water on a potential return for the Vancouver native.

“Just helping him out,” Rennie said of Dunfield's appearance at training. “He's looking to get back to fitness and he's from Vancouver, and we're letting him train here.”

When asked if the club would consider signing Dunfield if he proves his fitness, Rennie all but closed the door.

“No, I don't think so,” Rennie said. “I think we're pretty happy with the players we've got.”

Martin MacMahon covers the Vancouver Whitecaps for MLSsoccer.com.