Christian Dean for the Whitecaps
USA Today Sports

MLS clubs resume tradition of sending players abroad for offseason training stints

The offseason has begun for most Major League Soccer clubs, and so too have annual training stints abroad.

It's been a tradition in recent years through the years for MLS teams to send younger players players to practice with foreign-based clubs still currently in season. It allows for the players to continue to train at a high and competitive level for one or several weeks instead of heading off for an early offseason vacation.

MLS clubs have already begun announcing these training stints, with Toronto FC being the latest to do so on Monday. TFC have sent Justin Morrow and Collen Warner on training stints to German Bundesliga outfit Werder Bremen as part of Toronto's ongoing relationship with former Designated Player and retired midfielder Torsten Frings.

Former Chivas USA forward Erick 'Cubo' Torres, whose future with MLS is still being decided, joined a foreign club earlier this month in an effort to stay fit and sharp. Torres trained with Liga MX side Chivas de Guadalajara in preparation for a camp with Mexico's Under-21 team.

Three US national team pool players have also either already trained abroad or intend to do so in the coming weeks. Chris Wondolowski was given permission by the San Jose Earthquakes to practice with Fulham ahead of the current US camp in England and Ireland, Chicago Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson did the same with fellow English side Hull City, and Shane O'Neill is currently at Sheffield Wednesday before returning to the Colorado Rapids on Dec. 4.

Also, six Vancouver Whitecaps youngsters are headed to the United Kingdom for weeklong training stints that will run through Nov. 26.

Left back Sam Adekugbe, center back Christian Dean and midfielder Kianz Froese will train with Scottish Championship club Rangers FC. The Glasgow-based side is currently second in the league table and features former Whitecaps FC striker Kenny Miller.

Midfielder Marco Bustos, goalkeeper Marco Carducci and Whitecaps U-18 Residency defender/midfielder Jordan Haynes will train with English Championship club Derby County FC. The Rams are currently top of the table and are also co-owned by Jeff Mallett, co-owner of Whitecaps FC. 

The six players will not be eligible to play in any official matches. 

Those might just be a handful of players, but if the past few offseason are any indication, several more will be added to this list in the coming weeks as MLS teams prepare to close out the year.


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