Whitecaps' loan deal for teen Salgado falls through

The proposed loan move by the Vancouver Whitecaps for US Under-20 forward Omar Salgado has fallen through due to technicalities with the player’s International Transfer Certificate (ITC). The Portland Timbers stand to benefit from the situation with the player leaving the Whitecaps and joining the USSF Division 2 Portland Timbers for training until the ITC situation is cleared.

Both the Whitecaps and Timbers join MLS as expansion clubs in 2011.

Salgado, 16, who spent 18 months with the Chivas Guadalajara reserve team in Mexico, was signed to an MLS Generation adidas contract in early August. He was set to join Vancouver on loan to hone his game in the USSF Division 2 ahead of the 2011 SuperDraft until it was discovered that he was a registered player in Mexico.

That’s where the ITC clearance hits a snag.

Under FIFA rules, a player under the age of 18 who is registered in one country can transfer his registration to a different country only if his family moves to that country for non-sporting reasons. Salgado and his family recently relocated to the United States, thereby ruling out the possibility of registering in Canada.

The process that will lead to Salgado’s ITC clearance and player registration in the USA could take weeks. When it does come about, the US Under-20 national team player will be immediately available to play for any club based in the USA.

A Canadian club could select Salgado in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft, but he would not be permitted to play an official match for that team until the age of 18 unless FIFA makes an exception given MLS’ unique standing as a league with clubs from two federations.