HOUSTON – Tuesday night was a sweet return to action in an MLS venue for defender Nana Attakora. But was it also an audition for a return to MLS?
According to a tweet on Monday by Sportsnet's Gerry Dobson, Attakora is hoping to re-join the San Jose Earthquakes, the last MLS team he played for in 2011 before moving to Finland's FC Haka.
The 23-year-old wouldn't directly address the report after a solid 63-minute shift in Canada's 0-0 draw with the United States here, telling reporters only that couldn't join up with the Earthquakes in preseason camp in Tucson, Ariz., "until things are sorted out."
The Toronto native was traded by his hometown Toronto FC – for whom he debuted as a rookie the club's debut 2007 season – to San Jose in July of 2011. But after only playing a handful of games with the Quakes, he wasn’t offered a new contract and spent almost a year in contractual limbo before being signed by FC Haka last August for the remainder of their league season.
Haka were relegated to the second division, but the club opted to exercise the option on his contract for 2013, which means a potential new employer would have to pay the buyout clause.
Attakora was coy about any negotiations after Tuesday night's friendly in which the center back helped lock down US forwards Chris Wondolowski and Eddie Johnson.
“I haven’t taken any phone calls, I was just focused on this game,” he said. “But as you said, I do have an option so I’m still under contract, so we’ll see what happens."
San Jose are currently in preseason training in Tucson, Ariz., where Attakora and the Canadian national team faced Denmark in a 4-0 friendly loss last weekend.
The Earthquakes declined to comment on the report when contacted by MLSsoccer.com.