Ryan Nelsen has used his Kiwi connections to grab Wellington Phoenix striker Jeremy Brockie on loan for his struggling Toronto FC club.
The Major League Soccer club today announced the signings of striker Brockie and Scottish defender Steven Caldwell who comes via a loan agreement with Birmingham City.
"We're excited to have Jeremy join us on loan. Ryan has played with him on the All Whites and speaks very highly of him," Toronto club president and general manager Kevin Payne said.
"He'll provide another option in an attacking position and if he can continue his form from the last A-League season we'll be happy indeed."
Goals have been a problem for Toronto again this season and they will be looking to All Whites striker Brockie to help solve that.
He’s a proven scorer, netting 16 times in 24 matches during the last A-League season with the Phoenix.
While there has been general agreement that Toronto have improved under the rookie coaching of Nelsen, the All Whites great who carved a name for himself in the English Premier League, they are still struggling in the league.
They have won just one of their nine MLS games to be eighth out of 10 teams in the Eastern Conference and 16th out of 20 overall.
The 32-year-old Caldwell will be asked to shore up Toronto’s game at the other end of the pitch.
Payne described Caldwell as “a proven defender with great experience”. His began his professional career with Newcastle United and has spent time at Blackpool, Bradford City, Leeds United, Sunderland, Burnley and Wigan.
He signed with Burnley in January of 2007, and captained the team to promotion into the English Premier League. After leaving Burnley, Caldwell spent one season at Wigan before signing with Birmingham City in 2011. he has won 12 caps for Scotland.
Phoenix general manager David Dome said the club had been working with Toronto to bring the deal to fruition.
“It is a great opportunity for Jeremy as the MLS is of a good standard, and it is possible that Jeremy could come back an even better player than he now is,” Dome said.
“The break between seasons in the A-League is too long and the club has been looking for opportunities for some of the players to play football in other leagues in an effort to get greater benefit from the break.”
Brockie will return to the Phoenix in August.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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