Serioux steamed at TFC

GARETH WHEELER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:24 AM ET

Adrian Serioux's absence when Toronto FC's training camp opened last month was conspicuous, speculated, and not fully acknowledged by the club.

Light was shed on the situation Tuesday. Serioux got a new home and shared some harsh words for his former team.

Toronto has traded Serioux's rights to the Houston Dynamo for a 2011 third-round draft pick. The trade has yet to be announced but will be by the end of the week.

Last month, local media sources erroneously indicated Serioux had been released by TFC, when he was in fact out of contract. Major League Soccer regulations stipulate an out-of-contract player's rights are still owned by his previous team until compensation is negotiated.

There are indications MLS had a hand in pushing the deal through, making the league's side look better during a crucial juncture of labour negotiations, expediting the process of finding the Players Union's poster-boy a new home.

Regardless, Serioux was left waiting for a deal to be consummated, hurt by TFC's failure to disclose accurate information.

"What bothered me most was hearing I was released. They went about it shady, making it look like they had the upper-hand -- I was out of contract," said the Scarborough native.

"You've got to let people know what's going on with the team -- if you don't have the fans you don't have anything."

Misinformation was just the tip of the iceberg.

"I tried to negotiate a new contract halfway through last season, but things got prolonged. After the season, they didn't offer me a contract but Mo (Johnston) kept telling me he was waiting to hear what Preki wanted. When the new coach came, talks stopped dead."

Accordingly to Serioux, he was placed in a bad position when Johnston handed over all soccer-related decisions to Preki.

"They strung me along. They should have let me know from the get-go -- be straight-up about it."

"I thought they would have treated me better and given a Toronto guy more respect."

Serioux joins Houston for the second time in his career, and will play alongside fellow Canadian international defender Andre Hainault. A quality Canadian defensive duo playing for another team is salt in the wound for Major League Soccer's only team reliant on Canadian players.

Toronto acquired Serioux from FC Dallas a year ago, sending its 2010 first-round draft pick and allocation money the other way. The pick ended up being fifth overall, one position after coveted Canadian striker Teal Bunbury was selected.

The decision not to re-sign the 30 year-old is even more puzzling, considering a hard-nosed, business-first player like Serioux is exactly the kind of physical presence TFC needs along its backline.

"I would have loved to stay in Toronto and want to thank all the fantastic fans for their support."

Serioux played 26 games last season (25 as a starter), scoring two goals, sacrificing his body in the process. In his place, TFC brought in Ty Harden, an unproven American defender who has been away from the game for a year.

Serioux's departure doesn't bode well for a team lacking stability since its inception.

"Everyone's not on the same page (at TFC). Some people wanted me, except the one person that has more power than anyone else."

"The best teams in this league are guys who've been together for awhile," Serioux said. "They get a sense of camaraderie and feel. Until that happens here, it's going to be a struggle."

Serioux recently contemplated retiring, having originally planned ending his career in Toronto. Despite hard feelings, Serioux wouldn't rule out a return as a Red.

"I might be back someday. But while a certain someone's there, you probably won't see me."

GARETH.WHEELER@SUNTV.CANOE.CA


Videos

Photos