Toronto FC release Caicedo

KURTIS LARSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:29 AM ET

TORONTO - Just two months into his tenure, Toronto FC announced Friday the club has terminated defender Geovanny Caicedo’s contract by mutual consent.

“We are certainly disappointed with this outcome,” head coach Aron Winter said. “We felt it was in (his) best interest.”

And the club’s.

In his only pre-season appearance, the towering South American disappointed after proving to be more of a liability than a defensive stalwart. Likely out of favour following a poor February camp, Caicedo leaves BMO Field after what the club described was a desire to return home.

“During the pre-season Geovanny expressed difficulty adjusting to the style of MLS,” Winter said — something detected early in camp when Caicedo clearly lacked the quality and commitment to keep pace in a fast and physical league.

“We wish (Geovanny) the best in his future endeavours,” Winter concluded.

But it was how he performed in Toronto’s opening friendly that sealed his fate. In his first 45 minutes, Caicedo struggled to match the skill of a third-tier Orlando side. The Ecuadorian conceded a sloppy penalty and was unconvincing, as well as turnover prone, in possession.

Although he missed some of camp with a knock, it was clear the club’s only choice was to start Wednesday’s Champions League match with second-choice centre back Ty Harden.

With that, an almost fully-fit Adrian Cann is smiling somewhere.

CANADA CALLS

The Canadian Soccer Association announced Friday its preliminary roster for the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament, selecting five players from Major League Soccer ahead of a pre-tournament camp next Tuesday.

Meeting for the first time in south Florida next week, Canada will have limited time to prepare before opening March 22 against El Salvador in Nashville — a decision that questions the earnestness of the CSA’s attempts to qualify for the first time since 1984.

Toronto FC’s Doneil Henry and Matt Stinson join the Montreal Impact’s Evan James on the roster while Vancouver’s Bryce Alderson rounds out the Canadian MLS club call-ups. Seattle Sounders’ Babayele Sodade was also extended a camp invitation.

A big concern heading into camp is the lack of time Canada will have to prepare. The U.S. under-23s have been together since mid-February and have hosted a number of friendlies in preparation for the tournament.

But the Reds find themselves in a favourable position this month and must achieve a first or second-place finish in a group containing the U.S., Cuba and El Salvador.

In a group it should advance from, Canada will likely have the difficult task of topping Mexico or Honduras in the tournament’s semifinal in order to reach London.

The competition’s two finalists automatically secure the region’s two berths into the summer Olympics.

FRIENDLY WAGER

Sports gamblers now have the option of betting on MLS results after the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation recently added North America’s top flight to its popular Pro-Line tickets.

As MLS struggles to garner support outside its current markets, the move could be an attempt to attract attention during non-TFC MLS matches within the Greater Toronto Area.

The league’s involvement with OLG is a logical way of expanding its visibility across the Ontario sports landscape and beyond BMO Field.


Videos

Photos