By RON FANFAIR
Scarborough will be more than well represented when Toronto FC takes the field this season.
The Major League Soccer club has added defender Adrian Serioux to its roster in a deal with Dallas for this city’s natural first round pick in next year’s SuperDraft and allocation money.
Serioux attended Pope John Paul II High School where he also played basketball, volleyball and ran track before joining the Toronto Lynx of the “A” league nine years ago when he was named the Defensive Player of the Year in his first season. He also earned a spot on the league’s all-star team that season.
He joins Scarborough players, Dwayne DeRosario, who was acquired in a trade in December, and O’Brian White, who was drafted in the first round.
“This is another great signing for our team,” said manager and director of soccer, Mo Johnson. “Adrian is a very strong defender plus we are adding another quality Canadian player to our roster. We are excited to get him in here and have him start working out with the rest of the team.”
Serioux is returning to Toronto FC, which originally selected him in the MLS Expansion Draft in November 2006. He was traded that same day to FC Dallas in the deal that brought mid-field player, Ronnie O’Brien, to Toronto.
Aldwyn McGill, who won the 2002 Canadian Professional Soccer League Coach of the Year award, expects Serioux to thrive with his new club.
“I know he was very disappointed when he was traded two years ago,” said McGill. “He wanted to be in this city and I know he’s happy now that he’s reunited with Dwayne who he played with in Malvern. He brings toughness to Toronto FC and this is a fabulous addition.”
This is Serioux’s fourth season in MLS after playing a year with DeRosario in Houston when the side won its first championship, and the last two years in Dallas where he started all 34 games with the club. He was used in both central defense and the midfield while in Texas.
Toronto FC coach, John Carver, has however said he intends to use the 29-year-old Serioux as a defender.
“I am going to play him as a central defender,” he said. “I know he can also play as a right back or in midfield, but I have seen him play in the middle of defense for the national team and I certainly liked what I saw.
“He’s an experienced guy and he’s a Canadian which is important.”
Serioux, who played with English club, Milwall, before joining MLS, has been a member of the Canadian senior team for the past five years. He made his debut as a substitute against Guatemala in the semi-final round of the International Soccer Federation (FIFA) World Cup qualifier in August 2004. He has represented Canada on 19 occasions.
He trained with the team for the first time last week before it returned home last Friday to prepare for the Carolina Challenge Cup. Toronto FC leaves tomorrow to take part in the tournament that also includes MLS teams D.C. United and Real Salt Lake and United Soccer League first division hosts, Charleston Battery.
Toronto FC meets the host side tomorrow, D.C. United next Wednesday (March 11) and Real Salt Lake on March 14.
Jamaican-born O’Brian White, Toronto FC’s fourth overall pick last year, has stepped up his training as he continues to recuperate from an ACL injury. He was with the team in Florida for pre-season training and has started jogging.
He scored six goals in 14 games last year before suffering the season-ending injury.
Meanwhile, the Montreal Impact will be attempting to advance to the semi-final of the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Associations of Football (CONCACAF) Champions League tournament when it takes on Santos Laguna in a return quarter-final contest in Mexico tonight.
The Impact stunned the Mexican club 2-0 in their first-leg encounter before a record crowd of 55,000 in Montreal last week.