November 30, 2022
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Clanachan: More MLS Loans Are Coming

By on February 4, 2020 0 1878 Views

In the inaugural season of the Canadian Premier League, it’s fair to say that there were some high-performing domestic player loans from Major League Soccer sides: Ryan Telfer proved to be a shining example of what giving first team minutes to a hungry player could do, while the likes of Emery Welshman and Blake Smith proved to be fantastic additions for their respective sides, too.

So, perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that more loans from Major League Soccer sides are due to come. Canadian Premier League commissioner David Clanachan revealed as such on the Footy Prime podcast hosted by Danny Dichio, Terry Dunfield, and James Sharman, while also indicating the expectations the league has for such moves:

In our first season, some teams had some players come on loan from some of the MLS teams in Canada. We’re seeing the same thing happening here again with the second season, that’s already there. We’re trying to establish some standards around it, because what you don’t want is players being pulled back early, you’d like to keep them for the season. If they pull them back, maybe potentially they’d keep them at that point in time, because you can’t have them in-and-out, because you’d start to establish a different type of league, and that’s not what we’re after. We’re working through it with the owners.

David Clanachan

When the Canadian Premier League was first announced, some fans feared that it might become a reserve league for Canadian MLS sides, and Clanachan was quick to distance the league from such a notion. Thus far, he has practiced what he preached: only one club has even had two players on loan at the same time (Pacific FC with Blake Smith and David Norman Jr.), with the league proving itself fully distant from the notion of being a reserve league.

That being said, Ryan Telfer was recalled by Toronto FC for a sole match in 2019 (where he bagged an assist), but it looks like the league would prefer players to be fully in or out, with no in-between.


With Telfer then using his strong 2019 performances to springboard himself to the top division in Cyprus and Emery Welshman securing a transfer to Israel after playing well for Forge FC, it’s clear that there are plenty of international eyes on the burgeoning league. The high quality play and opportunity for younger players to get professional playing time has supposedly attracted plenty of European interest when it comes to loans, too:

Obviously, it’s an opportunity. We see already not just with the MLS, but leagues over in Europe are saying ‘maybe’ll well send some of our young players’ because we can give them first team minutes. The one thing we can really do well is we provide playing opportunity. Lots of opportunity. We don’t necessarily have the same academy systems and things like that, but we do give first team minutes and that’s a big difference for us.

David Clanachan

Whether 2020 may see the first ever European loanee in the Canadian Premier League still remains to be seen, though it wouldn’t be surprising to see expansion side Atletico Ottawa utilize its overseas connections to bring in a European youngster in need of development time. Given that the Fury is where Montreal used to send several youngsters, it’s unclear if any kind loan relationship may get established in the nation’s capital again, either.


While Clanachan had made it clear that there are evidently some MLS-to-CPL loan moves confirmed for 2020, it remains to be seen who will make the jump. One longstanding rumour that has persisted is that Valour FC will loan James Pantemis from the Montreal Impact, though this has yet to be confirmed.

Telfer proved that fringe MLS players can really assert themselves in the league, so it’ll be exciting to see who makes the jump over come 2020. While it’d be easy to see the east coast welcome back Jacob Shaffelburg or Jim Brennan continue to utilize his strong relationship with Toronto FC, there’s no telling what will come in the near future.

Clanachan also revealed the league is happy to keep its international roster spots at seven, and will continue to enforce its rules regarding a majority-Canadian playing squad and the required three domestic U-21 players who must clock in 1,000 cumulative minutes of action each year. Whatever loans ultimately take place this season, it seems developing young Canadian talent will still be at the forefront of each decision.

Source: Footy Prime

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