March 5, 2024
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Forge FC Triston Henry

The Truth Behind Triston Henry’s Absence

By on February 10, 2024 1 5792 Views

When Forge head coach Bobby Smyrniotis revealed that the club’s number one goalkeeper, Triston Henry, would miss one of the club’s biggest matches due to personal matters, the news turned plenty of heads.

It also produced some scoffs from individuals close to the club and player, with some online discourse suggesting that the phrase ‘personal matters’ did not really reflect the reason for Triston’s absence.

“Personal matters? Stop lying and holding your own players hostage,” wrote one former CPL athlete on social media.

The 30-year-old goalkeeper – a four-time CPL champion and two-time Golden Glove winner with Forge – had been absent in all the club’s preseason content, with only young goalkeeper Christopher Kalongo shown during their preseason camp in Mexico before starting against Chivas last week.

The matter at hand with Triston, it turns out, has been quietly unfolding for some time now.

Forge FC Triston Henry
Photo Credit: Audrey Magny

So, What’s Going On?

There’s no bones about it: the personal matter described by Forge is actually a club matter: Henry had secured a transfer to the USL Championship this offseason, but Forge ultimately nixed the move with the intention of keeping Henry in Hamilton for his option year.

Forge had initially asked for $100k for the goalkeeper – a hefty price in terms of what USL Championship sides typically pay – though it only gets more convoluted from there: it is believed that Forge clubrunner Bob Young had been fine with letting an exit take shape, but head coach and sporting director Bobby Smyrniotis subsequently vetoed the transfer.

Henry, who entered 2024 on his option year with the club, was expecting to be allowed to leave under the circumstances. He reportedly did not take the news that Forge would hold him to his option year well – thus, he’s been absent from the team, though it’s unclear how this matter will now resolve.

Smyrniotis had described Triston’s absence as being due to a ‘very personal matter’, stating that the club was behind him on it.

Forge FC Triston Henry 2023
Photo Credit: Freestyle Photography

A trusted source revealed that the interest USL Championship side was Memphis 901, who needed to replace both Bill Hamid and Drew Romig in net. The club eventually signed former MLS goalkeeper Tyler Deric to a multi-year contract last month, with Taylor Bailey being announced just yesterday.

We have also been told that Triston holds an expiring green card, and had been seeking a move stateside to renew his permanent residency status in the US. Remaining with Forge for the 2024 CPL season would see his green card expire, however.

Get To Know: Triston Henry

With Forge not budging on their intention to have him see out his contract, one source believes retiring from pro football in order to retain his green card might be a financially-sound choice – and it wouldn’t be the only time a player in their prime has left the CPL due to financial circumstances.

We haven’t heard that Triston is contemplating such a move, but there’s no doubt that a green card holds significant value, particularly to a player who holds a university degree in Criminal Justice.

An alternative, of course, is securing another move to the US if Forge allows, as by now it seems the relationship between the two has clearly broken down. With the ship having sailed on Memphis, however, an entirely new move would need to be procured.

Forge FC Triston Henry 2022
Photo Credit: John Jacques

The thirty-year old goalkeeper has made an incredible 142 appearances for the side, including in all eighteen of the club’s previous continental matches before missing their latest against Chivas.

Having tallied 51 clean sheets for the hammer, one feels that there’s no replacing a goalkeeper of his stature. The club brought in LAFC2 goalkeeper Jassem Koleilat on an undefined short-term deal, while 22-year-old Christopher Kalongo might be in for a big season if Henry doesn’t mend his relationship with the club following the transfer fiasco.

What happens next remains to be seen: the transfer saga has been festering behind the scenes for quite some time now, and it isn’t the only goalkeeper fiasco that has brewed in the CPL this offseason. From what we’ve gleamed, however, it’s certainly more of a club issue than the personal matter that was described.

Header Image Photo Credit: John Jacques

1 Comment
  • Dave 1 week ago

    Forge fc has every right to extend Triston’s option

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