Rumour: Montreal Impact Close To Signing Joel Waterman
Update: Waterman was officially listed on the Montreal Impact training camp roster, suggesting the signing is all but official.
Several sources that closely follow the Montreal Impact have now stated that Cavalry FC defender Joel Waterman’s transfer to the Thierry Henry-led MLS side is imminent.
Waterman, 23, has had a good individual year with spring and fall season champions Cavalry FC: he made 25 appearances under Tommy Wheeldon Jr. during the club’s inaugural Canadian Premier League season, establishing himself as a strong, versatile player capable of playing both as a centre-back and as a defensive midfielder when required.
While a red card suspension meant that he missed out in the second leg of the Canadian Premier League finals, his regular season performances appear to have left the Montreal Impact impressed.
Rumours of interest from the MLS side stretch back as far as December, when Montreal-based football podcast Kan Football Club reported on the Impact’s interest in Waterman. The potential move up to the MLS level would see Waterman continuing a steady annual rise: he first played for Tommy Wheeldon Jr. at the Calgary Foothills (USL2) in 2018, arriving to Cavalry FC by way of the CPL-U SPORTS Draft and becoming the club’s thirteenth-ever player in early 2019.
With Waterman having officially re-signed for the 2020 Canadian Premier League season in late December, rumours regarding his potential transfer died down until recently, when a columnist from Kan Football Club reported that the Montreal Impact and Cavalry FC had come to terms for Waterman’s transfer. TVA Sports reporter Vincent Destouches then corroborated the findings, stating that a deal was close to being finalized.
Freelance journalist Thomas Nef also declared that Waterman had been spotted at Centre Nutrilait, the Montreal Impact training centre, shortly before OneSoccer analyst Kurt Larson also tweeted about the move being legitimate.
With multiple reports coming out of Montreal, it would appear that Waterman’s announcement will come in the near future. The move would make history as the first CPL-to-MLS transfer, taking place just one week after the CPL made a direct contribution to the Canadian national team through appearances from Amer Didic and, in the same match, league MVP Tristan Borges.
Kan Football Club’s Nilton George, who first broke the Waterman rumour, has also recently indicated that Amer Didic may be a potential target for the Vancouver Whitecaps. The 25-year-old FC Edmonton defender has yet to re-sign for the Eddies, and with VWFC head coach Marc Dos Santos openly stating that he was eyeing a few players from the CPL, it doesn’t seem like a far-fetched move for an MLS side that leaked goals last season and found itself dead last in the western conference.
Ultimately, it’s still not clear whether Waterman has come to terms with the club or is simply in the midst of a short trial, for which it is unlikely Cavalry FC would prevent him from attending. If the move does come to fruition, the BC-born defender will give Thierry Henry options in a defensive line which conceded the second-most goals of the eastern conference last season.
Cavalry FC currently has twelve players on the books ahead of the 2020 Canadian Premier League season, with club gaffer Tommy Wheeldon Jr. hoping to wrap up the status of his existing squad before seeking out new players. The only brand new signing the club has officially made so far is former Pacific FC youngster Jose Hernandez, though it also appears that the club is in the midst of signing Peruvian forward Jair Cordova.
Whether Waterman stays on the club’s roster as the 2020 Canadian Premier League approaches remains to be seen, but if he does move it’ll be history in the making. Outside of 23-year-old, the club only has defenders Mason Trafford and Dominick Zator locked in for next season.
Source: BTS Van City