Pacific Procures Jalen Watson On Loan From TFC2
With defender Eric Lajeunesse departing to continue his university education, Pacific FC has come up with an elementary idea for his replacement: Toronto FC II defender Jalen Watson.
The club has brought in the 23-year-old on loan for the remainder of the season, with the TFC2 prospect arriving hungry for minutes after having made just two appearances in MLS NEXT Pro this season.
“Jalen is an intelligent defender who can play at centre or left back,” said head coach James Merriman on the Mississauga-born reinforcement. “He brings a good character and will make a great addition to our team.”
The Pacific head coach and Watson go back a ways, having worked together in the Vancouver Whitecaps Academy back in 2017. At that point, the young defender had turned heads at the Erin Mills Soccer Club, where he’d put in two USSDA seasons before his collegiate career with Penn State took over.
Watson would later draw interest in the 2023 MLS SuperDraft (we did a deep dive on him, in fact), with the six-foot-tall turning heads after making 59 appearances for the blue-and-white at Penn State.
Toronto FC selected him as the 32nd overall pick, with the defender eventually signing an MLS NEXT Pro contract with Toronto FC II. He becomes the second TFC2-to-CPL loan made this month, with goalkeeper Adisa De Rosario being sent to York United.
The Tridents will be hoping to maintain their grip on the top of the table as the latter stage of the season concludes with several teams in the running. The regular season champions will get a spot in next year’s Concacaf Champions Cup along with a nice bonus monetary from the league.
Pacific FC has confirmed that the on-loan recruit will be available for this weekend’s derby clash against Vancouver FC – a tilt that the Tridents have won in their first two outings.
Header Image Photo Credit: Toronto FC