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Toronto's Endures 'Competitive Disadvantage'
Toronto Sun, March 19th, 2008 4:45PM
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Toronto FC supporters and officials complained last season about an MLS rule that counted U.S. players as internationals, putting the Canadian club at a disadvantage compared to other teams that could sign as many Americans as they could afford. TFC may have had the ability to sign Canadian-born players, but the Toronto Sun points out that the disparity in player depth proved too wide for the club to compete effectively in its first season in the league.

In response to the club's concerns, MLS will allow TFC to sign two additional U.S. players this season and two more the following year. "The simple solution would be to have the same set of rules in the United States and in Canada," MLS Deputy Commissioner Ivan Gazidis told the Sun. "Unfortunately the way the U.S. [immigration] laws work we can't have a rule that discriminates in favor of Canadian players over and above other foreign nationals." Gazidis noted that the restrictions would leave Canadian teams at "a competitive disadvantage" for "the foreseeable future."

Toronto's 2007 record of 6-17-7 left the club last in the Eastern Conference and out of the playoff picture. The Sun points out that even a 50 percent improvement on last season's record would likely keep TFC out of the playoffs again next season.

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