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Toronto FC 2011 Top 40 Countdown: Number 25 - Nathan Sturgis

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Years from now, Sturgis will use this picture to tell his gullible grandkids that he scored against LA Galaxy.  Don't believe him kids, don't believe him.
Years from now, Sturgis will use this picture to tell his gullible grandkids that he scored against LA Galaxy. Don't believe him kids, don't believe him.

After getting beyond those players who didn't really play much, the bottom end of the Toronto FC Top 40 countdown has been full of players we saw mainly in the first half of the season, and that trend continues today with the one player to arrive during Earl Cochrane's triumphant reign.  At number 25, it's Nathan Sturgis.

Average ranking: 24.545
Highest Ranking: 14
Lowest Ranking: 32

Duncan: 24. Seven players picked in the 2010 expansion draft were traded very shortly after. Two of them, Sanna Nyassi and Alan Gordon were for international player spots, three of them, Anthony Wallace, Alejandro Moreno and O'Brian White were for allocation money, and Real Salt Lake gave up only a 2nd round pick, 22nd overall, for El Salvador international midfielder Arturo Alvarez.  Given that list of decent MLS level players, and the relative pittance they cost, then surely TFC's temporary Earl and Jimmy braintrust must have landed a really good player with that first round pick, 8th overall, that they traded.  That player was Nathan Sturgis.

Sturgis' season just never really got on track did it?  Aron Winter didn't seem to think that much of him and he stayed home from the pre season disneyland jaunt amid rumours that he was going to be traded.  That didn't happen, even in July when practically half the squad got sent away, but he never really made his way into that automatic choice first teamer category that was surely envisioned when the trade was made.  He started in the first team, playing a poor game against Vancouver, then being subbed off at half time in the home opener, and that was it for a long time, just the occasional appearance on the bench and even more occasional  appearance on the pitch.

He did have a good run of games around the end of May and through June when Julian de Guzman was suspended, or at the Gold Cup, or just mysteriously late coming back from the Gold Cup, and he played well in the point back Defensive Midfield position, including playing an important part in the Voyageur Cup clinching win over vancouver.  De Guzman did of course return though, and with Torsten Frings and Terry Dunfield joining the club in July, Sturgis found himself once again well off the first team radar, his last meaningful action the 5-0 defeat against New York.

I'd be surprised to see him back next season, but at the same time, I wouldn't be surprised to see him land with another MLS club and do well there.  He's not as obviously bad as some of the players already profiled here, in the right circumstances he can be an effective player, and who knows, he very well could have been the solid player Cochrane and Brennan must have envisioned with TFC when they traded for him.  Probably because of that trade, fans never really warmed to him, and more importantly he didn't really seem to ever fit in Aron Winter's plans, it's a bit of a puzzle, but I won't be too sorry when he's gone.

Keaton: 30. Meh. He played well for the Sounders. Didn't do anything special this year. I could see us letting him go for a lot less than a first round pick.

Dave: 26.Not much more then a depth player for the team but when he did get involved in matches he was alright. He lacked the ability to be a commanding player in the midfield and with more talented players being brought in he seemed to be a forgotten man come the second half.

Peter Meraw: Supposedly good on set pieces, if he is, it must be in practice

Kristin: Doesn't want to be here & plays like it.

James: Barely played, but took it well. Seems soft-spoken & decent, good depth guy. Wouldn't mind him back.

JC_Plante. The advent of Dunfield and Frings ate up any playing time he may have had. Still may have a future.

The Yorkies. Never seemed happy to be here - play reflected it

Blindfolded Tank Driver. Buried deep as a defensive/holding midfielder. Can't see him surpassing Frings, De Guzman or Dunfield without a body moving out.

Canadian Texan. I try not to dislike him but I look at him and think "2011 First round Superdraft pick" and I start getting steamed.

 

Number 26: Dan Gargan
Number 24: Mikael Yourassowsky

Full Top 40 so far