Toronto FC really didn’t deserve to be advancing to the Voyageurs Cup final. They had been outplayed over two legs by a young, and less than complete Vancouver Whitecaps squad. After only managing to beat what was effectively a youth side captained by Russell Teibert 2-1 at home, they had been overwhelmed by a slightly more talented side in Vancouver and were lucky to be in penalty kicks. Here stood Issey Nakajima-Farran with the penalty that could put Toronto in the final. The Canadian international made no mistake, earning the club a date with the Montreal Impact.
Little did Nakajima-Farran know, he would be on the other side of the final. Just a day later, his birthday no less, Toronto would send him to Montreal in exchange for Collen Warner. He was none too happy about this, and made that feeling clear on twitter by calling the move "inhumane". Whether or not it could truly be considered that, there were more than a few who were unhappy in Toronto. In his short time with the club "Issey" had made himself a fan favourite.
Others recognized the move as something altogether different: selling a player who had high value for a very serviceable depth midfielder in Warner. Warner certainly proved that he could be a very effective player for the club, and occasionally dominant. The major issue with his game, however, was the fact that his game didn’t mesh with Michael Bradley’s.
This move didn’t exactly work out all that well for Nakajima-Farran. He played only 540 minutes for the Impact as he quickly fell out of favour on one of the league’s worst teams. Evidently, considering the time he played, he had no goals or assists with the Impact. This was in contrast to his time with Toronto, where we was pretty successful putting up two goals in five games, just two of which he started.
What is somewhat unfortunate is the fact that Nakajima-Farran was truly one of the best wingers, if not the best, that Toronto had all year. This was definitely a position in which Toronto lacked in 2014 and therefore this statement is of even more importance. He was more confident on the ball than any of Toronto’s other wingers, and although not as fast was usually in good positioning. He continues to play important minutes for the Canadian national team, displaying that potential.
The national team is where Nakajima-Farran has enjoyed playing the most lately, something he hasn’t been shy about saying. It looks like he will be staying with the Impact as a result, a surprise after how 2014 went. However, if he were to go play in Japan as he has mentioned he would like to, his chances of being selected regularly for the national team will significantly decrease.
Nakajima-Farran’s place in the Toronto FC top 30 countdown indicates not only what he was for Toronto FC, but ultimately what he could have been. It wasn’t "inhumane" for Toronto to move Issey the way they did, ultimately it was part of the business that is soccer. However it still left questions as to what he might have been able to accomplish had he played more than five games.