The new year could get off to a good start for fans of the Canadian Men's National Team. If you are one of those fans who wants to see more of the top Canadians coming home to play in Canada this January could prove to be a good month with several CanMNT players closing in on potential homecomings.
The two names at the top of the list are those of Simeon Jackson and Nik Ledgerwood. Both of the players have parted ways with their previous clubs and are now free to search for a new place to play. Jackson was one of a trio of players released by Barnsley on December 30th having made just 10 appearances for the club and failing to score a single goal. The move was made to allow Jackson to move on to a new club where he would be able to find more consistent playing time.
That new club could very well be the Vancouver Whitecaps who reportedly hold a discovery claim on the Canadian forward. The claim means that they are first in line to be able to acquire Jackson should he be interested in coming to MLS which seems to be the case. Waking the Red has learned that there has been some contact between the player and the MLS team and it would not be the least bit surprising if Jackson's next club is the Whitecaps. It is a deal that could be completed in the coming week with Jackson adding yet another threat to a Caps attack that recently got a big boost with the signing of Masato Kudo.
Jackson has also seen interest from other North American clubs in the past and could fill a role at a number of different clubs including the likes of Toronto FC who might be in need of attacking depth should Luke Moore make a return to England this winter. Jackson could also be a good fit for the likes of FC Edmonton or the Ottawa Fury but for now it seems that the Caps are the front runner to land the player.
For Jackson a move to Canada may just be the thing it takes to get his career back on track. Since helping Norwich earn promotion to the Premiership the forward has struggled to really get consistent playing time and his scoring form has been lacking at every subsequent stop. Since leaving Norwich he has made stops at four different clubs and each stop was short lived with Jackson never really making any significant contributions. A return home might just be what it takes to turn that around and get the 28-year-old back in to some kind of form.
As for Ledgerwood, he has also said farewell to his previous club. In a post on his instagram account the wide player confirmed that he is leaving Germany and starting a different journey and chapter in his life closer to home. Ledgerwood made the move to Germany in 2003 where he spent most of the past 13 years playing in the second and third divisions. His most recent stop was with FC Energie Cottbus where he was a regular starter but at 30-years-old he may feel it is time for a change in his career after years of toiling away in Europe's lower leagues.
Goodbye 2015 and goodbye Germany. Wishing all the fans , friends and teammates I have met a great New Years and an even better 2016. I am excited to start a different journey and chapter in my life closer to home. It has been a priceless 13 years for me overseas and something that I will never forget. Thank you to everyone that I was so fortunate to meet along the way. #happynewyears #lethbridge #canada
The club that Ledgerwood is being most closely linked to is the one closest to his hometown of Lethbridge, Alberta. Ledgerwood has been reportedly had some contact from FC Edmonton but similar to the case with Jackson Waking the Red was only able to confirm that some contact had occurred and not if a contract is already in place. With the player announcing his departure from Germany to return to Canada it is likely that he would already have something in place so it may not be a long wait to find up just what he plans are.
It would certainly be nice to have both players playing in Canada and getting consistent minutes as having both of them on good form would be a nice boost for the CanMNT heading in to a very important 2016. By the time Canada gets together for their January camp it is possible that Jackson and Ledgerwood could both be included on the roster with new Canadian clubs next to their names.