He’s A Keeper! Toronto FC Sign Clint Irwin From The Colorado Rapids

Photo By Karl Gehring/The Denver Post

You wanted a keeper?  Here I am!                                              Photo By Karl Gehring/The Denver Post

Well this is a pleasant surprise!  Earlier today Toronto FC announced the rather welcome news that not only had they signed a starting keeper, but that it was a keeper with MLS experience!  And a pretty decent one to boot! Did we mention that he’s not on his last legs career wise either?  All positives on this one folks – welcome aboard Clint Irwin!

The former Colorado Rapids player has been acquired through the use of TAM (wham bam, thank-you ma’am); as per usual any other financial details are kept under wraps until the players’ union releases them later on in the season.   However we know that last season he was making $85,000 – quite frankly he’s a bargain; making a bit more than Chris Konopka and significantly less than Joe Bendik.  Even if the team gives him a salary boost this is still a tidy bit of business when looking at the cap and so forth.  Good wonking Bez!

Irwin’s an interesting person and in signing with TFC is returning to his Canadian soccer roots having started his pro career with Capital City FC back in 2010.  For the past three years he’s been the primary keeper for the Rapids – not the most illustrious of clubs the past few years – but Irwin has been more than adequate and in fact has been one of the bright spots in the league and for the Rapids recording 25 clean sheets through 92 appearances.  But one of the things that make him interesting is not his play on the pitch, but his writing!  Back when he was barely eking out an existence in the wilds of Ottawa, he penned this.  Considering he’s coming to one of the richest teams in MLS this is doubly fun – also because TFC have players (poor Mark Bloom) that have also spoken out against wage disparity in professional soccer – should be fun times in the locker room.

Another positive is his familiarity with another of Toronto’s new players – Drew Moor – Moor of course was also signed from Colorado in the off season.  Having your starting keeper and your leading defender (Moor will be marshalling that line) already used to playing together is a huge plus for any team.  But for a defensive nightmare like TFC?  It’s like throwing a drowning man a life preserver.  Toronto lacked any kind of cohesion or familiarity at the back last season so this is a welcome sight.

Not to put too much pressure on our newest Reds, but expectations will be high from the newest configuration of the team’s spine and rightfully so.  These are all MLS professionals (with the exception of Damien Perquis) and now that they will have all of the preseason to acquaint themselves with one another we should see a cohesive unit come March.

There’s really nothing to whinge about with this signing.  It’s what we’ve been asking for and hey, on paper at least they’ve delivered.  Welcome to Toronto Clint!

Author: Kristin Knowles

Raised on basketball and baseball, Kristin soon saw the error of her ways when enrolled in a local football league as a child. Geography dictated she choose TFC as her team and ten years later she's still yet to flee the city. Cynically optimistic, she now channels her inner hooligan by singing random pop songs and making poor puns in the stands. May contain adult content. Find me on the internet machine @kzknowles

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  1. I’m concerned by the considerable lack of snark in this post. Could it be that TFC are actually starting to do things right???

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    • it is worrying isn’t it? nothing really to dislike in this one, a decent mls level goalie is as much as we need really, and to get one with a cheap salary is definitely good business (without knowing how much tam we had to give away for the trade.) He’s not a massive upgrade over bendik/konopka, it would be interesting to imagine how they’d do if irwin was here last year and they were in colorado, I’m guessing they’d look a lot closer than their actual records suggested. As with any goalie, the main thing is going to be how the team as a whole defends, the defence looks better, but if the midfield and forwards and the tactics as a whole let them down as much as they did last year we’ll still struggle.
      but anyway, another thing that needed to be done is struck off the list, I’d still have ‘dump perquis’ on my ‘HAVE to do’ list before I’ll proclaim mission accomplished or anything, but it’s been an impressive off season so far.

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      • LOL – That first paragraph could have been written by a a MLSE staffer.

        I think Perquis may be expensive but he still has positives. He can now settled down ensconced in veteran MLS teammates. He will be MLS-ish in general play and his quickness will spring out on certain plays and be valuable to the team.

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    • Trust me Mark – it felt very weird to be writing sans snark. I’ve been feeling weird ever since.

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  2. I was checking out the Rapids Burgandy Wave blog and it seems their fans are pretty pissed at losing Irwin (and Drew Moor for that matter). It sounded like they had 2 decent keepers, but now they are making space to try and sign Tim Howard? On a team struggling for goals but with a decent defense, I can’t see the logic in trading a $100k all-star level keeper for a several million $ all-star level keeper. Is Howard really going to sell enough tickets and be the type of player to turn that team around? I doubt it.

    I don’t want to get all happy about TFC yet, but it’s starting to look like good planning to get some quality attacking players last year (including their mega-star) and then work really hard this year at finding quality defensive players to round out the squad. Sure they tried to get defenders last year too, but without needing to worry so much about scoring now, maybe Bez has been able to take his time until the right defensive guys become available. I hope it all pays off for him. For now, I can’t really complain!

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    • yeah, it’s a confusing one from their standpoint. irwin and macmath is a decent mls combo, much bigger problems for them to fix than that. can’t imagine howard would be a huge draw ticket wise either.

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      • Things may get unhinged in Denver area, weren’t there late summer rumours that Doyle was leaving to head back to Europe? Although there are no hard reports of that happening. And there is the Pappa-Miss Washington soap opera.

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  1. VMP 2016 Final Countdown #5: Clint Irwin | Vocal Minority - […] in need of a proper No. 1 keeper, and Irwin was coming off a solid year with the Rapids.…

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