Published: September 13, 4:36 p.m. ET
Updated: September 14, 11:31 a.m. ET
There’s been a Canadian movement in Vancouver this season, and it’s only getting stronger.
Canadian men’s national team veteran Junior Hoilett, who hails from Brampton, Ontario, and was likely high on new Toronto FC manager John Herdman’s wish list, has signed for the Vancouver Whitecaps, as first reported on Wednesday by VWFC beat reporter J.J. Adams of The Province.
Hoilett who was a free agent, has signed on a deal that runs until the end of the season.
The 33-year-old said he is “super excited to be here in Vancouver, where I shared many great memories at BC Place in front of amazing fans.”
It’s an incredibly timely move for the Whitecaps, who on Wednesday agreed to sell striker and Designated Player Sergio Córdova to Turkish club Alanyaspor. Signing Hoilett on less than DP money is a real coup for the Caps.
MLS teams have until Friday, September 15 to make roster additions before a roster freeze for all MLS teams according to the 2023 MLS Roster Rules and Regulations.
Hoilett, CanMNT’s joint all-time assists leader, has been a free agent since the summer when his contract with Reading FC expired. The Canadian winger saw his club relegated from the EFL Championship this past May, meaning The Royals will spend this season toiling in League One, their first taste of third-tier football in 21 years.
Apart from two loan stints in Germany, the now 33-year-old has spent his career in Britain since moving to Blackburn as a 13-year-old to join the Blackburn Rovers academy, where he made his name as a pro, before a big-money move to Queens Park Rangers in 2012. Hoilett then spent five seasons at Cardiff City where he made 173 appearances before joining Reading before the 2021/22 season kicked off.
Having already added former Toronto FC fan favourite Richie Laryea and Canadian men’s national team full-back Sam Adekugbe this season, the Whitecaps have built a CanMNT contingent in a market that is often overlooked in Major League Soccer circles.
Hoilett will not be ready to be involved at BMO Field on Saturday, although he will travel with the Whitecaps to Ontario this weekend.
Is Hoilett a player you would’ve liked to have seen sign for Toronto FC?