Longtime Forge FC goalkeeper Triston Henry was mysteriously ruled out of his club’s Champions Cup tie against Chivas Guadalajara this past Wednesday. We may now have a better idea as to why.
In the buildup to the game, Forge head coach Bobby Smyrniotis the shot-stopper would be unavailable due to personal reasons for the match which ultimately ended 3-1 in favour of Chivas at Tim Hortons Field, with Christoper Kalongo taking Henry’s place in Forge’s goal.
But a report from John Jacques of Northern Tribune claims that Henry’s absence is due to a disagreement behind the scenes after the goalkeeper was allegedly denied a transfer out of Hamilton this offseason and did not take it well.
However, for his part, Henry stated on social media shortly after the report was published that “many statements in the recently published Northern Tribune article are misleading and inaccurate” and that “we are actively trying to find solutions.”
Jacques’ report outlined that Henry had secured a move to USL Championship side Memphis 901 and suggested the ‘keeper had even received the blessing of Forge owner Bob Young to head down south.
However, Smyrniotis reportedly blocked the move, allegedly leaving Henry bothered and resulting in the four-time CPL champion staying away from first-team activities.
According to Jacques’ report, Henry is eager to return to the States so that he can renew his permanent residency status, which would otherwise expire later this year. With Memphis having signed two goalkeepers this offseason, it seems rather unlikely the club is still pursuing Henry, and the two-time Golden Glove winner would probably have to look elsewhere if he is allowed to depart Forge before his contract expires at the end of the year.
There remains time for Henry and Forge to resolve their issues before the start of the 2024 CPL season kicks off on April 13 but given Henry’s statement on social media, it sounds like that is still a work in progress. In the meantime, Kalongo is in line to continue starting duties and will get the nod between the sticks in next week’s trip to Guadalajara, where Forge will battle to reverse their 3-1 deficit from the first leg.
The club recently signed goalkeepers Jassem Koleilat and Dino Bontis to short-term contracts, but a player of Henry’s stature would be missed if he continues his absence through the domestic season. Developments will likely emerge as we approach April, but this messy situation will only be a distraction for the Hammers as they try to defend their CPL crown.