TFC trades Issey Nakajima-Farran to Impact for Collen Warner

Posted May 16, 2014 by Tyrrell Meertins
Days after scoring the game-winning penalty that ensured Toronto FC advanced to the Amway Canadian Championship final, Issey Nakajima-Farran was dealt a heartbreaking blow.
Courtesy of Amil Delic/soccerly
The Canadian international winger was traded to the Montreal Impact for midfielder Collen Warner, and an undisclosed amount of allocation money.
“We felt the need to acquire an experienced MLS central midfielder like Collen Warner was necessary as we approach the break, coupled with the loss of Michael [Bradley] to the US National Team,” Toronto FC general manager Tim Bezbatchenko said in a statement.
“Collen provides a different look in the midfield for us and to be successful in this league you need to be multidimensional. Collen is someone we strongly admire as a player and who we believe can help us achieve our goals. We are pleased to welcome Collen to Toronto FC and expect him to fit in well with our group. We’d also like to thank Issey for all of his contributions to our club and wish him well in Montreal.”
Warner, 25, has featured in 92 Major League Soccer matches since being drafted 15th in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft by Real Salt Lake. The Denver native’s sole goal in MLS was recorded during the 25-year-old’s three-year spell with the Impact, and he’s started in all nine of Montreal’s league games this season.
Warner’s arrival doesn’t bode well with TFC supporters, but the American is a natural ball-winner that offers a physical presence in central areas. With Michael Bradley set to depart to the World Cup, TFC’s midfield –– an area that has been consistently exploited this season –– requires additional depth. TFC manager Ryan Nelsen has shared his delight regarding Warner’s acquisition.
“I’ve liked Collen for a long time to tell you the truth. He’s a natural sitting midfielder who can play out wide. He’s played attacking midfield as well. He gives us options and (more) midfield depth,” Nelsen told reporters after Friday’s practice.
“Issey was the player Montreal wanted. He’s not a starting player for us when everyone is fit, even though he has done nothing wrong. He’s been fantastic but Warner is a guy that we’ve been after for a long time,” Nelsen offered.
Warner, though, will serve a one-match suspension during TFC’s home match against the New York Red Bulls, as he was sent off for a handball in Montreal’s 3-0 loss against Sporting Kansas City.
Nakajima-Farran spent majority of his career abroad before earning a trial with the Toronto club at the start of the year. The Calgary native signed with TFC in March, and positive performances have seen the 30-year-old develop into a fan favourite. The Canadian winger scored two goals in five appearances this season and Impact manager Frank Klopas expressed his delight with the trade.
"We are very pleased to be able to add Issey Nakajima-Farran to our roster," Impact coach Klopas said in a statement. "He is a player whose qualities will fit well within our group and style of play. We feel his experience with both the national team and abroad will benefit our team."
While many believe this trade will provide TFC leverage to sign Stoke City winger Brek Shea, the sole acquisition of Warner isn’t a bad move.
The Toronto club possesses various options in wide areas, and with Nelsen reluctant on adopting a three-man midfield, the likes of Kyle Bekker, Jonathan Osorio and Jeremy Hall haven’t offered stability in central areas. Although Warner isn’t a top-class MLS midfielder, the need for a ball-winner and experience is pivotal.
Both Warner and Nakajima-Farran will be cup-tied, and ineligible to face their former clubs in the two-legged Amway Canadian Championship final that will commence at the end of the month.