Tuesday, June 23, 2009
TORONTO FC SIGNS CANADIAN FORWARD ALI GERBA
It's finally official:
Toronto FC announced Tuesday that the club has signed Canadian international forward Ali Gerba. Due to international transfer rules, Gerba will not be available to Toronto FC until the MLS transfer window opens on July 15, 2009. As per team policy, financial details were not released.
“We are very happy to get Ali in here and under contract,” said manager, director of soccer Mo Johnston. “Ali is a very strong player, he’s quick, he’s got an eye for goal and he’s someone that will help us down the stretch. We’ve tried to get him in here before – and he’s shown a real desire to play here, so we’re looking forward to getting him on the pitch with the rest of the squad.”
Gerba, 26, arrives in Toronto after he was released from his contract with English League One side Milton Keynes Dons with whom he signed with in August of 2008. In 24 appearances with the side, he finished with 10 goals. He made his first appearance with the League One team on August 20, and scored his first goal for the club a game later in a 2-1 loss to Peterborough United.
The forward’s career has taken him to numerous clubs in Canada and in Europe including two seasons with the Toronto Lynx of the USL in 2002-03 and then again in 2004-05. He left the team as Toronto’s second highest all-time scorer with 24 total goals. In his final two seasons with the Lynx, Gerba made 32 appearances scoring 17 times. A native of Montreal, he also played for the USL’s Montreal Impact during his rookie season in 2000 and then again briefly during the 2005 season.
Since making his debut for Canada in Burnaby, BC on July 2, 2005 in a friendly vs. Honduras, Gerba has been a regular member of the Canadian National Team with 23 appearances, and 11 goals. He was on the roster during Canada’s FIFA 2010 World Cup Qualifying campaign and part of two Gold Cup squads in 2005 and 2007. In 2005 Canada did not advance out of the group stage at the Gold Cup while in 2007, where Canada reached the semi-finals only to be eliminated by the U.S.