BLUES STAR BIDS FAREWELL TO BIRMINGHAM AS HE IS SET TO JOIN TOP CLUB IN MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER

Kevin Long is about to cross the Atlantic to play Major League Soccer with Toronto FC.

Kevin Long: Birmingham City defender signs new one-year deal - BBC Sport

Long’s 13-month time at Birmingham is coming to an end with this revelation, which was first reported by Brian Dick at Birmingham Mail. He is getting ready to start a new chapter with the Canadian side. Early next week is when the transfer is expected to be finalized and announced.

Under John Eustace, the 33-year-old Irish defender—who joined St. Andrew’s @ Knighthead Park on a free transfer from Burnley in January of last year—played a crucial part in keeping the blues out of relegation contention. Nevertheless, he suffered an injury while Wayne Rooney was managing him and fell out of favor. He has been in and out of the team under Tony Mowbray, the current manager.

The Blues’ most recent match, a 2-1 victory over Sunderland, saw him missing from the starting lineup. The Blues have possibilities at center-half, with Marc Roberts playing more recently, Emanuel Aiwu, captain Dion Sanderson, who is expected to return from injury, and Bielik, who is now playing at the back, among other choices. However, if necessary, fullbacks Cody Drameh and Lee Buchanan can also play center-half.

Kevin Long made 40 appearances across all competitions while playing for Birmingham City, scoring two goals in those games. He is currently expected to sign with Toronto FC because his contract expires at the end of the current campaign. The Reds, headed by Englishman John Herdman, are in the last phases of getting ready for the forthcoming Major League Soccer season. They have one more preseason game remaining before playing their first game in the Eastern Conference on February 25 versus Cincinnati.

In 2023, Toronto FC had a difficult season, placing 29th out of 29 teams in the league standings and finished last in the MLS Eastern Conference. The Canadian team is hopeful that Kevin Long’s arrival would strengthen their much-needed defensive capabilities as they aim for a stronger season. The manager recently expressed his intention to bring in new players in time for the start of the new campaign, saying:

In the end, all we need to do is add more players. We will continue to press forward. We’re not done with the window until April. Before the season begins, there is still time, therefore I’d like to see at least one or two players arrive before the opening game.”

Interestingly, Long is not the only player from Birmingham moving across the Atlantic. After the deadline day, young defender Nico Gordon also left, signing with FC Dallas’ feeder club, MLS Next Pro team North Texas SC.

Kevin Long leaves the squad with a good reputation, having gained the respect of teammates and fans alike in addition to a significant amount of playing time. Even if his transfer came as a surprise, Birmingham City and its players will surely send their sincere well wishes and express faith in his success in the Major League Soccer (MLS) with Toronto FC.

 

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