Canadian wingback Raheem Edwards criss-crosses North America in one day
Edwards was celebrating a championship in a Toronto before he was taken by LAFC in the expansion draft — then he was flipped to the Montreal Impact.
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TORONTO — It's been four days and three teams since Raheem Edwards celebrated winning the MLS Cup final with Toronto FC.
The 22-year-old wingback from Mississauga found himself — briefly — a member of Los Angeles FC when he was taken with the fifth and last pick of Tuesday's expansion draft. LAFC promptly flipped Edwards and Finnish defender Jukka Raitala, taken fourth from Columbus, to Montreal for star defender Laurent Ciman.
On Monday, Edwards was celebrating a championship in a Toronto victory parade. Before dinner time Tuesday, he found himself a member of the Montreal Impact, TFC's fiercest rival.
"My head's all over the place," Edwards told The Canadian Press on Tuesday night. "It's been a whirlwind obviously ... A lot of emotions, but I'm ready to work wherever I go and it's Montreal so I'm ready to work for Montreal."
Edwards had an inkling he could go in the expansion draft. After that, he knew anything was possible in Major League Soccer.
Montreal was a twist, but he says he's ready to represent a new Canadian team.
His message to Toronto fans was simple.
"Just thank you guys, man, for sticking with me and then all the kind messages. And how they welcomed me with open arms. It's just been unbelievable. I will never forget that. I will never forget them and obviously I love them to death. I always have love for Toronto FC."
Edwards won a spot on Toronto's senior roster this year with a strong training camp.
He went on to start 10 games and appear in 21, registering one goal and six assists. Able to play both sides of the field, he proved to be a difference-maker off the bench with his speed and crossing ability.
Toronto signed Edwards in March, the 14th player in club history to sign for the first team from the TFC academy.
The former Sheridan College player had signed a short-term agreement with the senior team in 2016, making his debut for the first team as a substitute June 29 against Vancouver in the Canadian Championship. He made his MLS debut July 2 that year against Seattle as a substitute.
Edwards made 41 appearances for TFC 2, scoring eight goals with five assists.
"Raheem is a young, versatile, and exciting Canadian international that will fit in nicely with our group," Impact technical director Adam Braz said in a statement. "He is quick and crafty and poses a lot of problems for the opposition in the attacking third of the field."
The Impact also upped their video game game. Edwards counted himself as one of TFC's best FIFA video game players.
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