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Marc Weber Reports Keven Aleman's MLS Rights In Vancouver

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Keven Aleman of the Canadian U-17 team in action at the CONCACAF qualifying tournament (Image from CanadaSoccer.com, all rights reserved)
Keven Aleman of the Canadian U-17 team in action at the CONCACAF qualifying tournament (Image from CanadaSoccer.com, all rights reserved)

Marc Weber of the Vancouver Province has confirmed that the "future considerations" moving to Vancouver as part of the Terry Dunfield trade were the MLS rights to former Toronto FC prospect Keven Aleman.

Aleman is 17 years old and was one of the leading stars for the Canadian U-17 team that went out of the group stages of the recent U-17 World Cup, as well as the Toronto FC junior academy. He's an attacking midfielder by trade: an exciting player with the ball at his feet and somewhat undersized. He's gotten it done with skill rather than athleticism; a rare trait in Canadian players his age.

For my money, Aleman is the second-best U-17 in the country today behind Whitecaps Residency starlet and reigning U-17 Player of the Year Bryce Alderson. However, he was released by Toronto FC (along with U-20 midfielder Jonathan Lao) because he wanted to have the option to explore opportunities abroad whereas Toronto wanted Aleman to legally bind his future to the club.

Of course Aleman is a prospect and we're never sure where they'll end up, but he's the sort of creative offensive influence that every team in Major League Soccer cries out for. Detractors in Toronto say that the kid has a bit of an ego on him but, frankly, few offensive stars at that age don't and there's never been any indication, on the field or off it, that he puts himself ahead of the team. Don't read anything into Toronto's willingness to release him, either. Another alumnus of the Toronto FC Academy junior team who was cut loose is a fellow by the name of Russell Teibert, who I'd say is doing pretty well.

It's important to note that Aleman has not yet agreed to join the Whitecaps. He's expected to get trials in Europe and may never put on a Whitecaps shirt in his life. However, he's a promising one for the future. At the time of the Dunfield trade I said that "if the Whitecaps manage to sign Aleman that may, frankly, make this trade a win on its own."