Thanks, Kenny Miller.
At least, I have to assume Miller is the one whose good words will allow fullback Sam Adekugbe, centreback Christian Dean and midfielder Kianz Froese the opportunity of their young lifetimes to train with the legendary Scottish club until November 26th. For midfielder Marco Bustos, goalkeeper Marco Carducci and defender/midfielder Jordan Haynes, their stint with the Rams is more easily explained: Whitecaps FC co-owner Jeff Mallett also co-owns Derby County FC.
These are not insignificant working vacations for the six 'Caps. Sure, the players will be ineligible for competitive matches but consider who they're training with. Rangers are currently second in the Scottish Championship table behind Heart of Midlothian, which puts them in a playoff position for promotion back to the Scottish Premiership. Meanwhile, Derby are atop the Football League Championship, holding a slim lead over the massive pack of teams jockeying for the automatic and playoff promotion spots.
As it turns out, the five Canadians being sent to the UK are already in the neighbourhood. Adekugbe, Froese, Bustos, Carducci and Haynes were already with the Canadian U-20s, who posted three impressive results against England (2-2), Russia (2-1) and the United States (1-0). How convenient that those players just happened to be in Spain when these training deals were announced! It's almost like there's an effort underway to further the development of our youth during the off-season or something. Heck, even Dean has three USA U-23 call-ups to his name in 2014 and now he's in Glasgow. Go figure.
Tongue removed from cheek, this is great news for fans of developing domestic talent and draft picks. Here's hoping the lads represent their club well and return in even better shape for the 2015 Major League Soccer season.