The sight of Ben McKendry at NASL side FC Edmonton’s practice yesterday fueled speculations that he had been loaned or transferred to the club. Today, the Vancouver Whitecaps made it official, announcing that McKendry had indeed been loaned to FC Edmonton. Like with Sam Adekugbe, Ben’s loan is for the remainder of the 2017 season.
NASL plays two seasons (Spring and Fall), with the Fall season set to begin July 30th. FC Edmonton finished the Spring season 7th (out of 8) with a 4-1-11 record and a -10 goal differential. McKendry should be able to help Edmonton as he is a defensive midfielder that likes to get forward. Carl Robinson noted that "it is important that our young players face new and different challenges and it’s the right time for Ben to try something different.
McKendry has started 14 matches for the ThunderCaps this season. In those appearances, he has two goals and one assist. He made his Major League Soccer debut on March 11th, against San Jose Earthquakes, but has not featured again. At 24, Ben is reaching a point where you would want him to be playing with the senior squad. It is unclear whether this move is focused on his continued development only, or whether it will be about seeing if someone else will purchase him. Potentially adding to his value was his first Canadian senior men’s national team appearance earlier this year against Bermuda.
What are your thoughts on the move? Do you expect to see McKendry ever suit up regularly for the Whitecaps or is this just the first step out the door with the club?