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Greg Sutton Thread

Joe MacCarthy2010-05-12 17:41:15 +0000 #1
Players In The News

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Sutton Named Goalkeeper of the Year

Greg Sutton

Canadian Men’s National team and Montreal Impact goalkeeper Greg Sutton was named Goalkeeper of the Year in the United Soccer Leagues First Division for a fourth consecutive year.

Sutton ended the season with the lowest goals-against average (0.500), allowing only seven goals in 14 games and 1,260 minutes of play. He also finished the season second in the league with nine shutouts.

Sutton helped the Impact tie a club record with only 15 goals allowed in 28 regular-season games.

“It’s a great honour but once again I have to give credit to our defense,” said Sutton. “We have been playing together for several seasons so it makes things easier. It’s always great to be recognized for the efforts you put in during the year. Andrew (Weber) did great and it was not easy for a young goalkeeper like him to be thrown in the middle of the action like that.”

Sutton played only 14 games this season due to a fractured index. His substitute, rookie goalkeeper Andrew Weber, ended the season with the league’s second lowest goals-against average — 0.571 in 14 games.

Courtesy of the Montreal Impact

Joe MacCarthy2010-05-12 17:45:31 +0000 #2
Tks to Richard at bcsoccerweb for headsup

Impact might lose its anchor

Goalkeeper of the year Sutton could be headed down 401 to join Toronto's MLS expansion club

Have gloves will travel? "Toronto is an option I'll be pursuing," Impact goalie Greg Sutton says of that city's Major League Soccer expansion team that will begin play next season. Photograph by John Mahoney, Gazette


Published: Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Greg Sutton might have played his last game with the Montreal Impact.

Sutton, goalkeeper of the year in the United Soccer Leagues First Division for the past four seasons, could be going to Toronto to play with that city's new expansion team in Major League Soccer.

Toronto FC will join MLS as the league's 13th team next season and the league's first franchise outside of the U.S. Owned by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, the team will play in a 20,000-seat stadium, which is expected to be ready in the spring.

"It could be the last time," Sutton said yesterday when asked if he had played his last game with the Impact in Sunday's 2-0 loss to Vancouver at Claude Robillard Stadium, where the regular-season champion Impact fell in the USL First Division semifinal for the second straight year.

"Every season, we come across the same scenario where there are options out there and I'm going to explore them again," said Sutton, who joined teammates and coaching staff for the season postmortem.

"We do have a contract with Montreal for next season and an option for the year after, but there are clauses that allow me to transfer to a different club. Toronto is an option I'll be pursuing."

The 29-year-old Hamilton, Ont., native, who is a member of the Canadian team, spent the past six seasons with Montreal and ended this season with the league's lowest goals-against-average (0.5), allowing only seven tallies in 14 regular-season games. He missed 14 games because of a fractured finger that required surgery.

Along with backup 'keeper Andrew Weber, he helped the Impact tie a club record - allowing only 15 goals in 28 games - and finished second in the league with nine shutouts.

"If (Toronto's) an opportunity that suits myself and my family, then perhaps it's an option I would take," Sutton said.

"But I haven't really had any major discussions with any team as far as next season goes. That's probably going to happen in the next couple of weeks. Right now, it's kind of a day-by-day thing, waiting to hear what teams are waiting to come to the (negotiating) table," Sutton said.

"Things change. While Joey Saputo (Impact president) and the whole organization here have been great to me, there comes a time when changes happen. Sometimes you get an offer that's hard to turn down. But you never know. I could be here for another five years."

Impact head coach Nick De Santis, who expects there will be changes in personnel for next season in an effort to win the championship that eluded it this year, said the club won't stand in the way of a player who has an opportunity to pursue his career at a higher level elsewhere. But he stressed it will be all about negotiations.

"Teams come calling every year and there's a chance we could lose players to MLS, but everything depends on the negotiation and the player's willingness," De Santis said. "We're into a negotiation period and we're ready to sit down and listen.

"If there's a possibility for a player to go to a better league, we're going to do it, but at the same time, players, like Greg, belong to us and we're going to try to keep our players here as much as possible.

"Greg respects this organization and the organization has a lot of respect for him," De Santis said.

"Whatever decision he makes, we're going to have an understanding and a mutual agreement."

Going under the knife: Veteran Impact defender Nevio Pizzolitto will undergo surgery Monday to repair damaged knee ligaments, an injury he suffered in the first game of the semifinal series in Vancouver last Friday.

"It's 4-to-6 months recovery time. It's funny, I really didn't think I hurt it that much," Pizzolitto said.

No shirt, no play: Vancouver striker Eduardo Sebrango, who scored the decisive goal in the Whitecaps' 2-0 win in overtime over the Impact Sunday and then was ejected for a second yellow-card infraction after pulling off his jersey while celebrating, will miss the league final in Rochester, N.Y., Saturday to serve an automatic one-game suspension.

USL vice-president Tim Holt said that while the league office was "sympathetic of the plight" of Sebrango, under the rules of FIFA, the world's governing body for soccer, there is no basis for the team's appeal in this case.

- - -

Impact season highlights

The Impact fell short of reaching the United Soccer Leagues First Division championship game for the second consecutive year, but it was a season of records:

- Clinched a fifth regular-season title with a 14-5-9 record, including 8-2-4 at Claude Robillard Stadium.

- Best defence in the league for the fourth straight year - 15 goals in 28 games - tying the team record set in 2004 and also matched last year.

- Goalkeepers Greg Sutton and Andrew Weber recorded nine and seven shutouts, respectively, for 16 in total and the second-best mark in franchise history.

- Ten shutouts at home tied a club mark and the four goals allowed at home also was a club record.

- 7-0-3 start at home was a franchise best.

- Regular-season attendance record of 161,762 - an average of 11,554 a game - marked the second consecutive season attendance surpassed 150,000.

- Single-game attendance record of 13,450 for Aug. 9 game against Rochester.

- Eight of the all-time, top-10 attendance totals at Claude Robillard Stadium were registered this season.
Joe MacCarthy2010-05-12 17:52:00 +0000 #3
Sutton leaves Impact for MLS

MONTREAL (CP) - Canadian international goalkeeper Greg Sutton is leaving the Montreal Impact for Major League Soccer, with Toronto his likely destination.

Toronto FC expects to announce a new player signing later this week, a club spokesman said Tuesday, adding coach Mo Johnston would not be commenting before then.

Sutton, 29, had two more years left on a three-year contract with the Impact but Montreal let him go after striking a deal with MLS.

Montreal Impact president Joe Saputo said the Los Angeles Galaxy and Columbus Crew showed interest in Sutton this season. But Toronto has the edge with the league looking to stock the expansion franchise with Canadian talent.

Toronto FC has 11 players at present, none of them a goalie. The club kicks off next spring.

"It's part of the soccer business that you sell or transfer players," Saputo said in an interview. "It's part of the game. We walked away with what we felt was the amount that reflected Greg's value within the club . . . it worked out well."

Sutton was goalkeeper of the year for the fourth straight season this year in the United Soccer Leagues First Division, despite missing time with a broken finger. His record was 6-4-4 with a goals-against average of 0.5 and nine shutouts.

Sutton allowed just seven goals in 1,260 minutes.

The Impact have already lost defender Adam Braz to Toronto FC. Andrew Weber will likely enter camp as the favourite to take over from Sutton with the Impact.

"He proved to us last year when Greg got hurt that's he's capable of being a first-class goalie," Saputo said.
Joe MacCarthy2010-05-12 18:38:05 +0000 #4
New signing is a 'keeper


At 6-foot-6, Greg Sutton can probably see from BMO Field all the way across the lake to his native Hamilton.

But Toronto FC's new goalkeeper hopes his height advantage is most effective in and around the box once Major League Soccer play commences in April.

He was officially introduced yesterday by the expansion team after word leaked out early in the week he had been signed from the Montreal Impact of the USL.

"My strengths, obviously, are my height and my ability to come for crosses," Sutton said. "People have looked at my statistics and said 'your goals-against average is low because you haven't faced a lot of shots in Montreal.' But I'd like to think a lot of those (shots) didn't come because I came out for crosses and interceptions. That's a big part of my game."

The 29-year-old is the tallest player on FC Toronto as it continues to fill out its roster in preparation for its first season.

"This goes to show we want the best Canadians out there," Toronto coach Mo Johnston said.

Sutton was born in Hamilton, spending a good part of his youth playing soccer in Danbury, Conn., where his father's employer transferred him. But Sutton warmed up to his Canadian roots through six years in Montreal, four of them as a USL all-star and the past two years with the national team.


He says he is a much different 'keeper than the 23-year-old who first went to the MLS with Cincinnati in 2000, losing 10 of 11 decisions.

"Cincinnati was a franchise in disarray, without defenders of any quality," Sutton said. "I don't know how many shots I faced in a game, but it was quite a few. But hey, I'm a goaltender and when you're trying to gain experience, it's great to see the ball a lot. Consistency is what I want to prove here. Experience is a major factor, especially in goaltending, and the past five years have been a great transition period for me.

"I know now I'm ready. I've picked the right place to re-start my MLS career. The pace is different, the ability of strikers is different. It's vital for a goalie to get into those game situations."

Johnston said negotiations to get Sutton from the Saputo family, which owns the Impact, were cordial and he is hopeful of a home and home exhibition with the club next spring.

Ideally, Johnston would like young FC prospects to play in Montreal rather than go to Europe.
Joe MacCarthy2010-05-12 18:36:26 +0000 #5
Sutton primed for Toronto FC

Canadian Press

Greg Sutton returns to Major League Soccer with the asset he was missing six years ago in Chicago — experience.

"When I first joined MLS, I don't think I was game-ready," the six-foot-six goalkeeper said Wednesday. "I had the skills, but in goalkeeping, a lot of it is decision-making on the field.

"Having games under your belt makes a big difference. That's why you see goalkeepers who are 33 or 34 playing at their best."

The 29-year-old is to be introduced Friday as the latest addition to FC Toronto, a new team in MLS that is gathering together some of Canada's top players. Sutton becomes Toronto FC's 12th player — and its first goalie.

Sutton joins Toronto after five seasons with the Montreal Impact, where he developed his game well enough to be named the United Soccer Leagues' goalkeeper of the year the last four seasons — as well as league MVP in 2004. He also earned eight caps with Canada's national team.

He said the USL years have given him what he was lacking when he went 1-6 as an MLS 'keeper with the Chicago Fire, who cut him loose after some high-scoring defeats, and briefly the New York/New Jersey MetroStars in 1999 and 2000.

"Any goalkeeper can make a save, but it's things like deciding when to come out for a cross or telling the defence where to be that you only learn from playing games," he said. "The last five years in Montreal gave me that experience."

Sutton expects a slightly higher calibre of play in MLS, where he said strikers get shots away more quickly and from more dangerous positions than in the USL.

The move should also help solidify his place with the national team by playing full time with fellow internationals like midfielder Jim Brennan and defenders Marco Reda, Chris Pozniak and former Impact teammate Adam Braz.

Braz, a right fullback in Montreal, signed as a free agent with Toronto last week. Sutton, who had two years remaining on his Impact contract, was transferred in a cash deal to MLS.

He said the longer MLS season — nine months instead of six — will also help keep him sharp.

Sutton, a Hamilton native who grew up in Connecticut, said he had accomplished all he could in Montreal and wanted to move on.

The Impact have a solid backup in Andrew Weber, who stepped in when Sutton sat out half the season with a broken index finger on his left hand.

And team president Joey Saputo said his club expects to battle for a championship and retain its league-high 11,000-plus spectators per game even without Sutton and Braz.

"We always have players looking to play at a higher level, whether it's in Europe or the MLS," said Saputo, whose club has lost stars like Sandro Grande, Patrice Bernier and Ali Gerba to European teams in recent years. "We've never held any player back."

Saputo was miffed that MLS moved into Toronto, whose weak USL club played before mostly empty seats, while Montreal and Vancouver had built good teams and had strong local followings.

Sutton believes fans will turn out in Toronto for the MSL club, which is owned by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment and will play in the new waterfront BMO Field stadium that is being built mostly with tax dollars.

"The support in Toronto wasn't there because the product on the field wasn't any good," he said.

"This (MLS team) is a totally different product that will be on the field in Toronto," he added,

Without mentioning numbers, Sutton said he got a nice pay raise, although Saputo doubts that money was a prime reason for the move.

Saputo said that after the top four highly paid stars on MLS clubs, the salary scale in the two leagues is similar. The median salary on the Impact is about $40,000. He said many players in MLS make less than that.

"It's not that far off," he said. "Greg felt he wanted to play in a league that will give him more of a challenge and we respect that. He's been a gentleman with this team."

Veteran Pat Onstad, a native of Vancouver who has twice been named MLS goalie of the year, was the league's highest-earning goalie at $160,000 (U.S.) last season with the Houston Dynamo, according to a Washington Post salary survey. Chivas goalies Brad Guzan and Preston Burpo, in contrast, made $62,250 and $49,992, respectively.



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