Nathan Sturgis

Sturgis Heads To Toronto

TORONTO – Nathan Sturgis knew something was up when the first call he got after Vancouver picked him up in the Expansion Draft wasn’t from the Whitecaps, but rather from Toronto FC.

“I didn’t find out about [being drafted] until that evening, when I got a call from Toronto,” the former Seattle Sounders midfielder told “That was kind of surprising. It made a little more sense the next day, when I found out that I was traded to Toronto.”

Having been traded once before – Sturgis, along with Robbie Findley, was part of a 2007 deal that saw the LA Galaxy acquire Chris Klein from Real Salt Lake – Sturgis took it all in stride.

“[The possibility of being traded] is always in the back of your mind,” Sturgis said. “It’s part of the game. It can be tough when you have to up and move across the country – in this case to a different country – but you just have to move forward.”

The St. Augustine, Fla., native is making his first trip to Toronto next week and says the TFC front office has been helpful in getting him set up for the international move.

“As long as the club is helping you, it’s not too bad,” he said.

Injuries have been a major concern for the midfielder throughout his career, but luckily for Sturgis, 2010 represented a bit of a personal breakthrough. He appeared in 29 games for the Sounders and scored his first career MLS goal. Sturgis says Toronto have told him they expect him to continue where he left off for the Rave Green.

“I’ve talked to [TFC interim GM Earl Cochrane] and he said that he expects me to play up in the midfield,” he said. “But it’s hard to know how you’ll fit in until you get to camp and start working with your new team.”

Although the Reds struggled on the field in 2010 – and there was a great deal of instability off the pitch, too – Sturgis isn’t fazed.

“I didn’t really concern myself with what was happening in Toronto last year,” he said. “My focus was on playing well in Seattle.”

Going into 2011, the midfielder plans on taking the same attitude. He says he’s up for the challenge of being part of Toronto’s rebuilding process and expects the Toronto fanfare to be as equally enveloping as Seattle’s.

“I’m excited,” he said.