Nick Garcia

Ex-Red Garcia Hails Re-Entry Process

TORONTO – Veteran defender Nick Garcia didn’t hesitate when asked whether players considered Major League Soccer’s first-ever Re-Entry Draft a success.

“Oh, for sure,” Garcia told MLSsoccer.com. “It gives the players more wiggle room. Previously there hasn’t been much movement.”

There wasn’t necessarily much movement for Garcia, but that didn’t seem to affect his positive attitude about the draft. His personal situation remains up in the air after his option was declined by Toronto FC and he was not selected in either round of the draft.

“It’s unnerving, of course,” Garcia said. “Would I have liked to be picked? Yes. Did I think that I would? No.”

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Like all undrafted players, Garcia now has the opportunity to negotiate with any team in the league. He says that he’s personally reached out to a few teams already and is confident that he will find a club. He’s been working with a personal trainer four days a week in an effort to stay fit.

“I still think I have something to add to a team,” said Garcia, who said he has not ruled out a return to TFC. “Of course I’d like to have a starting role with a team, but I’m also willing to go somewhere in a reserve role. Wherever I end up it has to be the right fit."

Garcia was a player representative during last year’s CBA negotiations, where free agency was a contentious issue. Although some people saw the player’s desire for free agency as a push for more money, Garcia rejects that outright, instead insisting that it’s the flexibility to weigh options that was the players’ main objective in the first place.

“It was never about money,” he said. “It’s about giving players – often veteran players that are on the downside of their career, salary-wise – more options. Ultimately, the goal for everyone is to have free agency earlier, but this is a baby step in that direction.”