CARLISLE United forward Kevin Gall is the latest North East footballer to be targeted by Major League Soccer side Toronto FC.
The 26-year-old flies out today to begin a trial which he hopes could result in him becoming the third British-born member of the Canadian club’s squad.
The MLS’ only non-American side already had strong links with the area but the appointment of former Newcastle United assistant manager John Carver as their executive director of football seems to have escalated their interest further still.
The Sunderland pair of Ross Wallace and Liam Miller have both been linked with a move across the Atlantic, as has ex-Newcastle midfielder Nolberto Solano, who has reportedly rejected their overtures to stay with West Ham United.
“He’ll fly out there and take a look at the place, and they’ll take a look at him, then a decision will be made as to whether they want to sign him,” Carlisle manager John Ward explained. “We’re happy for him to go out there and meet and train with them.”
The timing of the trial is somewhat surprising. Only last week the Cumbrians recalled Gall from a loan at League Two Darlington following an injury to top-scorer Joe Garner. Carlisle play two games over the Easter weekend which could be crucial to their hopes of emerging successful from the tight race with Doncaster Rovers for League One’s second automatic promotion spot.
The Foxes travel to play-off hopefuls Leyton Orient on Saturday, then entertain Northampton Town on Easter Monday. Merthyr-born Gall will not play for Toronto as he requires international clearance, but will train with the side, who are managed by former Everton, Rangers and Celtic forward Mo Johnston.
The Welsh Under-21 international, who joined from Yeovil Town in the summer of 2006, is under contract at Brunton Park until the end of next season.
Toronto kick-off the new MLS campaign at Columbus Crew a week on Saturday. The regular season in America runs until last November.
Former Sunderland players Danny Dichio and Carl Robinson are both part of the BMO Field squad, which previously included Robinson’s former Black Cats team-mate Andy Welsh.
BOURNEMOUTH boss Kevin Bond admits they have become “a victim of Sam Vokes’ success” after the striker’s international call-up ruled him out of Monday’s game with Tranmere.
Vokes, who has been linked with Newcastle has been called up to the Wales Under-21 squad for next Wednesday’s European Under-21 Championship qualifier against Bosnia.