So Abdus Ibrahim is still training with Toronto, but we're no closer to knowing why, or for how long, or what TFC (or FCD or MLS) plans to do with him.
First, let's clarify who we're talking about.
Abdus Ibrahim is not Abbe Ibrahim, the Togolese striker who scored some preseason goals for TFC in 2007, but played very little in the regular season before the team released him.
For a minute, though, after Abbe left town and before I had actually seen Abdus, I thought they were the same guy. I would see the name "Abdus Ibrahim" on MLS player lists and figure "Abbe" was just a nickname, and that he signed with Dallas after leaving TFC.
But no, this Ibrahim is the second-youngest player ever selected in the MLS Superdraft, and at 16 is still the league's youngest player.
He first showed up at BMO about two weeks ago sporting jersey number seven, but as far as the league is concerned he's still a member of FC Dallas.
I asked about him shortly after he arrived but like Olivier Tebily when he first arrived, Ibrahim's here, but not here.
Insofar as he's on the field every day, taking part in drills and scrimmages then hitting the gym afterward, he's very much here. But because he's not officially a member of the team, he's not technincally here, so the team can't make him available to the media.
Of course, no top notch sports reporter would be satisfied knowing only that...and neither was I, so I started asking around.
Turns out nobody knows much, beyond the fact that he's got family in the GTA.
One source told me that TFC and Dallas were in the midst of making a trade that would bring him here officially, and said the teams could complete the deal as early as today (Thursday).
But this morning at practice the TFC folks told me nothing's happening with Ibrahim, and I haven't seen any press releases announcing his presence.
So until further notice Ibrahim is still not here.
Except that he's here.
I see him at practice every day.
Carver Makes an Exception
Tuesday I wrote that TFC head coach John Carver is fed up with national teams everywhere, so he's not doing any more favours for national teams anywhere.
Outside of official FIFA match dates, he said, he's done lending players to national teams, no matter what player and no matter what country.
A sharp reader named JJ pointed out that FIFA rules don't require clubs to lend players to Olympic teams, and wondered if Carver's new stand against national teams meant he would hang on to Maurice Edu and Marvell Wynne in August.
No, it doesn't.
After today's practice Carver said he would never deprive a player of a chance to win an Olympic medal.
Edu and Wynne are going to Beijing.
The Olympics are kind of a big deal.
N.A.N -- No Acronym Needed
Rohan Ricketts took a stand against sports acronyms on Thursday.
Here in North America they bombard us: NFL, CFL, NCAA, CIS, NHL.
And don't even get me started on boxing.
It never ends.
During the Roger Clemens-Brian McNamee saga earlier this year sports journalists even tried to slap an acronym on steroids -- PEDs (Performance Enhancing Drugs).
During a brief media scrum Thursday Ricketts, a London native who has played a little at the top levels of English soccer, heard an acronym that cracked him up.
In North America it means "English Premier League," but evidently in England it doesn't mean a thing.
"EPL...NBA...Just call it the Premiership," Ricketts said, clearly amused by our alphabet soup approach to sports leagues. "You've changed up the name!"
One less acronym to remember.
Works for me.
-- Morgan Campbell