ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – All that Kyle Porter is looking for is an opportunity to establish himself and contribute to a team’s success.
The 27-year old right-back from Mississauga, Ont., now has that chance after he signed with the Tampa Bay Rowdies earlier this week.
Porter had a tough time sticking with a team after the Atlanta Silverbacks left the North American Soccer League and only a single season with the Ottawa Fury, but understands that it is just a part of the business.
“Atlanta was an unfortunate situation for me because of what happened with the team folding and such. Ottawa had great ownership and great facilities,” Porter said after practice. “Sometimes as a footballer you have to move around to grow and learn the game and that is what I had to do.”
If he can play to his ability, Porter hopes that he can make a strong impression on the Canadian national team who he has not played with since 2013.
“That is a big ambition for me to get back with the squad,” said Porter. “Right back is a position they do lack so hopefully playing a lot of games here and doing well will give me a chance to get back there.
It will be tough competition for the 27-year old with Tampa native, Darnell King occupying the starting right back position.
“I’ve come here to play and competition is important for a team. I can obviously learn from him and he can learn from me,” said Porter about his American teammate. “I am fighting for a spot as much as he is, nothing is guaranteed in this league especially with it being a demanding with 33 games. I think everyday is a battle for that position.”
What makes the Rowdies an intriguing team is their plan to join Major League Soccer as an expansion franchise.
Along with their MLS bid, the Rowdies are also looking to upgrade Al Lang Stadium, changing the capacity from 7,500 to 18,000.
“What they have here is very professional, basically what the MLS provides this team provides,” said Porter. “The location and everything about them is the reason why they are a top club in this country. It is an ambitious club and they deserve to be in the MLS.”