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MLS – Toronto FC signs Dutch army Javier Martina, Nick Soolsma and Elbekay Bouchiba

MLS – Toronto FC signs Dutch army Javier Martina, Nick Soolsma and Elbekay Bouchiba

Good news for MLS, Aron Winter brought the Dutch army to Toronto FC. PHOTO by CHRIS REIKO

Good news for MLS, Aron Winter brought the Dutch army to Toronto FC. PHOTO by CHRIS REIKO

Toronto FC announced Wednesday that the club has signed Javier Martina, Nick Soolsma and Elbekay Bouchiba. The three players all joined the team on trial at training camp in Antalya, Turkey last month and are currently with the squad in Charleston, South Carolina.

“It is very important for us to bring in players who fit into the system that we want to play,” said Toronto FC Head Coach and Technical Director Aron Winter. “The three players were with us in Turkey and their performance was very good. We have signed them because we are convinced they will make a difference for us during the season.”

Martina, 24, is reunited with Winter and First Assistant Coach Bob de Klerk who both coached at Ajax during the Dutch forward’s time with the Amsterdam based club. Martina joined the Ajax youth system in 2005 and was promoted to the First Team in 2008. He made his Eredivise debut in a 2-0 win over FC Twente during the 2008 season. In 2010 he spent time on loan with HFC Haarlem.

Soolsma, 23, began his soccer career in the youth system of FC Volendam. He signed for HFC Haarlem in 2007 and made seven appearances in the Dutch Eerste Divisie (second highest division in Netherlands). Soolsma left Haarlem in 2008 and spent a year with FC Chabab. Prior to his move across the Atlantic, he played with amateur team VV Young Boys and helped the side gain promotion to the Hoofdklasse (fourth tier of soccer in Netherlands). He started the 2010/2011 season scoring six goals in the team’s first 11 matches.

Bouchiba, 32, started his career in his native Netherlands with Willem II and made his professional debut in 1998 with Alkmaar Zaanstreek (AZ) in the Dutch top division. After three seasons with AZ, the midfielder moved to Sparta Rotterdam in 2001, FC Twente in 2004 and Roda JC in 2006. After making over 100 league appearances in the Eredivise, Bouchiba decided to leave the Netherlands and head to play in Qatar where he spent two years with Al-Wakrah and Al-Shamal in the Qatar Stars League before joining Toronto FC.

All three players will be added to Toronto FC’s roster pending receipt of their International Transfer Certificates and work permits.

As Toronto FC’s preseason continues, the team will play their latest match in the Carolina Challenge Cup tonight at 7:15 p.m. against Charleston Battery. The game will be broadcast live online on the club’s official website, TorontoFC.ca.

Elbekay Bouchiba

Position: Midfielder

Height: 5’10

Weight: 164

Birthdate: November 1, 1978

Hometown: Weert, Netherlands

Nationality: Dutch

Last Club: Al-Wakrah

How Acquired: Signed on March 2, 2011

Pronunciation: EL—BEE-KAY-BOO-CHEE-BA

Nick Soolsma

Position: Forward

Height: 5’10

Weight: 175

Birthdate: January 17, 1988

Hometown: Andijk, Netherlands

Nationality: Dutch

Last Club: VV Young Boys

How Acquired: Signed on March 2, 2011

Pronunciation: SOOLS-MA

Javier Martina

Position: Forward

Height: 5’9

Weight: 156

Birthdate: February 1, 1987

Hometown: Willemstad, Curacao

Nationality: Dutch

Last Club: Ajax

How Acquired: Signed on March 2, 2011

Pronunciation: HAVE-EE-AY MAR-TEEN-AH

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