Tuiloma One of Nine Kiwi Players Boosting Major League Soccer in U.S.
One time relegated to the realm of a game played during schoolyard recess in order to give the girls a legitimate opportunity to kick the boys in the shins, slightly higher, maybe, U.S. soccer is now firmly established to the degree that there is money to go a-poachin’ for professional players to boost the level of play in Major League Soccer.
All Whites midfielder Bill Tuiloma is one of those. He is going into his second season with the Portland Timbers, where he is expressing the view that 2018 will afford him a fresh start with new Timbers’ Coach Giovanni Savarese.
Tuiloma was lured to Portland, in the state of Washington, by another Kiwi, Timbers’ General Manager Gavin Wilkinson.
Tuiloma did not have many chances in 2017 and former Coach Caleb Porter admitted to not comprehending the talent he had at his disposal in the 22-year-old midfielder out of Beach Haven.
How did a player with over 40 caps escape the notice of a professional soccer coach?
We may never know, unless Porter fesses up in Portland.
Tuiloma may have been frustrated by his lack of playing time in 2017, but he has a new contract, so he has the security of that to supply him with some confidence.
“Obviously I came in and the team was already sorted but I just kept in my head that I needed to get another contract for next season and I played well in the second team and scored a few goals and I signed another contract, which I’m really happy about,” he said.”A new coach brings a lot of excitement to the team and to the club. And all of the players and I are very excited about what the coach is putting on the table.”
Along with Tuiloma, eight other Kiwis have found work in Major League Soccer as players, where they patiently explain to the Yanks that, no, they are not from Australia.