Pacific FC has responded to the season-ending injury to defender Marcel de Jong by adding former MLS Montreal Impact defender Blake Smith on loan from FC Cincinnati of the MLS.
Smith, out of the NCAA University of New Mexico Lobos, was the eighth overall selection in the first round of the 2013 MLS draft by the Impact. He played for Montreal from 2013 to 2015 before stops with the Indy Eleven of the NASL, Miami FC, FC Cincinnati when it was in the USL before moving to MLS this year, and the Swiss pro league.
“Blake’s experience speaks for itself,” said Pacific FC head coach Michael Silberbauer.
The addition of Smith helps alleviate what Pacific FC CEO and general manager Rob Friend earlier described as the “massive loss” of 56-time Canada-capped left-back de Jong, who came to Pacific FC as a marquee signing after three seasons in the MLS with the Vancouver Whitecaps, six seasons with FC Augsburg of the Bundesliga and four seasons with top-level Eredivisie club Roda JC in the Netherlands.
De Jong was injured in a training-camp practice last month on the PISE pitch. De Jong had successful surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles tendon but is likely gone for the season.
“We were looking to add a veteran presence to our defensive group and Blake Smith certainly fits that criteria,” said Friend.
The 28-year-old left-back from Texas joins Hendrik Starostzik, a six-foot-two centre-back from Germany, as the two imports signed by Pacific FC. The other 14 signees are Canadians.
Pacific FC opens the inaugural Canadian Premier League season April 28 at Westhills Stadium against HFX Wanderers of Halifax.