Deal with Steven Caldwell ‘done and dusted,’ Nelsen says

- July 1st, 2013

I’m not the most stat-driven guy, but this is telling: Since Steven Caldwell’s arrival at BMO Field, TFC’s goals-against average has plummeted.

After hinting following Saturday’s match that a deal to extend the Birmingham City loanee through the rest of the season — and further — was complete, Nelsen confirmed to the Toronto Sun on Monday that a deal with Caldwell was “done and dusted.”

Caldwell had said that Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Real Salt Lake would be his last if the two sides failed to come to terms.

He was in training on Monday — a good sign for TFC fans.

“He was fantastic again on Saturday, wasn’t he?” Nelsen said. “He’s been what this team has needed for a number of years to tell you the truth.”

Since Calwell’s arrival, Joe Bendik’s goals-against average has dropped to 1.00. Prior to the Scottish international’s addition, TFC was allowing close to 1.70 goals per game .

“He defends, gets into good positions and organizes,” Nelsen said of Caldwell. “Some defenders cosmetically look very good and do everything people like to see from afar. But when it comes down to the crunch, they don’t put their bodies on the line, intercept crosses or get their heads on balls.

“(Caldwell’s) are becoming rarer and rarer to tell you the truth. Even when I was playing, all the coaches in Europe were saying it’s harder to find natural born defenders. That’s why they’re becoming harder to find.”

Toronto has yet to release the terms of Caldwell’s new deal at the club, but he appeared in good spirits when the Toronto Sun spoke with him following Monday’s training.

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