Calgary Storm sells Hirschfeld to Hotspur
(Aug 8) (tsn.ca) The Calgary Storm has sold Lars Hirschfeld to Tottenham Hotspur, paving the way for the Canadian No. 1 goalkeeper to sign with the English Premier League team.
The next steps for the 23-year-old from Edmonton are to come to contract terms with Spurs and pass a medical.
``It looks very positive right now,'' Hirschfeld said Thursday from his hotel near Spurs' training centre in North London. ``Who knows, by next week it should be signed and sealed hopefully.''
Hirschfeld will likely be the No. 3 'keeper behind Scottish international Neil Sullivan and American international Kasey Keller. Manager Glenn Hoddle has apparently chosen a No. 1 but has not made his decision public, according to Hirschfeld.
Should all the paperwork get done, Hirschfeld will join Everton striker Tomasz Radzinski as the only Canadians in the Premiership. Veteran 'keeper Craig Forrest announced his retirement last month from West Ham.
Hirschfeld can look with some pride at the fact that he turned a one-week tryout in March into a full-time job with the storied English side led by former England manager Hoddle.
Tottenham kept extending his tryout towards the end of last season and, when starter Sullivan was injured, Hirschfeld made the bench for Premier League games against Middlesbrough and Leeds.
Hirschfeld, who wore No. 24 last season with Spurs, joined the London team after tryouts with Heart of Midlothian in Scotland and Portsmouth and Wolverhampton Wanderers in England.
With Forrest recovering from testicular cancer, Hirschfeld started all five games for Canada at the Gold Cup earlier this year. He had a spectacular tournament, helping the Canadians to third place and was named the competition's best goalkeeper.
At the Gold Cup, Hirschfeld staked his claim to the No. 1 job in Canada, no small feat considering he has only has eight caps - six of which came this year. But his shot-stopping skills and athleticism have turned heads.
He gave up just four goals, one an own goal, in five outings at the Gold Cup in a performance that was all the more remarkable in that he had only played 90 minutes of international soccer at that level prior to the tournament. Plus he had seen virtually no action in the two months prior to the Gold Cup,
All that has changed. After last season, he returned to the Storm to play in the A-League this summer and has had next to no time off this year.
The Storm did not disclose the transfer fee it received, but said it will include first-team appearance incentives. The A-League team will receive more money when Hirschfeld signs a contract at Tottenham.
Hirschfeld has been in pre-season training with Spurs since July 15. The team opens play this season Aug. 17 at Everton.
Hirschfeld is sporting a new look these days _ a buzz cut that has replaced longish hair that would not have looked out of place on a surfer or alternative rocker.
``I've always had longish hair, I just got sick of it,'' he explained.
Hirschfeld sees action against Spurs teammate Sullivan on Oct. 15 when Canada plays Scotland in Edinburgh.
He has three shutouts - one shared with Forrest - in his eight appearances for Canada to date.