It didn’t even take a week for teams to come calling. Just days after helping the Silverbacks take home the North American Soccer League Spring Season Championship, defender MARK BLOOM is on his way to Major League Soccer side Toronto FC after signing a loan deal for the remainder of the season on Friday, pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC).
Bloom, 25, was just one of four NASL players to play every minute of every Spring Season game. He logged a total of 1,080 minutes, contributing one assist and helping the team earn five clean sheets in 12 games. Toronto FC will have the option to purchase his contract when the MLS season ends in October.
“It’s always a tough situation when you lose a player who has contributed to the success of your team,” said Silverbacks Head Coach BRIAN HAYNES. “We’re extremely excited, however, for Mark and I think this move is a testament to what we are striving to accomplish here in Atlanta. Today is a bittersweet day, but it’s a promise kept and we look forward to developing more fantastic players like Mark.”
The 6-foot outside back began his career at Berry College in nearby Rome before signing his first professional contract with AC St. Louis in 2010. After making nearly 30 league appearances in St. Louis, Bloom moved on to USL side Charlotte Eagles in 2011. Two seasons and just under 50 appearances later, he returned home to the Atlanta area to sign with the Silverbacks in 2013. Bloom was a mainstay in the Silverbacks lineup during the NASL Spring Season, serving as a reliable outside player that could play both right and left back and even in the midfield if needed.
“When you build a team, guys like Mark are a necessary part of what you’re trying to do,” said Silverbacks Technical Director ERIC WYNALDA. “In Atlanta, I’d like to think that we have a group of phenomenal people who just happen to be fantastic soccer players. Mark certainly falls into the category, we wish him well, and he, along with Chris Klute, will always be a part of the Atlanta family.”
Bloom joins a Toronto FC team that has struggled out of the gate in 2013. The Reds currently sit second from the bottom in the MLS Eastern Conference standings with a 2-8-7 record. Bloom will look to help Toronto FC improve on a -7 goal differential, which ranks fourth worst in MLS.
“We’re happy to add Mark Bloom to our team. Eric Wynalda has spoken very highly of him to me, and our scouts also rate him as a very solid player,” said Toronto FC President and General Manager Kevin Payne. “We expect him to be a part of the nucleus of TFC that we’re trying to put together to carry us forward for the next several years.”
The Silverbacks, the hosts of November’s Soccer Bowl, will take the field next on July 27 against Guatemalan side Club Xelaju MC in an international friendly at Atlanta Silverbacks Park. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. and fans can purchase tickets by calling 404-969-4900 or visiting atlantasilverbacksfc.com.