Ex-Newcastle and Sunderland defender commits to MLS club

DEAL ME IN ... Steve Caldwell has signed for Toronto FC after leaving Birmingham.
DEAL ME IN ... Steve Caldwell has signed for Toronto FC after leaving Birmingham.

FORMER Newcastle United and Sunderland defender Steven Caldwell has joined Toronto FC on a permanent deal.

The ex-Scotland international has signed a two-and-a-half-season contract with the Canadian club, which is managed by former Queens Park Rangers and Blackburn Rovers defender Ryan Nelsen.

Caldwell – whose contract at Birmingham City expired at the end of last month – initially joined Toronto on loan from the Championship club.

After six appearances in which the side’s defensive record improved, they handed him a permanent deal.

Caldwell said: “I had other options back home, but I’ve been there and done it in the Championship.

“I’ve experienced success there, and I loved it. It was fantastic.

“But this is a different challenge, and I have enjoyed the standard of the football.

“I still feel like I have got a lot of football left in me.

“I feel really good physically and mentally.

“Hopefully I can be a success in the years that I am here, and possibly longer, as long as my body feels good.”

Caldwell came up through the ranks at Newcastle before leaving in search of regular first-team football.

He then crossed the Tyne-Wear divide and moved to Sunderland, where he immediately established himself as a key part of the set-up and helped Mick McCarthy’s side to promotion in 2005.

Caldwell departed the Stadium of Light to join Burnley in 2007.

He was a vital part of the Owen Coyle side which earned a surprise promotion to the Premier League in 2009.

Caldwell enjoyed one final fling in the top flight in the 2010-11 season with Wigan Athletic, before moving on to Birmingham, latterly captaining Lee Clark’s side.

He will now spend his time in the MLS with the club which Newcastle assistant manager John Carver once managed.