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Toronto FC goalkeeper says players are keeping up with U.S. election

Toronto FC goalkeeper Clint Irwin (1) eyes the ball against Montreal Impact forward Dominic Oduro (7) during first half Amway Canadian Championship soccer action in Toronto on Wednesday, June 1, 2016.Irwin's vote is in the mail and Donald Trump should not hold his breath. There are 13 Americans on the MLS team's roster, not including the coaching staff and Irwin, a thoughtful type who has had pieces published in Sports Illustrated and the Guardian among others, says all have been following the political antics south of the border. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
October 12, 2016 - 12:10 PM

Toronto FC goalkeeper Clint Irwin's absentee vote is in the mail. Donald Trump should not hold his breath.

There are 13 Americans on the MLS team's roster, not including the coaching staff, and Irwin, a thoughtful type who has written pieces for Sports Illustrated and the Guardian among other publications, says all have been following the political antics south of the border.

"There is a lot of discussion about it," he said after training Wednesday. "Sometimes people think that athletes are just kind in their own bubble and don't really see what's going on in the rest of the world, but it affects us just as well.

"And especially in MLS. It's a microcosm of the societal changes that are happening in the United States. So we're all aware of what's going on. And we talk about it a lot. And guys have some interesting things to say. Probably more so than you would think. And guys are up to date with it.

"For the Canadian guys, they kind of keep a wary eye and they're like 'How did we get to this point? With these two candidates. Really?'"

The 27-year-old Irwin does not hide his feelings on an oft-entertaining Twitter feed.

"Took 30 minutes for Trump to go crazy last debate. The train has now left the station," he wrote early during the second presidential debate.

"I feel bad for Hillary (Clinton) that she has to share the stage with this moron," he added.

Irwin, who came to Toronto in an off-season trade with the Colorado Rapids, sent his ballot to the state of Colorado last week.

The North Carolina native has never voted Democrat before, explaining he grew up in a conservative environment and attended a Christian school with a portrait of George Bush on the wall.

Irwin, who was a political science major at Elon University, says he's "not exactly sure" if there are any Trump backers in the Toronto locker-room. But he knows they exist on other teams.

"But at the same time I'm not going to fault people for supporting Trump," he said. "There's a reason behind the support and ... you're still going to have to address that as a candidate, and really as a society in the United States."

Like other athletes, Irwin took offence at Trump's explanation that a recently unearthed 2005 conversation rife with lewd, offensive comments about women was simply "locker-room talk."

"I walked into the locker-room today and what I heard was fantasy football, who got who off the waiver wire, that we've got a meeting after training," said the goalkeeper. "We just don't talk about that stuff and no one really does.

"It's almost offensive to us as athletes, to paint us as people who would use those words and disrespect women like that."

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News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
The Canadian Press

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