Toronto FC created roster space for one more international player yesterday, but that doesn’t mean American striker Brian McBride is any closer to joining the team.

TFC yesterday traded rookie defender Pat Phelan to the New England Revolution and received an international roster slot in return.

The deal gives TFC 12 international rosters spots, including the one occupied by New Zealander Jarrod Smith, who was promoted to the senior roster yesterday.

Of those 12 spots, only 10 are occupied, meaning Toronto has the roster space to bring in a non-Canadian.

But after yesterday’s practice, the club’s director of soccer Mo Johnston, wouldn’t say whether the trade was a prelude to a move for McBride, whose MLS rights belong to TFC.

When McBride, a Chicago area native, said last month that he was returning to MLS after four seasons at English club Fulham, he also made it clear he wanted to play for the Fire. Last week Johnston said he was open to trading McBride’s rights as long as TFC received “something big” in return.

Yesterday he said the Phelan trade doesn’t change that equation.

“It’s nice to have a dream and to finish your career in front of your hometown fans,” he said. “But to make that possible Chicago needs to come deal with me.”