Sunday, January 30, 2011

Dawn of a new season, new management, new era?

I have reached the part of winter where the logic has gone and I have managed to develop the sense that cold, snowy, icy weather will be a permanent part of my life. Once this frigid grip has taken hold of my little brain it becomes so difficult for TFC news to penetrate. The calendar may say one thing (TFC training camp has opened in Turkey), but as long as winter vistas dominate the world outside my window, I am not ready for the new season fever quite yet.

So what Toronto FC news trickled into my igloo in recent days?
A flock of press conferences that I have sampled and have reached the following conclusions - Deguzman has a new haircut and seems to be ready for a new start. Dero is back, but is he really?

 Ex- Coach Nick Dasovich seems to be gone from TFC - this was hardly a shock, there seemed to be an incredibly expanding front office with Toronto taking on new leadership and retaining most of the old supporting cast.

Houston Dynamo has been shifted to the Eastern Conference for 2011. You don't need to be a geographical genius to see that the adding of Montreal in 2012 will mean that Houston won't stay eastern long term.

Interesting that Coach Winter was quoted as hoping to add a 2nd designated player before the season started. He seems to want to build a team from the start. Hopefully the old Mo trickle through the season with a patchwork roster system is gone for good.

The Toronto FC website had a simple posting that told us who was attending the training camp in Turkey. This was a welcome development. We know that the players choosen in the supplemental draft were not invited to Turkey and will join camp when it is based in Florida. There is also talk that some players based in the Americas will trial starting in Florida rather than going across to Turkey. The on field product is still an unknown, but there seems to be a sense of order to the proceedings so far.

I think that my igloo just shifted and I can hear the trickle of melting ice.

For the record training camp roster here

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

2011 Supplemental Draft

Toronto FC selected
Pick 8  JC Banks   Midfielder   University of Wisconsin - Green Bay
Pick 13 Steven Beattie   Forward   Northern Kentucky
Pick 26 Spencer Thompson  Forward  Michigan State University
Pick 44 Scott Rojo  Midfielder  High Point University

Scott Rojo while playing for Carolina Dynamo

I am guessing that these young men just won a free trip to Turkey where Toronto FC is opening their training camp next month. Unless the deal for the draft picks is to start them in Florida when the camp comes back across.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Chad sent packing to LA, Jon Conway dealt to Chicago and 4 draft picks chosen by TFC

Chad will be firing in Southern California in 2011

Jon retaliates

Chad Barrett was traded by Toronto to the LA Galaxy today. It is not clear what Toronto has been given in return. Maybe an allocation, maybe Toronto will be paying part of Chad's salary, an echo of the Carl Robinson deal from last year. I am not happy to see Chad go. He was rough, raw and frustrating. We saw his potential, admired his work ethic and felt that he had become "ours". Remember that half time tv interview when Toronto had not shown up in the first half in Houston? Maybe it was the expanding Chad contract that Mo had saddled the team with that brought it to an end. It might have been way too much money (300 g?) for a hard worker with potential.
It is not negative to predict that he will fill the Edson Buddle role in LA and benefit from this trade to the point of becoming a true goal scorer. Happy trails Chad, thanks for wearing the red well.

The New Guys
Demitrius Omphroy is a defender (right back) who played for the University of California.
Matt Gold is a defender who played for Ohio State (although there is a description of him that calls him a defensive midfielder).
Junior Burgos is a midfielder, born in El Salvador and played his college ball at
Joao Plata was the last pick for TFC today and they had to swing a trade with Chicago to get the pick ( a future consideration). He's 18 years old, he's very short, he's from Ecuador and he scored goals at the MLS Combine.

Now the future considerations in this deal were in fact Jon Conway. The back-up keeper had a good year with Toronto. He played the Champion's League games and had one MLS start, the game against Columbus where he picked up the red card for taking no guff (see picture)from Stephen Lenhart (who was traded to San Jose today- are you totally confused??). Can you salute a keeper for wearing the red well when a keeper's jersey is never red?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

TFC management group introduced or Orange meets the Reds


In case your resolution was to avoid online chatter, here is the official TFC leadership group announced at the ACC press conference today.

There is  a team approach to the new TFC leadership.  So forgive me if my labels are simple. Aron Winter seems to be both coach and technical director. Bob deKlerk is his assistant coach.
Paul Mariner seems to be the player acquistion guy.

It was also mentioned that Jim Brennan, Earl Cochrane and Nick Dasovich are staying with Toronto.
Asif on the live chat confirmed that Danny Dichio stays too.

There were really no other nuggets of information that came forward at today's press conference. Player moves might have to wait for the opening of the transfer window, signings and the draft.

It does seem like a fresh start. The future starts today...

Monday, January 3, 2011

Winter and Mariner or Mariner and Winter

Reasons to be cheerful.

- Leadership hirings finally completed- fans can start dreaming of the season ahead, rather than dreading another day of TFC vacuum.

- I can't be the only one impressed with a Dutch coaching hire (Aron Winter). Although I am usually dubious when nationalities are thrown around as the answer to any problem, the Netherlands have supplied the world with quality players and national teams out of proportion to their population. Ajax has been at the forefront of player development for decades.

- Combining the unproven coach (from a quality playing and development background) with a hire with years of MLS experience, Paul Mariner, seems like a wise move.

More to come