Summer is a time when opportunities to get out of town are plentiful and TFC have not been offering a reason to stay around. Labour Day weekend always takes me to a great friend's cottage and therefore I was not at yesterday's home versus New England game. I had hoped to watch the game on my ipad, but putting the game on Sportsnet 360 and leaving the main network for darts (thanks Rogers) meant that I had to listen to the game on the radio.
You did not need the visuals to grasp that it was a disaster. TFC was clobbered by the New England Revolution 3-0, which is no way to handle a team that is competing for your playoff spot. For all of the disasters of TFC over the years, Toronto had never lost to New England when at home prior to this season. In 2014 now, it has happened twice. When was the last time you heard Toronto fans chant "this is our house"? It just isn't anymore.
I have avoided pouring my exasperation into demanding that Nelsen and Bez be shown the door, but the exasperation is rising. Now it seems that Nelsen and Bez are sniping at each other and I am tempted to say a plague on both of your houses. The big boss Tim Leiweke is on the way out of the MLSE door and you have to wonder how many weeks
Before the game Bez (Tim Bezbatchenko) had expressed his opinion that the team
had the talent but it was time to raise their games. On one hand the TFC fan is very likely
to agree with his view that on the brink of September it is time to start grabbing results. It is self serving, Bez essentially saying that the GM has chosen the right players, time for the coach to motivate them.
After yesterday's loss Coach Nelsen was critical of Bez's statement to the media, he felt that it had increased pressure on his players. These two need to schedule a meeting - today. Not that the solution to this tailspin is that simple, didn't the Big Tim Leiweke meet with the team recently and give them a supportive speech about the foundation and the future?
Nelsen is so protective of his players that I am suspecting it gets in the way of his motivating them. Combine that with his "late to the party" substitution patterns and his troubles with creating either a tactical sense of defending or a creative sense of attacking and you have a coach on thin ice. His survival depends on a playoff berth. Should he fall short of that, I would speculate that firing Nelsen would either be the last action of Tim Leiweke or the first action of the next guy.
The trading and signing deadline for the MLS is just days away. A move is critical, but a big move is not expected. Although Toronto has a few international spots on the roster, I am just not sure that a trade or a free agent signing is going to change the course of this playoff drive.
Toronto FC has a home and away series with Philadelphia Union this week and the playoff drive could fly or flop within these upcoming days. Stay tuned.