Still A Lot Going On!
You might think that roughly a week out from Christmas there would not be a lot of news to report about Toronto FC and the goings on within the club.
And if you read the Toronto papers or for that matter watched TV you probably would be correct in believing that. Neither source is reporting on much that is going on. But if you, like me, spend time trolling the internet looking to try and find out what is happening you might not be surprised to hear that there is actually a ton of stuff still going on, or is about to happen very very soon.
Klinsmann Hard At Work
In an interview broadcast on Sportsnet One this past Saturday, TFC consultant Jürgen Klinsmann confirmed to Gerry Dobson in a California sit down that there will most likely be a coach in place before Christmas. So there is a good chance if what Klinsmann says is true I would guess by early next week at the latest we should have a new head coach to call our own. Here is the interview in its entirety if you did not see it.
I think that as every day goes by without a new GM in place, and with a head coach likely coming first, it becomes more and more likely that Earl Cochrane is going to have that pesky “interim” tag removed from his title and he will be announced as the permanent General Manager of Toronto FC. The upcoming second round of the MLS Re-Entry Draft is I think the clue to look at.
Re-Entry Draft Part Two
I think if the second round of the Re-Entry Draft (taking place later this week) goes by and TFC selects a player or two I think it is safe to assume that Earl Cochrane is, as I stated above, going to be the GM for TFC going forward. It is only a guess on my part, but I think it is a valid one. And with only two players going in the first round last week there is at least a chance that TFC may take a flyer on one of two players later this week. If TFC does indeed do this and maybe end up adding a significant piece for 2011 then the long guessed at new structure for TFC will be pretty well fleshed out in my opinion in all but name only. There will be an experienced coach that Klinsmann will recruit/recommend and Cochrane will be the guy that goes out and gets the players the new coach wants. Again we will see, but this is what I really think is going to happen.
Rumour Mill Grinds Along
DeRo to Glasgow Celtic?? In the abstract I guess it is not any stranger I guess than former Red Maurice Edu suiting up for their cross town rivals Rangers is it not? If one believes this blog out of Scotland (http://tinyurl.com/278asr9) this might turn out to be the case. Or it could be a ton of haggis flavoured hot air… who bloody knows! At any rate this might not be the last rumour we hear about De Rosario between now and the start of the season. There were even murmurs out of northern Californa last week about a potential move back to San Jose. And of course there is the lingering discontent with his salary/contract.Expect to hear more on the DeRo front sooner rather than later.
On top of that I would guess that Toronto FC has been scouting pretty aggressively down in South America in recent weeks. Either that or there are a lot of Toronto fans living in Peru or Argentina wearing TFC gear.that none of us know about. In any case rumours from a couple of South American sources have linked TFC with players potentially as diverse as Venezuelan forward Richard Blanco (http://tinyurl.com/399o9bq) and Argentinian midfielder Gustavo Rodas (http://tinyurl.com/2vrbzfj). One can of course speculate on if either of these guys is coming here, or for that matter if they are closer to a Freddy Montero if you are an optimist or a Pablo Vitti if you are not ! All I know about these two guys I read today on Google and I am sure that is the same for most TFC fans. In any case it is quite possible that the increased focus Cochrane and Brennan claim to to be placing on scouting and in developing contacts with clubs in South America may be paying off. At the very least an increased effort in scouting is the way to go in a salary cap league.
Season Tickets Sold Out
One piece of news that flew a little under the radar last week was a report from the club that they have met their “goals” for season ticket sales. (http://tinyurl.com/2umz6cy) Rumours early on in the renewal campaign spoke to an 82-85% seat renewal rate (down from the high 90’s of previous seasons). There was also a significant amount of what I referred to as a “downward” movement in the renewal campaign where supporters holding more expensive seats took advantage of the opportunity to move to less expensive seats saving themselves money. The majority of seats that were to be sold were quite expensive (some well over $1,000 per seat) and if the club is to be believed here, this is indeed a significant development.
Many, myself included, were openly skeptical for the demand the club would have for seats in 2011 and that the much vaunted waiting list was not as strong as we were led to believe. Obviously I and many other pundits were perhaps a bit off in our assessment. At the end of the day I think it is quite obvious that TFC’s reaction to supporter unrest that led to the Town Hall process (and the changes the club committed to at the end of that process) did go a long way to addressing the concerns of a lot of fans and many of them have given the changes and the hopes for the future their support with their pocketbooks.
Changes to the Voyageurs Cup?
I am not sure where the cliche came from but there is one out there that says if you put a monkey in front of a typewriter, if given infinite time, the monkey will eventually type out the complete works of William Shakespeare. I might be wrong but I think the meaning here is that eventually anyone can get it right from time to time. In late May I wrote a piece in this space about what I thought the Voyageurs Cup might look like in 2011 with the addition of new D2 club FC Edmonton in 2011 (http://bit.ly/aTcd2B). And if the rumours are to be believed there will be changes for next season (http://tinyurl.com/3xgrg5o). I am of two minds about these changes. Losing out on a road trip to Montreal sucks, but on the flip side there is no way that the tournament would countenance additional fixtures in 2011 considering that Toronto, and now Vancouver, will have to play four more MLS League matches than they did in 2010. The new format if true is not ideal but it does make sense.
What do you think about this and the other news of the past week? Your comments are always welcome and appreciated.