Thursday Afternoon Odds & Ends
Toronto FC Director, Business Operations Paul Bierne tweeted the following earlier today:
“…Had a convo with a CONCACAF official today. No love on Tuesday night’s game but they told me our supporters are killing them!…”
Paul Bierne via Twitter
On some of the TFC supporter message boards today the main CONCACAF office telephone number was published and fans disgusted with the appalling officiating on display Tuesday past in Panama have been encouraged to call and lodge complaints. The number by the way is 1 (212) 308-0044. Call early and call often!
The TFC Academy has graduated their first player permanently to the first team. Defender Donnell Henry has signed a professional contract and will be on the senior roster going forward. You may remember of course that Henry played in the final Voyageurs Cup game against Vancouver and started the away game in Motagua when TFC secured a berth in the group stages of the Champions League. MLS rules allow TFC to sign two players from their academy and they do not take up a roster spot from any other player. I have spoken previously about how important the TFC Academy is going to become for the future of the club, particularly if MLS decides to get into the 21st century and realize that they should start investing serious money into player development instead of relying on the NCAA to develop players for them on the cheap. Make this happen MLS!
Back to the Champions League for a moment, the Columbus Crew has apparently lodged a formal complaint with CONCACAF over the screw job they had inflicted upon them on Tuesday night. Toronto was not the only MLS club to get the shaft from CONCACAF this week. Watch my video from yesterday to learn more about the travesty they had to deal with. I think the likelihood of anything coming from the protest is next to nothing, but hey I think it is a good move for MLS clubs to at least appear to be not taking the crap and apparent corruption in CONCACAF lying down. Toronto FC should do exactly the same thing and formally protest the result on Tuesday evening in Panama. Salvadorian official Marlon Mejia is an absolute disgrace of a human being and the display him and his crew put on Tuesday evening should definitely be challenged. I never thought I would agree with the Columbus Crew on anything, but hey, misery loves company. Other than pulling out of the tournaments themselves there is not a lot that MLS clubs can do other than formally lodge complaints. Don’t let us stop you Mo!
The Canadian National Team has called up four MLS players for the friendlies against Peru and Honduras next month and three of them are from Toronto FC. They are Julian de Guzman, Dwayne De Rosario and Nana Attakora respectively. The only non TFC player from MLS is Will Johnson From Salt Lake City. And Toronto FC is not allowed to say no to these call ups as the game falls on a FIFA mandated game day. Clubs are not allowed to hold players back on those dates if they get the call from their country. You see MLS does not follow the FIFA calendar so when Canada plays national team games there are often MLS games in direct conflict with them. So it is unlikely that three of TFC’s best players will be available next week for the two crucial league away games against Dallas and Chicago respectively. I don’t blame Canada. I don’t blame TFC. I blame Don Garber for forcing clubs in this league to try and compete fairly for success when one club has to play with three of its best players away through no fault of its own. You all may remember in 2008 when TFC, then again in a playoff race, had nine players away on International duty and went on to lose against Chivas at home. That day TFC was forced to dress amateur players and even a coach to fill out the roster. It is all about fairness here and not playing on FIFA dates is a no brainer. Come On Don, even you must see this is unfair!
And by the way didn’t Mo Johnston promise TFC fans a winger a few weeks ago? The transfer window closes next Tuesday I believe. Don’t hold your breath…
I will be posting my usual pre-game blog tomorrow ahead of TFC’s home game Saturday evening against Real Salt Lake.