Will Mo Johnston Survive The Voyageurs Cup?
Tomorrow hundreds of Toronto FC faithful will be boarding buses for the long drive to the suburbs of Boston Massachusetts to cheer on their TFC against Stevie Nichol’s New England Revolution. Unfortunately I won’t be among them but I plan on being at the pub Saturday night cheering them on as loudly as I can. And by all accounts it’s going to be a challenge on many levels for the Reds to get anything out of the game. TFC has only beaten the Revs once, and that was at BMO Field, and have yet to win in Boston in nearly four years of trying. 2009 League MVP Candidate Shalrie Joseph is expected to return from injury and lead a team that under Nichol has been the model of consistency diring his tenure that many TFC fans crave.
On top of that, TFC has had more early season drama than a Mexican soap opera as has been well documented. With a team that must have all the players wearing a “Hello My Name is” nametag just so they can get on a first name basis, results may be hard to come by in the early going of the MLS season, and that includes Saturday night.
Now Mo Johnston famously stated to Gerry Dobson of Rogers Sportsnet last October that he does not expect to still be here as Director of Soccer if the club does not at least make the MLS playoffs in 2010. And I have stated previously that I am not calling for any change until we see how this season ends up, and I stand by that. However there is a large segment of involved fans of the club that are calling for Mo’s head now and are not convinced that he is the guy that has the management ability to take this team to the next level.
So the end of the MLS regular season will be one point whereby judgment can be passed on Mo Johnston.
Can Mo survive if TFC crashes out of the Voyageur’s Cup?
Another judgment point will be appearing on the horizon a lot sooner then the end of the MLS regular season, and that of course is the Voyageurs Cup Canadian Championship Tournament. In two short seasons this tournament has become hugely important to the loyal Toronto FC fan base and has been the only time to date that TFC has won silverware to put into the trophy case.
Both the Montreal Impact and Vancouver Whitecaps will want to avenge Toronto’s hoisting of the Cup last season after the “Miracle in Montreal” and it is safe to say that these games each plays against Toronto will be about the most important games these two clubs will play this year.
With the Impact rounding into shape nicely for their season with a successful preseason in Europe, and Vancouver preparing to enter MLS next year, it is fair to say that TFC may not be as big a favourite to win the trophy going into this year as they were last year.
My question to you loyal reader is this:
If Toronto FC crashes out of the Voyageurs Cup tournament this spring will Mo Johnston still be TFC’s Director of Soccer by summer?
I look forward to your responses.