– Toronto FC Transfers, Trades, Signings & Rumors

Big steps being made at TFC Camp
February 25, 2009, 2:33 PM
Filed under: MLS Preseason, Toronto FC

It was this time last year that people began airing their concerns that Toronto FC were not being quite as active in the transfer market as they had suggested they’d be.  The fear was, that the team that was to start the second season in franchise history, might look ominously like the one that struggled in year one.  That proved to be the case, although eventually new faces did trickle in, and by seasons end, the team had changed it’s look somewhat, although it was clear, a face lift was still required.

Fast forward to this years camp, and the differences, on an off the field are already obvious.  Coach John Carver has made an impression.  Last year, arriving in January, he had to accomodate the teams pre-season plans, rather than the club accomodate his plans,  the Geordie is much happier, doing things his way.  It is no coincidence that the morale of the camp is high, in large part to the club spending more time in Toronto, allowing those new faces, not to mention those who spent the winter out of town to re-acquaint themselves with the city. 

Of course it is on the field that matters, and Carver has been able to use his network, along with Mo Johnston’s, to bring in a select group of trialists, who Carver says are of a far higher quality than last year.  That is not to say they will all be signed, few likely will, but improving the overall quality in pre-season, results in a more competitive camp, and a more demanding camp. 

Carver is highly impressed with the draftees, who also add pressure to the stalwarts.  Sam Cronin, Carver says, is an excellent player, who he feels would be able to play in any position, such is his work ethic, and willingness to learn, but will likely settle in midfield, and as cover at right back.  O’Brian White is making steady progress from his serious knee injury, and goalkeeper Stefan Frei is winning plaudits for his presence in the box.

One big difference this year, is that management are making no promises of new arrivals, big names, small names, depth players, starters.  There are more pieces on the way make no mistake, but Carver is not tipping his hand, although he does say they ‘haven’t finished yet.’  That being said, the club made a relatively big splash this week with the acquistion of Adrian Serioux.  Carver is impressed with what he has seen, and says that although the Canadian has spent time in midfield, even at full-back, he will be used as a center half at TFC.  No surprise there, but will he be partnered with Marco Velez?  As mentioned, Carver is giving nothing away, but looking at this squad, even with the addition of Serioux, there is little depth at the back, expect that to be addressed again in the coming weeks.  Carver speaks highly of young CB Nana Attakora-Gyan, but he has been limited to only five sessions through injury, and has been called up to the Canada U-20’s for the Concacaf champs. Carver doesn’t say so, but that has to frustrate a coach!

As for the big winter signing?  Dwayne De Rosario has come as advertised.  Carver is excited with what he is bringing to the team, both technically, and with his attitude.  He says De-Ro will be used in a free-role, but is either witholding, or is yet to determine exactly where; I think we can all speculate though, although he says it will not be as an out and out winger.

The start of the season is fast approaching, the team returns from Florida shortly, to spend a week back in Toronto, before heading to the Charleston Tournament, so there are still other shoes to drop before kickoff, but even today, the look of this team is far superior to a year ago. 

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