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TFC looking to the future
March 17, 2009, 3:36 PM
Filed under: MLSE, Mo Johnston, Toronto FC

An informal chat on Tuesday between Toronto FC supremo Mo Johnston, MLSE Executive VP and COO Tom Anselmi, and a hoard of salivating hacks both print and electronic, was a new, but useful way to start the new MLS season.

In fact the entire energy under the bubble at BMO field was exuding positiveness and good will.  Indeed, before a ball has been kicked in anger, everyone loves everyone, and all is right in Toronto’s footballing universe!  Let us enjoy it while it lasts, I dare say it will all change as the season progresses.

Some of the interesting comments and opinions:

* Yes, MLSE and TFC are hoping to one day play on grass at BMO.  Making this a reality will be a complicated, and a time consuming journey, but it is something that is being considered.

* An elite athete performance center is being eyed alongside the new Maple Leaf practice facility in the west end of Toronto.  This would allow the players to train on grass throughout the week.

* Expansion of BMO field by as many as 8000 seats has also been discussed.  Again, nothing is imminent, nothing is being planned, but it has at least been discussed.  Such expansion will cost in the neighbourhood of $15,000,000.

* Mo reiterated for the 94,000,000th time, that when the right player is available, a DP will be on his way to BMO, but as it stands, nothing is in the works.

* There is one more piece to the puzzle to come, a time frame has not been given as to exactly when, but when the player arrives that will likely be it!  At least for the time being.  Mo did not specify, but alluded to the fact that we all know what he wants, and of course that comes in the shape of a Center Half.

* Unlike last season when Mo Edu left, the club does not anticipate losing any players to Europe this season.

* MLS has debated aligning both the East and West conferences into one division, something TFC would support, but they don’t expect any changes to be coming to the League’s structure any time soon.

* TFC has targetted Africa as a relatively untapped market (evidenced by the recent signings of Amadou Sanyang, and Emmanuel Gomez) expect Mo to continue to work his contacts in the region.

* The Beckham Nightmare will not affect the League according to TFC.  Mo is adament the signing did pay off, and any embarrasment the League might currently be experiencing will not last.  Anselmi for the record, speaks passionately about the MLS brand, he says he is “as bullish about MLS as he’s ever been.” 

* Mo is not a fan of the Seattle model, where fans will vote in and vote out the General Manager!  No kidding!

TFC kicks off the 2009 season this Saturday in Kansas City.  The roster looks locked, aside from the imminent arrival in defence, and certainly the new boys look the part.  Adrian Serioux should be healthy for the weekend, and from what I saw today at training, Pablo Vitti looks lively, while De Ro looks like he’s going to be a little bit special!

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