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Serioux Done with TFC
February 4, 2010, 1:50 AM
Filed under: Adrian Serioux, Toronto FC

Daniel Girard of the Toronto Star is reporting TFC did not renew the contract of defender Adrian Serioux, and that he will not be accompanying the team to Florida. I’m not sure if the door is completely closed on a return, but assuming it is, I’m not really sure what to make of this development.

The game early last season against Chivas where Serioux put in one of the best performances ever by a TFC defender (although, that’s not really saying much) still sticks out in my mind as to what the Scarborough native could be at his full potential. But it’s hard to look past some of the performances he put in in the second half of the season, where he looked either really hurt or really passed it. You keep hearing so much about him being banged up that you figure he just needs to get healthy to get his form back, but with this latest elbow injury, rumours of something more serious, and Toronto’s cap tightness, maybe Mo Johnston has decided they just can’t afford to carry him.

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New pairing keeps focus on TFC defence
April 25, 2009, 9:58 AM
Filed under: Adrian Serioux, Marco Velez, Toronto FC

Whatever his reasons for taking a bird’s-eye view of last Wednesday’s proceedings at BMO Field, the vantage point can only have helped Toronto FC head coach John Carver see the big picture.

He saw a new-look formation (4-3-3) create chance after chance against Major League Soccer’s best team, Chivas USA, but the fact that only one of the home side’s six shots found the back of the net put the onus squarely on the defence to batten down the hatches once again.

Fortunately for the suddenly-shy Englishman, his back four held firm, and in pairing Marco Velez with stalwart Adrian Serioux for the first time since a Week 2 draw in Columbus, Carver may just have stumbled upon a winning centre-back partnership after watching the prior pairing of Kevin Harmse and Serioux concede late goals the two previous weekends.

“We just try to communicate and do the simple things and I think it just worked out,” Velez said of playing with the Canadian international.

Serioux readily concurred with that assessment.

“It seemed like we just kind of meshed together,” he said of his Puerto Rican teammate.

“It’s obviously an advantage when you just have somebody come into the mix like that and just get right into it, and it’s definitely an advantage for us, so we’ll just keep it going.”

Whether or not the duo get the chance to continue their burgeoning partnership tomorrow at home against the Kansas City Wizards is up to the coaching staff – but posting the team’s first clean sheet of the season can’t exactly hurt Velez’s bid to add to his two starts so far this season.

“He’s always been told you wait and your time will come, and when you get your chance, you take your chance, and he’s gone in and done that,” said assistant coach Chris Cummins, who may again be left to run the dugout tomorrow, if Carver chooses to watch the game from up top. “[Velez] went in, he was solid, he won his headers, he looked to play when he could and we’ve kept a clean sheet, so all credit to him and the back four as well.

“It’s always tough to change a winning team at times but sometimes, depending on who you’re playing, you have to do that. I’m not saying whether Marco will be starting or not starting but, if he’s not, I’m sure he’ll be disappointed.”

Velez won’t be the only one saddened if he isn’t one of the first 11 names on the TFC team sheet tomorrow.

“It was actually great back there,” Serioux said of playing alongside his fellow defender last Wednesday.

“It’s one of those things where I think he’s a true centre back, where Kevin Harmse and myself are converted centre backs. It’s definitely an advantage playing back there with one guy who understands the game and just goes out there and does what he has to do.

“Our styles are pretty much similar when you look at aggression and how we get stuck in there – we don’t miss a beat. If it’s a striker trying to avoid myself, he’s going to go over there and get the same kind of treatment, so it’s a great combination we have going on right now, so we’ll see how it goes. … Why fix anything that’s not broken?”

The knock on the 6-foot-1, second-year MLS player has always been his discipline, or the lack thereof. Twice Velez had referees reaching for the red card last season, and missed three matches through suspension as a result.

“Before the red cards last year, I had a pretty clean card situation,” Velez said. “It’s was just a mistake, a reaction that just happened. I wasn’t worried about it. I know I’ve matured over the years and learned from my mistakes.”

And Velez still feels his aggressive style of play is more an asset than a hindrance. “I used to get a lot of cards from fighting with the refs – which you never win – but I think [my aggression] is one of my strengths, but I need to control it and not react as hard.”

Another quality is his eye for goal – especially from set pieces, from which he scored twice last year – and that’s something Velez certainly is in no hurry to rein in.

“I’m always up for corner kicks and long throw-ins, so, hopefully, I can get a couple of goals more,” he said.

And as for getting on the end of one of those long throw-ins from Serioux? “I’d love to.”

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Serioux threat
April 13, 2009, 7:14 AM
Filed under: Adrian Serioux, Toronto FC

Rory Delap made it vogue again at Stoke City and now Toronto FC has its own missile man in Adrian Serioux.

Human slingshot, rubberband man, circus act; call it what you will, but the freakish ability to throw a game ball upwards of 30 yards is lethal.

When thrown, the ball comes in with the same pace of a corner kick, but it creates a level of indecision among opposing defenders that makes 10-year veterans look like trialists.

‘It’s difficult to defend, isn’t it,” TFC coach John Carver asked, reversing my own question.

Historically the long throw-in is reserved for teams with big, tall centre forwards. But TFC showed in using the long-throw to perfection against FC Dallas that the athletic ability of a diminutive striker works just as well.

“We are not the biggest team in the league,” Carver added. “But if you position yourself to expect it, then it’ll go in.”

On Saturday theSerioux throw-in sailed in from the far touch line to the penalty spot, where 5-11 forward Dwayne De Rosario rose to head it by a helpless Ray Burse. The goal seemed like improvisation, but Serioux admits he is able to pinpoint a target.

“I’d say I can pinpoint it, yes,” Serioux explained. “It works because it causes defenders to look in two directions.”

As mentioned, the term long-throw has long been a part of the game but it re-surfaced in the soccer lexicon when Stoke City’s Delap bombarded opposing teams with 30-yard tosses to earn promotion to the Premier League in 2008.

Teams adapted to Delap in England and will do the same to Serioux in Toronto. But until that time, Serioux is quite content to give opposing players and managers fits with his unorthodox — but perfectly lawful — long throws.

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Serioux settles in at home
April 2, 2009, 7:14 AM
Filed under: Adrian Serioux, Toronto FC

Toronto FC recently strengthened its defensive corps by acquiring veteran Adrian Serioux from FC Dallas.

For Serioux, however, leaving the Lonestar State for Toronto was a homecoming.

A Scarborough native, Serioux attended Pope John Paul II high school, where he also enjoyed basketball, track and volleyball. He was a member of Malvern Soccer Club, played for the University of New Haven in Connecticut and started his career with the Toronto Lynx in 2001.

“It’s definitely a treat to be back home,” said the 29-year-old. “And it’s a sigh of relief too. Growing up I had always hoped there would be a professional team here in Canada, and to have one in the city where you grew up is definitely a bonus. Playing in front of family and friends definitely makes you feel at home.”

Serioux said the timing for the move couldn’t have been better.

“I felt that it was the right time in my life to come back,” he said. “I’m not one of the younger guys and so when it comes to where my (career) is almost at an end, I would definitely like to finish it off here. However, I feel I have a few more years left in me and will definitely do my job while I’m here. I just wanted to come back to the place I knew I would settle down.”

Like the rest of his teammates, Serioux is hoping for the best as the season unfolds.

“My expectations are in line with those of the team. We all have our own personal goals, but at the end of the day it’s a team thing and our goal right now is to reach the playoffs and hopefully win the championship. We don’t expect anything less from ourselves, so as long as we keep the momentum up and our minds focused on our goal we’ll achieve that.”

The team looks like they’re ready to take on the world.

“We’re ready, we feel good and everyone seems to be on top of things,” Serioux says. “As for me, I’m just going to have to get out there and do what is expected of me and perform to my best.”

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Serioux quickly proves his value to TFC
March 13, 2009, 7:25 AM
Filed under: Adrian Serioux, Toronto FC

Adrian Serioux is hard to miss.

In person, it’s his broad smile and impressive set of dreadlocks.

On the soccer field, it’s his vocal organizing of teammates, aggressive tackles and long throw-ins that cause fits for defenders inside an opponent’s penalty area.

Less than a month after a trade with Dallas brought Serioux to Toronto FC, the central defender is establishing himself as one of the team’s leaders.

“Since he’s arrived, he’s been a big influence,” coach John Carver said yesterday as TFC prepared for its final pre-season tuneup tomorrow, a championship game in the Carolina Challenge Cup against Real Salt Lake. “He’s a real presence in the dressing room.

“He’s a big character. He’s strong minded. And that’s the kind of guy we need.”

Serioux, a 29-year-old Canadian national team defender from Scarborough, who is entering his fourth year in Major League Soccer, will anchor the middle of a defence which last season tied for fifth-worst in the 15-team league with 43 goals against, more than half of which came in the final 15 minutes of the half or the game.

Serioux, who has played 19 games for Canada, has earned a reputation as a tough and durable defender who sometimes crosses the line.

He was fined $1,250 (U.S.) last season for a tackle from behind on Los Angeles Galaxy superstar David Beckham. MLS officials said their punishment was not just for the play, which earned him a red card and ejection, but also for comments made to Britain’s Sun newspaper 15 months earlier when Serioux was quoted as saying he and some other players were “going after” the Englishman.

In the first game here, Serioux was sent off after receiving two yellow cards.

“I’m not exactly the most technical person,” Serioux said. “So, if I can have other things that benefit my style of play, whether it be roughness or kind of disrupting a forward from his game plan, that’s what I’m out there to do.”

Goalkeeper Greg Sutton said Serioux’s physical style is “important for our team.

“The presence that he has in the back and his ability to clear balls and get situations dealt with cleanly and quickly is an aspect of the game that he excels at,” Sutton said. “There’s a lot of advantages in having him in the back so we’re glad to have him.”

Serioux is the happiest of all with the trade, which he requested. Anxious to return home to be with his family after five seasons in England and Texas, he likes what he sees from his new teammates.

“There’s a different momentum here right now as far as urgency and the preparation leading up to the season,” Serioux said. “It’s great to be in this atmosphere.”

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Serioux trains in Toronto
March 4, 2009, 1:45 PM
Filed under: Adrian Serioux, Toronto FC

Defender Adrian Serioux trained at BMO Field with Toronto FC for the first time on Wednesday morning. The Scarborough native linked up with the team in Florida last week following his move from FC Dallas and has now arrived in town after spending the last few days relocating.

Serioux admits a trade to Toronto has been something he has been thinking about for some time. “For me it’s long overdue,” he told TorontoFC.ca. “It is something I was hoping for a couple of years ago but circumstances didn’t work in my favour then. It’s great to be back home with family and friends and to be back in Toronto playing in front of a big crowd with a professional team.”

As a Canadian international, Serioux’s move north holds extra significance. “It’s a great honour,” he said. “Obviously growing up in Toronto you wish for a big club to be in the city. It’s good for the kids growing up now because they have something to aim for locally. I’m happy to be here and be one of those figures the younger kids can look towards.”

Serioux has been watching the team’s progress very closely over the last couple of years and has high hopes for a successful 2009 season with the Reds. “Toronto has made a lot of changes over the last two years and obviously when you start out it is a new process and you have to go through those changes. Every team has one expectation and that is to make the play offs and win a championship. If you aren’t thinking that way then you shouldn’t be playing this game. The squad is looking strong and we have a lot of talent out there. I would be very disappointed if we didn’t at least achieve our goal of making the playoffs and turning a few heads.”

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Carver: Serioux will play CB
February 24, 2009, 10:59 PM
Filed under: Adrian Serioux, John Carver, Toronto FC

Toronto FC’s new defender Adrian Serioux trained with the team for the first time on Tuesday morning in Sunrise, Florida. The Canadian signed from FC Dallas in exchange for Toronto’s natural first round SuperDraft pick in 2010 and allocation money.

Reds coach John Carver believes Serioux will be a key signing. “It’s a great acquisition for the team,” said Carver. “At the end of last season we said we had a plan and it has really come together well. Mo Johnston has been working very hard to get players here to improve the team and he has certainly achieved that. We have worked very closely in targeting players and trying to bring them into the club.”

Serioux has played for Houston and Dallas since moving to Major League Soccer from English team Millwall in 2006. Carver knows the 29 year-old is comfortable in a number of different positions, but will use him in the middle of defence. “I am going to play him as a central defender,” said Carver. “I know he can also play as a right back or in midfield, but I have seen him play in the middle of defence for the national team and I certainly liked what I saw. He’s an experienced guy and he’s a Canadian which is important.”

Following the arrivals of Serioux, Pablo Vitti and Dwayne De Rosario, plus the addition of SuperDraft picks Sam Cronin, Stefan Frei and O’Brian White, Toronto’s squad has been significantly strengthened during the off-season, but Carver expects more additions. “We’re not finished yet there is still a bit of movement to come,” he said.

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