– Toronto FC Transfers, Trades, Signings & Rumors

Preki Impresses Robinson
February 9, 2010, 1:51 AM
Filed under: Carl Robinson, Preki, Toronto FC

As per Robinson’s blog…

WELL I have returned to Toronto for pre-season training and to say it’s cold is an understatement.

I arrived late Saturday and it was minus 10 when I touched down. Sunday was a rest day and we started work on Monday.

It was the usual first day with blood tests, medicals in the morning and then speed, agility and strength tests in the afternoon followed by the bleep test. The bleep test is a difficult one as you get up to high tempo running straight away, but although the tests are for the results they are used for heart rate monitor purposes.

I finally got to meet our new manager in Preki (former Everton and Portsmouth midfielder Predrag Radosavljevic). We had a very good chat and he seems a really straight honest guy.

His vision for the game and outlook is that of a winner and a very focused guy. I’m sure there will be a lot of changes this year and we will wait and see what happens. Nothing amazes me in football and nothing ever will.

The CBA agreement is still yet to be resolved and the deadline has been extended to February 12. Let’s all hope we can resolve this and can just get on with playing.
(The CBA is a Collective Bargaining Agreement between the MLS and the Players’ Union over contracts. Issues including team bonus increases, an increase in the minimum league salary and an increase in salary cap are all up for discussion as in the MLS players sign for the league, not the club.)

The transfer deadline in Britain came and went and it must of been one of the quietest windows ever. The big clubs decided against making any moves, although Manchester City splashed out £7 million on young Adam Johnson.

There were a lot of loan moves, especially out of Spurs, with Alan Hutton going to Sunderland and my pal Robbie Keane going to Celtic.

Now this is a great move for him and one that he has always wanted as he was a Celtic supporter as a boy. Although a bit strange to leave Spurs, I’m sure he’ll be a massive hit for them this year.

Away from football I must say that I’m looking forward to the Six Nations tournament that starts this weekend with Wales playing England – a massive grudge match. There will be lots of pride at stake and I’m sure it will be very tense down at Twickenham.

Robinson’s TFC Future in Doubt
February 2, 2010, 1:13 PM
Filed under: Carl Robinson, Toronto FC

The future of Toronto FC midfielder Carl Robinson is up in the air according to club director Mo Johnston.

The Welshman, who has played with Portsmouth, Wolves, Sunderland and Norwich City among others, was basically made redundant when the Canadian club purchased Julian de Guzman from Deportivo la Coruna last September.

Robinson has now been linked with New York Red Bulls and Johnston admitted the club is considering a trade for the 33-year old.

“Carl’s name has kept popping up in trade talks. It will be up to Carl and Preki how he fits in. If he doesn’t, we’ll try to move him,” Johnston told the Toronto Sun.

Source: Click Here

Robinson Done with TFC?
December 21, 2009, 11:33 AM
Filed under: Carl Robinson, Toronto FC

“It was also good to catch up with my agent before he flew back to America to sort some business out.”

Carl Robinson

It may not mean anything, but I found Robbo’s reference to “America,” as opposed to Canada, interesting. Although we’ve yet to hear anything about his future with TFC, one has wondered for some time now whether we’ve seen the last of the classy Welshman.

With Preki looking to put his stamp on things, Robbo representing another $300,000 on the cap and the fact that he isn’t 23 anymore (or, more to the point, Sam Cronin is 23), it’s hard to imagine where he fits in. There has been talk about Robbo wanted to move into a coaching role after he retires, but with Dichio already in a role with the club one wonders how many spots there are (not to mention Robbo let it slip in an earlier County Times column that he paid to do his coaching licence himself, rather than TFC picking up the tab).

The one caveat to this is that TFC only has so many discovery spots and only a couple late draft picks. If they want a full-ish roster they may not be able to let too many other players go — they currently have just 19 players on the roster and that includes Nick Garcia).

The Reds could do worse than to have Robbo back another year. Younger players have long suggested that he has been a major influence on them. But, MLS can be a cruel league sometimes. Cap considerations have to win out over sentimentality.

Source: Click Here

Toronto’s anchorman
April 11, 2009, 9:21 AM
Filed under: Carl Robinson, Toronto FC

“In Carver we Trust” has proved a popular motto amongst Toronto FC fans since the Geordie coach took charge of the team last season, as the number of scarves emblazoned with the slogan proved at the home opener last weekend.

Of course, Carver himself is no stranger to faith — you need it to be a Newcastle United fan these days — but in a strange twist of fate, when he sends his first XI across the touchline to do battle every game, he places his into the hands of a man who once played for Sunderland, the Toon Army’s hated Northeast rivals.

In the holding role as Toronto’s midfield anchorman, Carl Robinson is the player Carver looks to dictate the flow of play, mop up at the back when required, and distribute the ball to Amado Guevara, Dwayne De Rosario and other, more offensive-minded teammates.

“He’s very important to what I want to do,” Carver said of the team’s two-time most valuable player. “I said at the start of the season I was looking to build my team around him.”

That Robinson has pulled on the red jersey of Wales for the last time will certainly help in his day job of marshalling the Toronto midfield. Following his final stint of international duty last week, an exhausted and jet-lagged Robinson was a shadow of his normal self in a 2-0 loss to Seattle, leaving Carver to remark afterwards, “I’ve never seen Carl give the ball away so much.”

In the modern game, getting and retaining possession is an important part of winning matches — Seattle seemed to be playing keepaway at times — and that in itself is almost a job description for the men who occupy the holding role.

Robinson is fully aware that “it may not be the most glamorous position,” but knows that it is “very important,” and in that respect he has modelled himself after some of the very best.

“From the modern generation, players like Claude Makelele and Patrick Vieira,” was his reply when asked who he based his game on.

Former Real Madrid legend Zinedine Zidane is fully appreciative of the importance of the holding role in a team’s hierarchy, believing it’s no coincidence that the Spanish giant’s run of European success earlier this decade ended once Makelele was allowed to leave in favour of more offensively gifted players.

“Why put another layer of gold paint on the Bentley when you are losing the entire engine?” Zidane said at the time.

Reigning world champion Italy deployed not one, but three players in that holding role during its run to the World Cup in Germany three years ago, while Calgary’s Owen Hargreaves — when fit — occupies that position for the defending European and English Premier League champion Manchester United.

Similar to most of the aforementioned, Robinson will never be a regular contender in goal-of-the-month competitions, but he’s not a complete stranger to the opposition penalty area, and knows that everyone on the team has to be ready to chip in when the occasion arises.

“It’s not just about the strikers scoring goals, because they’re going to have off days, so sometimes you’ve got to rely on the midfielders and defenders to score goals as well,” said Robinson, who actually scored his first goal in Toronto FC colours against FC Dallas, Saturday’s opponents.

Carver has also promised more lineup tweaks this afternoon in an attempt to get back to winning ways, although he refused to get specific. However, Robinson knows the sooner the coach establishes a regular lineup, the better off the team will be.

“At the moment we’ve played three games and obviously we’ve chopped and changed for one reason or another,” he said. “As soon as we get into a lot more games and get a settled team, we’ll be fine.”

NOTES: Saturday’s visit by FC Dallas will be the first time Toronto FC defender Adrian Serioux gets to face his former club and in-form striker Kenny Cooper, who has two goals in three games so far this year, and tallied four against the Reds last season. “Just shut him down by any means necessary,” was Serioux’s solution for dealing with the threat posed by his erstwhile colleague. … Former Toronto FC striker Jeff Cunningham, who scored six goals in 32 games for the Reds, returns to BMO Field following last August’s trade to Dallas.

Source: Click Here

Robinson retires from Wales
April 2, 2009, 7:27 AM
Filed under: Carl Robinson, FIFA, Toronto FC

Wales midfielder Carl Robinson has announced his retirement from international football.

The 32-year-old Toronto FC midfielder made his Wales debut in 1999 against Belarus and won his 52nd cap off the bench in Saturday’s loss to Finland.

Robinson was an unused substitute in Wednesday’s 2-0 defeat to Germany.

“It’s not an easy decision, it’s not one I’ve made lightly, I’m a very patriotic boy and I’ve enjoyed playing for my country,” Robinson told the BBC.

Robinson started his career as a trainee at Wolves, going on to play for the likes of Portsmouth, Sunderland and Norwich before moving across the Atlantic to Major League Soccer side Toronto in 2007.

“I’ve travelled from the other side of the world to play for my country now for the last two years, but I just feel the time is right,” added Robinson, who scored his one Wales goal against Northern Ireland.

Wales manager John Toshack is in the process of overhauling the national team.

That saw Arsenal’s 18-year-old Aaron Ramsey make his full debut against Germany, while Wales can call on other youthful midfielders such as Joe Ledley and Jack Collison.

“The direction that John wants to take the Welsh football team is the right direction with a number of good young players coming through and I just think it’s time to move on,” Robinson said.

“If I was in this country I’d still carry on playing (for Wales)… but this is a decision purely on my life now is in North America, I want to play as long as I can over in North America with the objective of getting into management.

“After chatting to my family and after chatting to John in my room on Sunday night at length, it’s the right decision for me.

“What I’ve learned over the past five or six years with John has been fantastic and I appreciate him including me in the squad.”

This week’s home defeats to Finland and Germany ended Wales’ faint hopes of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup.

“We can’t qualify now, I’m looking at it longer term, there’s 18 months now before the next qualifying campaign starts,” Robinson said.

“I’m 32 years of age, it’s a two-year campaign, hopefully we can qualify in that campaign which will be four years, I’ll be 36 and it doesn’t take a genius to work out I’ll be too old.”

Source: Click Here

TFC loses two to int’l play for CLB game
March 25, 2009, 9:13 AM
Filed under: Amado Guevara, Carl Robinson, Columbus Crew, FIFA, Toronto FC

Two bubbles burst for Toronto FC this week, one at BMO Field with the protective winter roof deflated, the other in John Carver’s lineup with two key deletions for Saturday’s game in Columbus.

The team’s chances of duplicating last Saturday’s emotional season-opening road win in Kansas City took a hit with two-goal hero Amado Guevara and the savvy Carl Robinson leaving for respective World Cup games with Honduras and Wales. The loss of the midfielders is the kind of major inconvenience that contributed to TFC’s troubles in gaining early-season traction in its first two MLS seasons.

But coach Carver is not as worried this year, with the MLS becoming more sympathetic to all its clubs’ international plight with regard to the schedule. Carver also has last weekend’s 3-2 victory to build on and the chance to audition some other players who already have made it hard for him to pick a starting 11.

“It’s only two players at the moment, which is a big change from last year,” Carver said yesterday at BMO. “The good thing is the league has shown common sense and we’re very grateful. They’ve given us an option of when we want to play (around certain World Cup qualifiers) or given us a weekend off from playing.

“We chose to play this weekend, because further down the line, there will be more of our internationals away. And we’ve also started (the MLS season) a week earlier. So they’re coming around to my way of thinking. But we appreciate their support.”

Pablo Vitti, who sat out last Saturday in favour of defensive specialist rookie Sam Cronin, likely will play beside Cronin against the Crew, the defending league champions.

“We have to get on with it,” Carver said of the smudged lineup. “I’m not going to cry. Columbus will have a couple of guys missing as well, so it should be evenly matched.”

The Crew has three absentees, Frankie Hejduk (USA), Alejandro Moreno (Venezuela) and Duncan Oughton (New Zealand), but league MVP Guillermo Barros Schelotto will be giving Toronto fits.

“We have to be mindful of him,” TFC’s Canadian sparkplug Dwayne De Rosario warned. “I think our defenders can handle him, but it’s a real step up from Kansas City.

“It would have been nice to see a player of (Guevara’s) calibre keep that momentum going on our team. But he has a bigger deal coming up to represent his country. It’s sad to see him go, but that just makes guys want to step up a little bit more to fill the positions and prove themselves.

“The strength of this team right now is that we have some young guys mixed with some veterans. They’re learning very fast.”

Carver had a tough call in going with rookie Stefan Frei in goal, but lingering problems from a dislocated finger by veteran Greg Sutton sealed the decision.


“I don’t think anyone would have been able to stop the two goals (K.C.) did score,” De Rosario said of Frei. “There were some low ones, but he didn’t give up any rebounds. It was a lot to ask to start the season.

“Sam did a great job out wide. He hasn’t played that position all pre-season, but did fantastic.”

Cronin, who was playing for Wake Forest University only a few months ago, rewarded Carver’s faith, while taking his cues from Robinson.

“Carl took me under his wing,” Cronin said. “He told me not to try too many things early to take myself out of the game and the game would come to me. As the season goes on, I can have more of an impact in each match.”

Source: Click Here

Robbo: We shouldn’t struggle for goals this season
February 27, 2009, 10:15 AM
Filed under: Carl Robinson, Toronto FC
AFTER our third week of training in Toronto we travelled to Miami for our second trip away. We arrived over the weekend but went straight into some training.
After travelling, training is always difficult but it was short as we had a game the next day. Our first game was against the local university team, but the manager got the chance to look at a number of trialists that we had in our camp.

We overcame them by 3-0 but it was a good workout for the lads. I was one of a number of players that did not play as we had a game against Hakan, a Swedish premier team, the following day, but after watching the match we went straight into some running.

This was a 45-minute running session but it was all short sprints. We got right into it with drills that were testing, and when your lactic acid builds up in your legs and start too burn, we had to kick on again. Not a nice feeling, as the strength in your legs seems to wane.

The lads who did not play in the first match all played in the next match against a very physical Hakan team. We started off slowly but that was expected as we had done a running session the day before.

After some little alterations and some words we then managed to dominate the second half and score three goals in a 10-minute spell just after the break. Some of our play was great, with passing and movement all over the place, and this looks to be a very promising season for us as we have built on last year with more quality in the side, although it is still early stages.

What made it even better was that I managed to score, as did Dwayne de Rosario and Pablo Vitti, two of our new signings. I get the feeling this year we won’t be struggling for goals or chances as we have done in the last two years.

We are now nearly four weeks into training and you can see the sessions gradually increasing in tempo and quality, thus showing that the fitness techniques being used as top class.

After the first month you start too see the light at the end of the tunnel with the MLS season fast approaching.

This is my first time in Miami and I have to say what a place. I have travelled all over the world but this is lovely here. Without doubt I will be bringing Laura and the family here very soon.

During the trip I got too see what South Beach is all about. I always thought that those golden beaches and clear warm water was just in films, but this is beautiful.

I’m really excited at the moment as the manager has given me permission to fly back and see my son Milo on his first birthday this weekend. This is a big thing for me and I really appreciate it – my family is the most important thing in my life.

It was great to see some top quality games in the Champions League this week. Man Utd were outstanding in their match against Inter Milan at the San Siro but could not get the goal that they wanted.

Talk about a quick pace in the game, it was end to end, and if you wanted to show kids any examples then this was the match. Arsenal as always created loads of chances but only scored one goal, and Chelsea got their noses in front against Juventus.

You have to also give a special mention to Liverpool about their win at Real Madrid. Talk about a master tactician, Rafa Benitez has got to be one of the best, especially in Europe.

The second legs are set up to be classics next week.

Talk about not wanting to run away with the race for the Premier, Wolves could not capitalise on slip ups from Reading and Birmingham, only to be followed by Cardiff missing a chance too.

This will definitely go down to the last game of the season. Hard luck too to Swansea who went out of the FA Cup to Fulham, but pushed them all the way, and I hope they can show the same form until end of the season.

Source: Click Here

All about midfield for Robbo
February 17, 2009, 4:02 PM
Filed under: Carl Robinson, Toronto FC

Carl Robinson will not be playing centre half for us this season. Not unless there is an emergency situation, at least.

Robbo wants to play midfield, and Carver wants him there. I don’t think we should be expecting him to slot back into defense if we don’t bring in reinforcements (which are coming). In fact, I would wager a bet that Kevin Harmse and Marco Velez would start at centre half before Robbo gets moved there. It’s not because Robbo can’t play centre half. He can. We’ve seen it before. It’s because he’s too valuable to our midfield.

What Carl Robinson brings to our midfield is immense, and often unnoticed. I know some people rate him very highly, and others see him as overrated. I fall into the first category. He’s clearly one of the league’s best holding midfielders, and also one of the league’s most experienced players. If we took him out of the midfield on a regular basis, we’d notice he wasn’t there.

Source: Click Here

Robbo: Christmas break thoughts
December 31, 2008, 9:54 AM
Filed under: Carl Robinson, Dwayne DeRosario, Toronto FC
I HOPE you all had a very nice Christmas and enjoyed some good old fashioned turkey lunch, as I certainly did.
It’s been fantastic having this time of year off especially as the kids have been getting so excited and I have to say that Santa was very kind to them this year.

Being a player now in the mls the season break at this time enables you to spend some quality time with your family, but I do feel for the players who are only able to spend a mini Christmas with their families.

I’ve spoken to a few of my pals about Christmas and some were saying that they were going to spend Christmas night in a hotel, others trained on Christmas Day.

I know that they are looking at a mid season break and I do believe that it will eventually come.

Boxing Day’s matches are always tough as you have to make sure you don’t eat too much Christmas dinner, or chocolates and then have to prepare for two matches in the space of three days.

Well Manchester United are quietly sneaking up on the rails in the Premiership race, as others keep drawing, but Liverpool are still leading the way with Robbie Keane netting another two goals after scoring away at Arsenal last week.

Fernando Torres missing is giving them problems but they still have enough quality to be there or thereabouts. Chelsea’s boss has said that he hasn’t got a natural playmaker, which I find strange as with signing Deco, to add to Ballack and Lampard is a big comment.

I think that a lot of managers would want that playmaker problem! Aston Villa are still showing they’re a top team with a great comeback against the stuttering Gunners, who I think are now out of the title race. Their big race this year is to finish fourth in front of Villa, Everton and the usual suspects.

Hull must have a mention too, although they came down to earth with a bump from a 5-1 drubbing at Manchester City. Even now while they are in sixth, I still think that a fourth from bottom finish will be a great season for them.

Well I now know that I will be back in Canada at the start of February for our pre-season schedule, which will see us go to Florida, Tampa and Charleston. These trips are vital and good for team bonding which is crucial during the season.

I also have to welcome our new signing Dwayne de Rosario, a Canadian boy, former mvp league player and all-star team player for a number of years too.

It is a great coup for Mo Johnston to manage to get him, and I know that a lot of work went into this from him.

He will become a big player for us, and more importantly can get goals which has been one of our major problems over the last two years.

It’s great for another Canadian to join also as its important to have Canadians playing in the team, and I know that the supporters also love this.

I hope you all have a wonderful new year and look forward to an exciting 2009.

Source: Click Here