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April 4, 2010, 10:12 PM
Filed under: Toronto FC

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Paul Dickov on TFC Trial
February 13, 2010, 8:35 PM
Filed under: Toronto FC, Trial

According to Toronto FC, Paul Dickov will be trialing with the club in Bradenton, Fla.  TFC even tweet a photo of him arriving, but ‘Dickov to TFC’ has been rumoured for so long, I’m not sure I’m prepared to believe it.

Here’s Dickov’s Wiki in lieu of any real reporting.

Source: Click Here



Preseason: TFC draw UCF
February 11, 2010, 11:46 PM
Filed under: Toronto FC

Preki’s first opportunity to assess some of his squad in match action ended in a 1-1 draw for Toronto FC against the University of Central Florida in Bradenton on Thursday afternoon.

Trialist Dan Gargan headed in an equalizer with ten minutes remaining after University of Central Florida had opened the scoring with a second half penalty.

A number of first team players were not involved in the match, including Dwayne De Rosario, Julian de Guzman, Chad Barrett and Jacob Peterson. Gargan was one of two trialists in the TFC starting line-up. The American defender played at right back and Ugandan Vincent Kayizzi started in midfield.

Gargan previously played in Major League Soccer with Colorado Rapids and was a member of the Puerto Rico Islanders team that knocked the Reds out of the CONCACAF Champions League at the Preliminary Round stage last year. Kayizzi is a 25-year-old who played for FK Strem in the Serbian First league in 2009.

Toronto had the first opportunity of the game when O’Brian White headed narrowly wide from Kayizzi’s cross in the 3rd minute, and the Reds again threatened the Golden Knights’ goal in the 12th minute. White started a move by finding Gabe Gala wide on the left. Gala crossed for Ali Gerba who headed over the bar.

Five minutes later, it was another cross that provided TFC with their next chance to open the scoring. This time, Gargan pushed forward down the wing from his full back position and sent a ball into the box for White who headed wide.

As Toronto continued to test the UCF defence with crosses from both wings, Kayizzi shot off-target from a Gala delivery. Ten minutes before half time White was kept out by a save from the UCF goalkeeper following a cross from Gargan.

Half time: TFC 0 UCF 0

Preki made a number of changes to the line-up for the second half including Hunter Gilstrap replacing Stefan Frei in goal. Last season, Gilstrap played for Cleveland City Stars in the United Soccer League. Emmanuel Gomez, Ty Harden, Nane Joseph and Fuad Ibrahim also entered the game.

Toronto’s first chance of the second half was again created out wide. This time Sam Cronin was the provider, but Gala headed straight at the goalkeeper.

Against the run of play, the University of Central Florida took a 1-0 lead ten minutes after half time, scoring from a penalty after a foul in the box by Emmanuel Gomez.

As the Reds looked to get back on level terms, Cronin had a couple of half chances. First the 2009 SuperDraft pick fired a shot over the bar in the 63rd, and then he headed wide from Kayizzi’s cross in the 68th.

A minute later, the woodwork saved Toronto from going two goals down, but Preki’s team almost equalized when the UCF keeper made a good save from Fuad Ibrahim.

The Reds did manage to tie the game with ten minutes remaining when Attakora’s cross was headed in off the post by Gargan.

Full time: TFC 1 UCF 1

Toronto FC’s next training match is on Sunday, February 14 against University of South Florida.

Toronto FC starting 11: Frei, Gargan, Attakora, Garcia, Brennan, Kayizzi, Sanyang, Cronin, Gala, White, Gerba

Source: Click Here



TFC Sign Harden From Rapids
February 10, 2010, 1:36 PM
Filed under: Colorado Rapids, Toronto FC, Ty Harden

Toronto FC announced Wednesday they have acquired defender Ty Harden from the Colorado Rapids in exchange for a third round MLS SuperDraft pick in 2011. Per league and team policies financial terms were not available.

“We are excited to have him on board with us,” said head coach Preki. “He’s a good quality, young defender and there are many things I like about him. He showed a lot of promise in his rookie season with the Galaxy and we hope he can add some toughness to our back line.”

Harden, 25, was a second round pick in the 2007 MLS SuperDraft of the Los Angeles Galaxy. In his rookie season he started all 24 games that he played in, amassing 2,086 minutes. He went on to be named the Galaxy’s 2007 Defender of the Year.

In 2008, he stepped away from the game to pursue philanthropic endeavors, moving to Nairobi, Kenya for six weeks to work as a volunteer at Hamomi Children’s Centre. Once there, he also helped set up the school’s first soccer team and helped arranged games with other schools. He left Hamomi in December of 2008 and joined Colorado when the Rapids and Galaxy agreed to a trade on January 13, 2009.

The central defender saw limited action in 2009 with the Rapids appearing in only seven matches mainly due to the strong depth at his position. He appeared in one game with the Rochester Rhino’s of the USL while on loan there for one month in the summer. While with Rochester he played in a U.S. Open Cup match against Columbus and scored a goal. Harden was called back to Colorado during his loan period to play in Colorado’s friendly against Club America.

Harden will fly straight to Bradenton, Florida to join his new teammates at pre-season camp.

Source: Click Here



Jorge Andrade Bails on TFC Trial
February 10, 2010, 11:56 AM
Filed under: Toronto FC, Trial

According to Kristian Jack’s twitter…

Jorge Andrade’s trial with #tfc will not take place. His representatives are unable to track him down in Portugal and he has failed 2 show.

Andrade had his fourth left knee surgery in summer 2009. Italian club Juventus wrote off his salary as well as part of the transfer fee for the fiscal year, though Andrade stated he hoped to return playing at the highest level.



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.



5 reasons why TFC will make the playoffs in 2010
February 8, 2010, 3:44 PM
Filed under: Toronto FC

All things come to those who wait, or so it is written. For all we know it was actually written by a crusty old hermit who won the lottery, married a surgically enhanced bimbo 60 years his junior and died of gluttony within a year of his good fortune.

Fans of Toronto FC have waited and waited for things to start arriving, and are still waiting. They are waiting for the team they embraced three years ago, and into which they have invested a considerable financial and emotional commitment, to start giving back.

Patience, in soccer as in life, is indeed a virtue. The wait is almost over; the reward is at hand. The frustration, felt by so many for so long, will finally end in 2010. The promised land of the playoffs beckons and here are my five reasons why the post-season is coming to Canada for the first time in franchise history.

1. PREKI – Every team needs a strong leader and all the evidence suggests the new head coach is the man. He has enjoyed success as both player and coach in Major League Soccer and knows the system inside out. He demands a lot of himself and expects the same attitude from his players.

He believes consistent hard work pays dividends and will not tolerate a poor work ethic from any individual on or off the field. He has inherited a small but relatively talented roster, which needs some additions, but should nonetheless be competitive in this league. Preki’s job is to instil real teamwork and get the best out of its component parts.

2. JULIAN DE GUZMAN – Forget the money debate. It’s irrelevant unless you are directly paying his wages or unless Canada’s top player fails to deliver – which he won’t. De Guzman is a class act in MLS with the rare ability to turn defence into attack with a couple of well-timed touches.

When he arrived late last season he was neither match fit, nor familiar with the style of play. Anyone who thought he could be the saviour in five games was being unreasonably optimistic, but with a full pre-season and a better understanding of the league he must dictate and dominate midfield. If de Guzman is not shortlisted for MLS MVP in 2010, I will want to know why.

3. O’BRIAN WHITE – Toronto FC cannot score enough goals right? Wrong. In 2009 the team actually scored more than enough goals to make the post-season – more than Los Angeles, Chivas USA and New England, who all reached the playoffs. White is primed for a breakout year in 2010.

Like de Guzman, the young striker will be fully fit from the get go after spending most of his rookie season rehabbing from knee surgery. What I briefly saw last year was a speedy forward who, crucially, appears to have a poacher’s instinct for turning half chances into goals. If Preki is ready to give him time to make a real impression, I believe White has the ability to deliver double digits this season.

4. GRASS – According to some, including Dwayne De Rosario, the absence of a natural-grass playing surface sabotaged TFC’s playoff ambitions last year. Stop the whining already! The powers that be have got the message and the abused and overused FieldTurf is gone for good.

The potential benefits are clear. First and foremost the players want to play on it, which should enhance their comfort level and promote better ball possession. A grass field will also attract new recruits and classier opponents for those crowd-pulling exhibitions. It will also give the Canadian national team a proper home at which it must play on a semi-regular basis to build a long lasting fan base in the run up to the next cycle of World Cup qualifiers.

5. FANS – Toronto FC is blessed with probably the best, and certainly the most knowledgeable fans in Major League Soccer. There’s more room in Seattle and the atmosphere was excellent when I was there last August, but I doubt even Sounders fans are as ardent as their TFC counterparts.

We all know how important home advantage is in soccer and there is no reason why BMO Field cannot be the clichéd “fortress” it should be. The atmosphere should frighten the life out of visiting teams and give TFC a crucial psychological edge before a ball is kicked. It only takes 10 or 11 regular season wins and a handful of draws to make the playoffs. There are 15 home games – you do the math.

So there you have it – all except one thing. Before you accept any wedding, christening, or bar mitzvah invitations, or decide to delay locking up the cottage until the weekend of Oct. 30th forget it! You’ve waited this long. Trust me – you don’t want to miss the playoffs now they’re finally coming to town.

Source: Click Here