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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



TFC gets a Star
February 8, 2010, 12:15 PM
Filed under: Nutrilite Canadian Championship, Toronto FC

A couple of years ago, when the disgusting greedbags who run CONCACAF decided there was money to be made in the creation of a CONCACAF Champions League, modeled after similar competitions around the world (but, of course, most notably in Europe), they found there was one slight problem:

Despite the fact that almost every flea-bitten third world sinkhole of a country with more than a couple dozen residents and/or cattle has a domestic professional league and could thus send a “Champion” thereof to serve as fodder for the Mexicansides, our neighbor to the North had, as has been noted in this space once or twice in the past, no national league.

And unlike in the case of most of the other countries who find themselves similarly leagueless – eg. Guyana, Montserrat and the Cayman Islands – Canada actually has a sizable population, a little money and enough TV sets to make it a market from which Warner & Co. (motto: “No Cash Left Unstolen”) can wring a few bucks.

So with the entirely unacceptable alternative of actually leaving a few dollars on the table having been cast aside with the hearty “Yo-ho-ho” of the true pirates that they are, a lot of Canadian residents – particularly those in Southern Ontario – felt that the best solution was to simply send Toronto FC since, as the only Division I professional team in the entire country, they were obviously a) the only ones qualified and b) were beyond question the best team in the country.

Unfortunately, not even the shameless crooks who operate CONCACAF were able to swallow that idea. If Canada was going to have an entry in the “Champions” league then said entry was simply going to have to be the “Champion” of something.

Continue story here…



Canadian championship sked announced

The Canadian Soccer Association and its three top professional clubs – Impact de Montréal, Toronto FC and Vancouver Whitecaps FC – announced the schedule Thursday for the 2010 Nutrilite Canadian Championship.

The three-team, six-match tournament runs six consecutive Wednesday nights from 28 April to 2 June. The 2010 winner will advance to represent Canada in the 2010-11 CONCACAF Champions League season.

“The pride of Canada will be on the line during the 2010 Nutrilite Canadian Championship,” said Canadian Soccer Association President Dr. Dominique Maestracci. “Only the best will move forward to represent our nation in 2010-11 CONCACAF Champions League and hopefully the FIFA Club World Cup 2011. It should be another thrilling championship between the Impact, Toronto FC and Whitecaps FC.”

“Soccer’s long been a favourite of Canadians recreationally and the professional game is certainly becoming an integral part of the Canadian sporting mosaic,” said Jim Hunking Managing Director, Canada/Caribbean, Amway Global. “The NUTRILITE Canadian Championship has played a part of elevating the profile of the professional game, and we’re proud to have been affiliated with this tournament since its inception. The future of professional soccer in Canada has never looked brighter and Amway Canada is committed to helping athletes at all levels realize their dreams by remaining a world leader in nutrition.”

This will mark the third season of the Nutrilite Canadian Championship. This year, all six matches will be broadcast on Rogers Sportsnet, the official English broadcaster of the championship. Details on the championship’s French broadcast will be forth coming.

As 2009 champions, Toronto FC will host both the opening and closing matches of the competition. The 28 April match features Toronto FC against the Impact; the 2 June match features Toronto FC against Whitecaps FC. Both Toronto matches will be played at BMO Field.

In between, the four matches are Whitecaps FC vs. Impact on 5 May in Vancouver, Impact vs. Toronto FC on 12 May in Montréal, Whitecaps FC vs. Toronto FC on 19 May in Vancouver, and Impact vs. Whitecaps FC on 26 May in Montréal. Vancouver matches are played at Swangard Stadium while Montréal matches are played at Stade Saputo.

Since 2008, Canada’s top professional teams have played for the Voyageurs Cup in the Nutrilite Canadian Championship. The Impact won the inaugural championship in 2008 while Toronto FC won the 2009 championship. In 2009, the three professional clubs played in front of an average capacity of 96% at Stade Saputo, BMO Field and Swangard Stadium. Tickets to the six 2010 Nutrilite Canadian Championship matches will be available via the respective home club ticketing agencies.

Source: Click Here



Ibad Muhamadu to trial with TFC
February 4, 2010, 1:43 PM
Filed under: Toronto FC, Trial

A Dutch report claims Toronto has interest in 27-year old striker Ibad Muhamadu, who’s currently playing at FC Dordrecht of the Eerste Divisie. Here’s the google translated text:

“FC Dordrecht striker Ibad Muhamadu is in the interest of Toronto FC.

The number five of the Eastern Division of the North American MLS wants the Amsterdammer first one weeks trial comes. Because the Canadians are willing to pay a transfer fee is technical manager Marco Boogers are prepared to the stage, provided Muhamadu leaves until February 16. That is one days after the make-up game against Dordt De Graafschap played.

Coach Gert Kruys was not agree that Muhamadu goes on trial at another club.”

Source: Click Here and YouTube Highlights



Beckham likely to miss Toronto yet again
February 4, 2010, 1:27 PM
Filed under: David Beckham, Schedule, Toronto FC

It was already known that Toronto FC would open its regular season schedule in Columbus and begin its home schedule against Philadelphia. Now, the rest of the schedule has been released.

Major League Soccer revealed its entire regular season schedule on Wednesday, and Toronto will kick off the season on March 27 in Columbus. In the third game of the season, BMO Field’s new grass field will get its first showcase on Thursday, April 15 against the expansion Philadelphia team.

As usual, the schedule consists of 15 home games and 15 road games. Among the more interesting dates, defending league champion Real Salt Lake comes to Toronto on Sat., Aug., 28, while the runner-up Los Angeles Galaxy visit on Sat., June 26. That game will be during the World Cup, so it seems unlikely David Beckham will play in Toronto, if in fact he continues to play for the Galaxy.

As well, Toronto will play the New York Red Bulls, who ended Toronto’s season with a 5-0 win last year, for the first of two times on Wed., Aug., 11 in New York.

Below is the rest of the schedule. The Nutrilite Canadian Championship schedule will be released on Thursday.

Sat., March 27 at Columbus 4 p.m.

Sat., April 10 at New England 7:30 p.m.
Thurs., April 15
Philadelphia 7 p.m.
Sun., April 18
at Colorado TBD
Sun., April 25
Seattle 2 p.m.

Sat., May 1 at Real Salt Lake 9 p.m.
Sat., May 8
Chicago 4 p.m.
Sat., May 15
at L.A. Galaxy 10:30 p.m.
Sat., May 22
New England 4 p.m.
Sat., May 29
at San Jose  10 p.m.

Sat., June 5 Kansas City 4 p.m.
Sat., June 26
L.A. Galaxy 7:30 p.m.

Thurs., July 1 Houston 7 p.m.
Sat., July 10
Colorado Noon
Sat., July 17
at Philadelphia 3:30 p.m.
Sat., July 24
Dallas 4 p.m.
Sat., July 31
at Kansas City  8:30 p.m.

Sat., Aug., 7 Chivas USA 4 p.m.
Wed., Aug., 11
at New York 7:30 p.m.
Sat., Aug., 21
New York 1 p.m.
Sat., Aug., 28
Real Salt Lake 7 p.m.

Sat., Sept., 4 at Dallas 8:30 p.m.
Wed., Sept., 8
at Chicago 8:30 p.m.
Sat., Sept., 11
D.C. United 4 p.m.
Sat., Sept., 18
at Houston 8:30 p.m.
Sat., Sept., 25
San Jose 4 p.m.

Sat., Oct., 2 at Seattle 3:30 p.m.
Sat., Oct., 9
at Chivas USA 10:30 p.m.
Sat., Oct., 16
Columbus 4 p.m.
Sat., Oct., 23
at D.C. United  7:30 p.m.

Source: Click Here



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.

Source: Click Here



DeRosario Injured
February 3, 2010, 11:36 AM
Filed under: Dwayne DeRosario, Toronto FC

Toronto FC head coach Preki spoke to the media before the players started fitness testing at York University on day three of preseason training.

Preki confirmed that Dwayne De Rosario will miss 2-4 weeks of training with a calf strain picked up during international duty with Canada.

Source: Click Here