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Monday, January 11, 2010

THE WORD: Mo looking to s-Teal Bunbury

------------------------------Like father, like son?

Mo Johnston must have the shakes and the cold sweats right now. The Scot has many detractors but those who do back him use his record in the MLS SuperDraft as a defence. However, with a few days to go before the 2010 draft, where he is supposed to show his wily eye for talent, Johnston and his TFC "backroom" (about two guys and a some NCAA DVD's) do not have a first round pick and only a couple of late choices at their disposal.

To say that Mo's team building and player acquisitions while at TFC have left some fans wanting is generous. Even with last season’s additions of De Rosario and De Guzman, Toronto FC is a lop-sided squad with far too many holes for Year Four of the “Mo Johnston Five Year Plan”. With no other major signings even floating on the rumour mill, the SuperDraft would seem like the likely place for Mo to look to fill those holes... albeit on the cheap.

Mo's history at the draft, and the lack of picks are causing the rumours to swirl that he is actively shopping around the league to secure a first rounder. The apparent apple of TFC's eye is Teal Bunbury the NCAA's player of the year and son of former Team Canada striker Alex Bunbury. Sadly, Bunbury will be on most MLS club's radars after a stand-out season at Akron and will likely be a hot commodity. If he scores like his father, TFC could sure use him. Remember Vic Rauter calling a Canadian match? "BUUUUUUUUNNN-Bury!!!!"

The other aspect which will hamper Mo is his lack of assets. He has few players that he'd be willing to part with that have any value. The names being mentioned by those close to the league are Chad Barrett and Carl Robinson but would the San Joses of the world really be willing to give up a high first rounder for either player? Barrett seems extremely unlikely as most teams like strikers who score and there are a lot of questions about Robinson's future in North America if he is jettisoned from Toronto.

In the end, Mo may have to deal with the lower picks and be forced to do the unthinkable - sign players from other teams! Shock! If Johnston can't get quality from the draft and fails (yet again) in filling the team’s holes through transfers, how will his defenders be able to back him this time around?


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