The Yorkies' Regular Features

Starting 11       The Word       The Matchup       After 90       The South Stand Report

Monday, February 1, 2010

Will Mo Johnston see his shadow this year?

------------------"Hang on there Punxsutawney Preki!"

At the beginning of every February, people eagerly watch on as a ginger coloured rodent appears after a long winter of hibernating and doing very little. His rare post-slumber appearance is said to signal whether better days are ahead or if long, dark, miserable suffering will continue. In a completely unrelated matter, Mo Johnston opens Toronto FC training camp on Monday and the 2010 season will officially get under way. Honestly... just a coincidence.

TFC fans are indeed hoping not to wake up to "I've Got You Babe" on the alarm clock again this year but off-season "moves" by our Scottish slumber enthusiast seem to have a very groundhoggish feel to them. In other words - not much has happened. While it is too early to start ringing alarm bells, TFC's front office hasn't exactly raised the bar too high this winter.

There are good developments:
- Preki and his new coaching staff seems to represent the best coaching staff the club has had and will hopefully instil a solid playing style and stable leadership
- The club will be playing its home matches on real luxurious (hopefully groundhog-free) grass
- Amado Guevara and his dubious reputation have been shown the door

There are mediocre developments:
- Preki-admired Jacob Peterson being acquired - but with a big ACL question mark looming
- Drafting Zac Herold as a very long-term diamond in the rough with a relatively low pick
- Veterans such as Carl Robinson and Ali Gerba returning from injury-plagued 2009 seasons

And some disappointing developments:
- Amado Guevara and his dubious reputation, but mercurial skill, not being adequately replaced
- A bunch of over-the-hill "last chance" trialists invited to camp… again
- Adrian Serioux in contract limbo with a possible long-term injury problem
- Still a shocking lack of bench strength and yet no transfer signings

As the current crop of returning Reds get ready to drop their shorts for team medicals, it is fairly easy to categorize them into easy-to-sort categories:

TIME TO CALL IT A DAY: Nick Garcia, Jim Brennan

TIME TO MAKE THE NEXT STEP: Nana Attakora, O’Brian White, Sam Cronin

SOLID IN THE BACK: Stefan Frei, Brian Edwards

QUESTION MARKS: Adrian Serioux, Carl Robinson, Jacob Peterson

THE YOUNG AFRICANS: Emmanuel Gomez, Amadou Sanyang, Fuad Ibrahim

LAST CHANCE TO SHINE: Marvell Wynne, Ali Gerba, Chad Barrett

TIME TO LEAD: Dwayne De Rosario, Julian De Guzman

So there you have it, opening day of training camp presents a team with some gaping holes still needing to be filled. A leaky defence and an impotent strike force were a big part of the reason TFC missed the playoffs last year yet come into camp without any resolution. Funny, it seems like last February’s pre-training camp report sounded exactly the same. Never mind - just hit the alarm clock and hope that you don’t hear Sonny and Cher in 2011 as well.

No comments:

Post a Comment