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Monday, March 22, 2010

One week left. One weak club.

When Toronto FC ended the 2009 season by being destroyed 5-0 at the hands of a mediocre New York Red Bulls, the feelings of shock and anger looked destined to be the catalyst for real and significant change. Immediately, the interim manager was dispatched and surprisingly quickly was replaced with MLS stalwart Preki. The new coach's signing seemed to be the first step in The Reds' transformation but somewhere in the dead of winter, the transformation stopped as quickly as it had begun.
There have been some drastic changes to TFC in the off-season; unfortunately they have all gone the wrong direction. Dumbfounded (and handled with a shocking lack of class) transfers of gritty hardmen Adrian Serioux and Carl Robinson along with the inevitable release of Amado Guevara have subtracted three major players from the 2009 squad without a single suitable replacement.
Director (?) of Football Mo Johnston's only answer to the 4 year problem of a leaky defence and an impotent offence have been a defender who left football to do charity work in Africa and a winger who hasn't recovered from a major injury. Throw in two draft picks who won't figure into the starting 11 and the now unlikely possibility of signing an Egyptian defender best known for temper tantrums and there you have Johnston's transformation. Astounding work.
As it stands now, when TFC lines up later this week against Columbus, the starting 11 will not have one new face in it from 2009 apart from a possible surprise trialist’s inclusion. What it will have is even less depth than last year. TFC will most likely have Nick "The Human Pylon" Garcia anchoring the defence whilst surrounded by inexperienced youngsters; a front line that will most likely be without the disgraced Ali Gerba - leaving unproven sophomore O'Brian White and the injured (but how could you tell?) Chad Barrett as the only two natural strikers; and, a midfield with TFC's only two stars, De Ro and De Guzman, with no one to receive a pass from and no one to pass to. Rumours of the two stars' unhappiness are floating around and really, who could blame them?
There is one constant with this team. For four years now there has been one man who has overseen a process of building this club from scratch but somehow has only managed to build a glorified expansion team. His trigger happy deals for mediocre players; his dismissals of team heroes such as Dichio and Robinson with such a lack of class; his inability to fill holes in the defence and offence year after year; his resting on laurels of being a "master of the draft"; his promises of building a long-term winning club while only building a profitable earner for MLSE.
There is only one way to transform Toronto FC and that is getting rid of the one constant that epitomizes the utterly dreadful prospect of TFC 2010. Maurice Johnston, please leave us alone so we can start again.

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