The Yorkies' Regular Features

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

THE STARTING 11: Halloween Special! Toronto FC Horror Movies

"Return Of The Football Dead" - Aaaahhhh!!! Aim for the brains!

Hey, I heard you there... stop writing your own jokes! We all know that the last four years of Toronto FC football has been a series of frightening scenes poorly mashed together with an inevitable death at the end - that of course being our hopes of having a winning team. On this Halloween (as we wait for an unexpected German hero to save us from our demons), we sit in the dark, in our scary Laurent Robert shirts, and flip through the channels looking for creepy TFC movies...
11. "Dawn of the Dead Franchise"
10. "The Calamityville Horror"
9. "Invasion Of The Butty Snatchers"
8. "Drag Me To Columbus"
7. "Bram Stoker's Chadula"
6. "Let The Right Wing In"
5. "Silence Of The Fans"
4. "A Latvian Wrewlf In Trnto"
3. "Mo'sBarry's Baby"
2. "Nightmare From Bay Street"
1. "I Know What You Didn't Win Last Summer"

Friday, October 29, 2010

THE WORD: TFC looking for efficient German engineering?

Klinsmann - a dive in the right direction?

Rumours have been swirling rapidly today that Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment is on the verge of hiring German football legend Jurgen Klinsmann and his company Soccer Solutions as a consultancy firm for Toronto FC. The details are far from solid at this moment but early word is that Klinsmann will not be the new GM or Head Coach but rather take a temporary role that would see him give TFC a once-over from top to bottom while also having the major say in who will in fact be hired in those available senior roles.

While it is something of a surprise, it would be an instant welcome injection of football knowledge into BMO Field, a place where such deep knowledge is scarce. For Klinsmann, the California-based former Bayern Munich and Tottenham star, it would offer a chance to dip his toe into MLS waters without a lengthy commitment. For Toronto FC it would mark a major leap from five years ago when a group of football newbies handed the keys to Mo Johnston as well as being a huge PR coup for the publicly lambasted club.

Read the original media reports here...

Globe & Mail

CBC Sports


We will update below if any major developments occur...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Should they stay or should they go?

Who knew Nick Garcia was a balloon pilot?

To terribly paraphrase The Clash (the band not San Jose) "If they go we'll still have trouble - but if they stay it will be double". Anyone with even a passing interest in the local side knows Toronto FC is up Mo Creek without a paddle. As one astute supporter wrote on a team forum - "TFC: Rebuilding since 2008".
With the morbid 2010 season now officially out of the way, the long journey towards 2011 begins. ML$E should be hiring a new GM at this moment but apparently are still searching for consultants who will then begin the search. So expect your new GM… sometime in late March. Christ on a crossbar.

In the meantime, the player movement is left in the available hands of Jim Brennan and, likely next full-time GM, Earl Cochrane. The handful of players who have been hanging around BMO over the last few days doing media, have got tongues wagging about who will still be here next year so we thought we'd take a look at who should indeed stay... or go.
The talented Swiss keeper is a no-brainer for 2011 depending of course if he wants to stay in Toronto before heading to greener European pastures
DWAYNE DE ROSARIO: The Scarborough superstar / charades aficionado still has a couple of productive MLS years left in those boots. Unless a really good trade offer comes along…
JULIAN DE GUZMAN: Hard to move since stock has plummeted but can still do better at TFC - if surrounded by actual midfield talent
NANA ATTAKORA: Should be re-signed immediately. Could be The Reds' Sol Campbell... without the Judas part
ADRIAN CANN: Lost concentration late in 2010 but a dependable Canadian defender at a very reasonable price. Plus - team needs a model for new kit
MAICON SANTOS: Showed flashes of raw talent in the last few matches of the season. Should only return as an inexpensive substitute forward despite two good names
Promising Academy defender who will need to bulk up in off-season if he wants to handle MLS forwards
NICHOLAS LINDSAY: The Academy's bright spark looked good for his age in October. Not hard on a club that's never had a good winger
The giant veteran has a tiny contract. Useful to have as a mentor for young keepers and as a TFC TV comedian
MILOS KOCIC: Decent young prospect to keep around unless a better youngster comes along. Should be loaned out again for experience
FUAD IBRAHIM: Only keep if he retains Generation Adidas status - otherwise... bye! Looks like a nervous baby giraffe most of the time
A fairly versatile and inexpensive midfielder to hang on to for bench strength only. His lawyer / attorney looks are also handy during tax time or legal issues
CHAD BARRETT: Would have been in the "Stay" category if it wasn't for his hefty contract. Plays hard but TFC needs a better starter and 220K is too much for the bench
DAN GARGAN: Also closer to a “stay” but will not get better. Despite being promoted as TFC's Wendel Clark he should only stay as depth - won't improve but very cheap
AMADOU SANYANG: Possibly worth keeping as reserve depth only. Young enough to improve but his raw and often reckless play needs to improve over the winter
JACOB PETERSON: At the very bottom tip of the bubble. For most of the year looked very clueless up front or on the wing. Return from injury only saving grace and may improve
You off then? About time.
MISTA: Wow - what can be said about the biggest bust in the club's history? A very ill-informed buy at the hands of a desperate Director. At least he helped get rid of Mo Johnston
JOSEPH NANE: We don't care whose brother your agent is. Very few 4th round draft picks play in MLS - Nane Joseph Nane should not have been one of them
O'BRIAN WHITE: Every TFC supporter wanted the Malvern resident to be the answer to the team's scoring woes - he wasn't. Development patience is up for "Malvern-Montego Molasses"
TY HARDEN: It may be time for a second retirement. Will never fault a man for leaving sport to do charity work in Africa but the big blonde was just a body and showed little enthusiasm
MARTIN SARIC: We had a Martin Saric already - his name was Kevin Harmse. Little talent to go with his force. "So long Martin"... in Spanish and Croatian
GABE GALA: Much like the departed Mo Johnston, Gala has wasted the last four years. If his skills were as big as his reported ego he could stay. You'll always have Real Madrid
EMMANUEL GOMEZ: Tough call on the Gambian defender. Could still have a place if he bounces back from season long injury and improves but it would need to be a big bounce
RAIVIS HSCANOVICS: Shld hve nvr bn sgned by Trnto FC. Few vowels - less talent. The affable Latvian was in over his head since day one. Bck to Ltvja Raivis!
MAXIM USANOV: His punching antics are a bloggers dream but much like the end of Rocky IV, the hard-hitting (and little else) Russian is down for the count. If he dies... he dies

Monday, October 25, 2010

THE STARTING 11: Toronto FC mayoral campaign slogans

One of these guys actually pays to watch TFC

Much like ML$E execs, scores of politicians around the Toronto area have been apologizing profusely about the past four years of ineptitude while promising that things will be different next year if you just stick with them. Toronto is saying goodbye to its Footy Mayor and will elect either Angry Hockey Mayor or Angrier Gridiron Mayor today - although neither has offered a 2011 tax freeze or free TTC on opening day. I guess we should be thankful that the one area of Toronto where ML$E hasn't flexed its muscle is civic politics. Although, if Toronto FC did push its staff to run for office, the campaign slogans would be interesting...
11: Adrian Cann: "YES WE CANN"
9. Mo Johnston: "A 5 YEAR PLAN – AND NEEDS A JOB"
7. Nick Dasovic: "FOR INTERIM MAYOR"
4. Maxim Usanov: "I MUST BREAK TAXES"
3. Dwayne De Rosario: "SIGNING CHEQUES... FOR YOU!"
1. Raivis Hscanovics: "MKE BTTR TRNTO!"

Saturday, October 23, 2010

AFTER 90: Once more with feeling

One eye on 2011


On a night where all MLS eyes were gathered in D.C. to watch the farewell of arguably United's greatest player, it was the unarguable best player in Toronto FC's short history that stole the show. After TFC dropped down 1-0 during a shocking opening 60 seconds, The Reds' captain and enigmatic talisman Dwayne De Rosario showed what he can do when firing on all cylinders mentally and physically delivering TFC to a rare road victory. At the end of a miserable season where the mercurial hometown star was often the only saving grace for Toronto, it was fitting that his two goal performance should lead the club into hopefully, but far from assured, greener pastures.

Tonight's match was of course a meaningless affair. D.C. United has had an appalling season in 2010 with a management team who make ML$E look nearly competent... nearly. Few would have really cared tonight if TFC had not shown up and chalked up yet another road loss but for Nick Dasovic it must be a satisfying evening in what could be his last as Reds manager. TFC showed some heart and fight, a rare sight in 2010, and even glimpses of future hope in the energetic play of Academy product Nicholas Lindsay. While things are indeed bleak - there are threads of hope to hang on to for 2011.

Of course, if those threads are to be woven into a successful new season, ML$E must do the right thing and put the right man in charge. The fan protests and subsequent ML$E apology and season ticket "sorry gifts" will all be for naught if this one move isn't performed by Anselmi & Co. It's not good enough to let Earl Cochrane and Jim Brennan to make a bunch of player moves before hiring a cheap GM in January. No, if the owners really want to make amends to their suffering supporters - this is the only move they must make. A top quality GM, sooner rather than later, and then get out of the way. That could be the only saving grace of a season which mercifully ended on a note of tiny hope.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Dwayne De Rosario (TFC)
: Nick Garcia (TFC)... because it may be my last chance and I'm a petty bastard!

MATCH IN FIVE WORDS: Moreno. Surprising. Hopeful. Finally over.


TOTALLY FAKE POST-MATCH QUOTE: "Thank God it's over." - TFC's supporters collectively exhale

Moreno: MLS Legend

Friday, October 22, 2010

THE MATCHUP: The end of the beginning?

What's the big deal about D.C.? Oh yeah... those.

D.C. UNITED (16th) VS. TORONTO FC (11th)

All of the supporter protests are done, the PR exercise "Town Halls" are finished and the result is a "bridge-building" mea culpa from ML$E. I am a cynic when it comes to Anselmi & Co. (no surprise to regular readers) so I will reserve judgement on their sudden "listening skills" until actual results are produced. Giving season ticket holders a free home opener (despite still forcing the MLS Cup tickets) and a "price freeze" are band-aids over for the necessary solution - a real GM for this sinking club.
The fourth "new beginning" for TFC starts on Sunday but first up is one last tilt with the only club more depressing right now than Toronto - DC United. Expect Toronto to field another experimental line-up while still aiming for a win. Interim coach Nick Dasovic would love to go out on a winning high as it could be his last chance at managing The Reds - although I wouldn't bet against his return. One glaring omission from the line-up is Stefan Frei. This will mark the third match in a row the talented Swiss keeper will miss, this time in favour of young Milos Kocic, and his absence has many wondering aloud if the stopper isn't headed out of TFC Red for European pastures in the next window.
The truth is, depending on whether ML$E was really "listening", this could be our last look at many current Reds. If a true GM with real power is hired you should expect to see a major overhaul of players - possibly in the double digits. If ML$E gets lazy however and goes with a Cochrane / Brennan / First Wave puppet as GM - expect to be in the same spot this time next year.
On the other side of the pitch is a stark reminder of how bad things can go when your owners neglect proper team-building. United were once the super-club of this league - the nearest thing MLS has had to a necessary major force. The four-time champs are rudderless at the bottom of the table and all their great fans have to show up for is the retirement party for their long-time hero Jaime Moreno. His 61 goals in 177 appearances for the club will be hard to say goodbye to for the Barra Brava and co. It's hard to think of too many tears for whoever may depart TFC.
UNITED THEY STAND: Jaime Moreno, Dejan Jakovic, Julius James
DIVIDED WE FALL: Milos Kocic, Dwayne De Rosario, Nana Attakora
- MLS Commissioner Don Garber upsetting both DC and Toronto fans by calling whatever city he's in next "home of the best fans": 5-1
- Match getting better ratings this weekend than npower League Two's match-up "Hereford v Accrington Stanley: 50-1
- Two sets of "great supporters" watching great football: 10,000-1
- D.C. United's long-term struggle to find a new home has had them rumoured to destinations such as Arlington VA, Baltimore MD, Dover DE, Moncton NB, Nuuk Greenland and a barge in the Mid-Atlantic
- DCU bosses plan to present aging and retiring Bolivian forward Jaime Moreno with a gold embossed walker and a special Black and Red hemorrhoid pillow
- While Jaime Moreno receives his hero's send off, TFC officials plan on handing Nick Garcia bus fare to the airport

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The South Stand Report : Toronto v Arabe Unido... or Not dead, just pining for the fjords

The end. Not that phoney end on Saturday that I ditched to go to Montreal for, but the real end of the season. Our season has been one nice steady make-out session where you've gone further than "under the shirt-over the bra" at HER house, only to get denied by YOUR parents. The only release is that of anger and frustration.

Yes, it was elaborate.

As a future attendee of the much hallowed Town Hall, which should be renamed Smoke Blowing, I will choose to save the rage for Tommy. We know how this goes.

Bombing out of Champions League is just like attempts of Young Boys Bern, Panathinaikos and whatever that team Tommy Radzinski played for. One game, nothing to play for and against Wisla Krakow who are in the same boat.

Oh the magic of Champions League.

- silence due to protest
- silence due to crap attendance
- a youth team player will have a legit chance at net, then turn to OBW yelling "seeeeee! Like that!"
- Arabe Unido will play dirty and cheat as hard as they can
- Arabe Unido 4, Toronto 2 (in yellow cards)

Starting XI

Garcia - Attakora - Henry - Gargan
Ibby - Morgan - deGoo - Labrocca
Lindsay - DeRo
(I think)

4 - Attakora takes a knock and goes off for a sip. He's OK.

7 - Ibrahim crosses the ball and gets stopped by a raised arm. No call.

16 - DeRo gets a deep ball into the corner, tries to chip the keeper, but he stops it.

Quote of the match:
I hope you're let go!
- random at Ibby after a few howlers

21 - for 40 seconds, Arabe are just playing with Garcia and Henry right now, how the cheats haven't scored I one yet.

25 - Arabe 11 takes a knock and rolls around like a bowling pin. Seriously piss off cheat.

26 - DeRo has a go from 20 yds out and slams over the north stand.

28 - Lindsay has a go from 25 yds out. Not much behind it but it is a real shot on target and that's a first for this game.

30 - GOAL - set piece from Labrocca, headed textbook style far left by Nana Attakora. Good stuff and well earned.

34 - YELLOW - Garcia for a late tackle though the ref missed an earlier one against TFC.

40 - YELLOW - Arabe player clothes line Labrocca. DeRo free hits the keeper and Ibby misses a sitter. The boy has been playing a howler so far. We need some more academy action soon.

1 min of extra time

Half time mood : youth good, old bad

45 - SUB - Harden in, Nana out. Huh? Nana was having a cracker of a game.

52 - Labrocca has a go from 5 yds out to the left of net and forces a solid save from the keeper.

61 - YELLOW - actually 2, Henry I think and some other blue cheater

65 - SUB - deGoo out, Oscar Cordon in. Sure.

68 - YELLOW - Lindsey for stuff

72 - Morgan is the Toronto Patrice Evra, holding off a defender while moving the ball forward, lays it off to DeRo who shoots, ends back at Morgan and he launches it at the net from 12 yds only to be stopped by the keeper. Killer stuff.

78 - Wow. Just heady stuff. DeRo-Lindsey-Labrocca are just cutting up Arabe right now.

79 - SUB - Lindsey off for OBW. Ummm... Mr. Dasovic... whiskey tango foxtrot?

81 - YELLOW - Gargan for not putting up with the cheaters sh*t

83 - Labrocca lays a pass to Cordon and he skies the ball. Not everyone's first senior attempt at goal goes in...

88 - YELLOW - someone got booked. Labrocca? All I know is my predictions are way off there...

90 - YELLOW - Arabe for dissention

3 min of extra time

FULL TIME : Toronto 1, Arabe Unido 0

Man of the Match : Attakora for the first half, Lindsay for a quarter and Morgan for another quarter.

Goat of the Game : Fuad Ibrahim. Three words kid, "Danish Third Division". What a brutal game. With the chances he was getting, I'd rather see what OBW could've done instead. Super frustrating.

(You should really click on the link all the same... best name ever? Perhaps)

Ref Rating : 3 out of 5. Equally terrible on both sides of the ball but let a few close ones go. Handed out cards like it was invitations to his birthday party.

I was going to tear a strip into Dasovic for his substitutions, but lets be honest folks - it really doesn't matter. In fact, we were pleasantly surprised with the efforts of some of the kids. Morgan and Lindsay have some promise. Perhaps the lack of pressure for a result in the game gave them the perfect opportunity to show us what they're capable of. And for once, I like it and am a little upset I didn't take advantage of watching more Academy games.

It's just too easy to be a pessimist right now. Nothing but bad news coming out of TFC's camp lately and we're all a little disgruntled, to be kind. I wanted something positive out of this game and I got it. Besides, April is a long ways away and there's plenty of time to bitch, piss and moan around here before then.

Monday, October 18, 2010

THE MATCHUP: Blah-nama

Noriega: Panamanian. Not likely in attendance



There's a lot of nights when being a D-List blogger for a C-list team in a B-list league can be rewarding... this is not one of them. The final match of the CONCACAF Champions League Group Stage promises to have all the excitement, importance and passion of a pre-season friendly - minus a big name opponent like Charleston Battery. In all likelihood, this match will feature two sides full of youth players and fringe grinders in front of the smallest crowd in TFC's home venue history. Hurray. If you think this is an important fixture... don't read on.

Here are some matches with higher importance on Tuesday's football calendar:

  • Schneider's House League Final: AC Bologne v Wienerstadt
  • Co-ed Gay Pride League : All-Man City v Sporting Lesbians
  • Bobby (Age 10) v Billy (Age 11) Subbuteo Table Football
  • Desert Island Semi: Harlem Globetrotters v Robot 11
  • Sexy Ghost Friendly: George Best v Bikini-Clad Angels FC
  • Yorkshire Dog League: Sheffield Thursday v Sheffield Monday
  • Dyslexic World Cup Final: Zarbil v Mergany

If this isn't serious enough for you we will pause and give you the chance to enjoy a great feat of engineering and the pride of our opponent's homeland - Panama. Enjoy this timelapse crossing of the Panama Canal...

Wow. Fascinating.
Can I be serious for a moment? This may be the last chance to see many of the "stars" of TFC 2010 at home. If by some chance, ML$E actually hires a legitimate, respected Director of Football, let's take the time to say goodbye to: Raivis Hscanovics, Maxim Usanov, Ty Harden, Nick Garcia, those wacky Gambian kids, Martin Saric, Jacob Peterson, Mista, O'Brian White, Gabe Gala, Fuad Ibrahim and most of the coaching staff. If however, ML$E does their usual and hires from within... say goodbye to... Frank - the guy who makes the souvlaki in the south end of BMO. Thanks for the memories/ garlic sauce Frank.

Ladies and gentleman... Van Halen!

Big thanks to David Lee, Eddie... those other two... for performing the Panamanian national anthem.

Enjoy the match everyone! For those of you heading to BMO Field, remember... protest early, protest often. Don't forget though - next time you see TFC will be in the spring... and they will be signing trialists and out-of contract guys from the Moldovan league (Hi Rohan Ricketts!). So cherish these moments.

Sing it one last time (because Vancouver's going next year) "The Chaaaaaaam-pionnnns!"

THE STARTING 11: Things overheard during the BMO Field protests

The South Stand just seemed different on Saturday

In its best days… oh sometime back in 2007, you could barely hear yourself think at BMO Field. The songs, the chants, hilarious off-colour comments... even “The Dichio Song” was loud, proud and fun. Then something happened. That of course would be 2008, 2009 and 2010 - as presented by ML$E. Through an idiotic strategy of killing the proverbial golden goose, the ownership reduced the TFC crowd to something akin to a slightly noisy library this past Saturday. The silence was deafening and rather sad. It did however give those in attendance the opportunity to hear snippets of odd conversation usually missed in the former fortress...
11. "You can really hear those cash registers can't you?"
10. "Columbus' 'keeper has more goals than Mista"
9. "I can't take another Christmas without the Trillium Cup!"
8. "It sounds like the Blue Jays in here"
7. "I heard that the first 500 fans got an inflatable apology letter"
6. "Can you hear us sing? Nooo, nooo! Can you here us sing? We can't hear a f*****g thing! Nooo, nooo, nooooooo!"
5. "You'll have a 50/50 chance of winning the 50/50 Draw at the next match"
4. "Hscanovics has few vowels... and less talent"
3. "They made me buy MLS Cup tickets before selling me this beer!"
2. "There's a Town Hall Meeting in the men's washroom!"
1. "Hey Anselmi - renew these!"

Saturday, October 16, 2010

AFTER 90: The sound of (almost) silence

Maybe all the cheering distracted them until now?


As part of the supporter's tapestry which makes up BMO Field's atmosphere, The Yorkies decided to give respect to all of the groups and individuals who tried valiantly (most of the time) to protest silently today against ML$E. This episode of "After 90" will reflect that protest and be silent as well. Mostly...

BMO Field empty Booooooooooooooooooo booooooooooooooooooooo boooooooooooooooooooo booooooooooooooooooooooo booooooooooooooooooooooooo booooooooooooooo green flags and shirts booooooooooooooooooooooo booooooooooooooo quiet booooooooooooooooooooo booooooooooooooooooo booooooooooooooo off of Conway's ass booooooooooooooo boooooooooooo wanting to hear their own voices booooooooooooooooooooo boooooooooooooooooooo booooooooooooo seriously? Dichio song? boooooooooooooooooo Gargan marketed as new Wendel Clark boooooooooooooooo booooooooooooooooooo

Santos with a screamer! boooooooooooooooooooo boooooooooooooo boooo Peterson scores goals? Boooooooooooooo all is forgiven booooooooooooo booooooooooooooo the second half boooooooooooooo boooooooooooo vowels in Latvian for crap? boooooooooooooooooo boooooooooooooooooo boooooooooo booooooooooooooo so quiet you can hear money being counted boooooooooooooo booooooooooooooooooooo red cards galore! booooooooooooo Conway is a gorilla boooooooooooooo booooooo what a match at Dallas sounds like booooooooooooooooo boooooooooooo booo boooooooooooo Crew so bad? boooooooooooooooo boooooooooo booo boooooooo O'Brian Wide boooooooooooooo boooooooo booooooooooooo Garcia's last home league match booooooooooo boooooooooooooo too little, too late booooooooooo Goalie goal? Too fitting booooooooooooo booooo boooooooooooo deserve better.

: Booooooo Lindsay

: Booooo. Boooooooo. Fail. Booooo. Boooooo.


: "Our fans boooooooo boo boooooo money booooo booooooo boooo bo deserve boooooo next year boooooo sorry" - Tom BOOOOO boooo bo boooo care booo booo think boooooo

Friday, October 15, 2010

THE MATCHUP: The peasants are revolting. So is their club.

"MLS Cup tickets? Burn them! Burn them all to hell!"

Of all the injustices that have fallen upon the Toronto FC supporter's head, are any as painful as losing yet another Trillium Cup? Well, actually... yes. In fact all of them are. Really, after four years of utterly mundane mediocrity and a future that looks murky at best - does any Reds' fan care about a fake trophy awarded to the winner of a fake rivalry? Cue the protests.
Yes, the tempers have boiled and enough has indeed become enough at BMO Field meaning this weekend's "derby" with "rivals" Columbus will see the first wide scale attempt at supporter protests against TFC owners ML$E. Various groups plan to stage protests ranging from 90 minutes of silence to wearing green to symbolize greedy owners and of course our very own long-term "NO BEER. NO GEAR" policy. In our opinion, EVERY group and individual must stand up and be heard if you love this club at all - status quo cheering just won't do.
While we don't expect much from ML$E more than fake "Town Hall" meetings where they pretend to listen to our fears and anger while trying to buy our love with drink tickets, a message must be given. The decisions that Anselmi & Co. make over the next few months may be the life or death of this young club with the hiring of a truly qualified Director of Football being paramount.
The ML$E spin machine will turn a blind eye to the protests on Saturday instead trying to play up the "New Soft Derby" (opposite of Old Firm... get it? Sorry) but the results on the field are meaningless. The only win or loss for Toronto FC will come at the hands of Tom Anselmi and ML$E when they decide whether or not to put this club in the hands of a real football man or whether to do the expected and hand the keys to a Cochrane/Brennan braintrust and doom The Reds for good. If you are at BMO Field on Saturday, your only job as a supporter is to make your feelings heard. There will be time to cheer when (or if) ML$E fixes this mess.
PLAYING FOR TROPHIES: Will Hesmer, Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Steven Lenhart
PLAYING FOR JOBS: Dan Gargan, Jacob Peterson, Maicon Santos
- ML$E executives actually listening to one word from supporters at their marketing machine "Town Hall" meetings: 1000 - 1
- Shots of supporter protests being broadcast on TV: 500-1
- Being in the same situation next October: 2-1
- The Toronto v Columbus Derby was ranked in the FIFA "Most Important Derby" list just below "Sheffield Wednesday Groundscrew v Sheffield United Caretakers", "All Monkey 11 v Rest of the World Poodle All Stars" and "The Drunken Maradona v 30 Blind Senior Citizens Cup"
- ML$E's new HR consultants plan to look far and wide for the next GM. They plan to start on the 1st Floor of BMO Field before winding up on the 2nd Floor thus ending their "exhaustive" search
- It's not just the fans in the cheap seats planning on protesting on Saturday - rumours are swirling that attendees in the private suites at BMO will only order the caviar canapés and refuse to touch the endangered beluga, unicorn blood or panda sushi provided by ML$E

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Lucy, you have some essplainin' to dooo! Response to Tom Anselmi

----- Awww, Tom's sad. Poor Tom. Here's a fifty to wipe your eyes.

For those of you who consider us at the Yorkies the be-all-and-end-all of TFC related media (once I stop laughing, I'll continue writing...) *ahem*, here, the Toronto Star gave us this gem of an article and apology filled with quotes from Tom Anselmi.

So here's my take on it...

TFC is to announce Wednesday that Anselmi is going to hold a series of town-hall meetings with supporter groups.

This is a great PR move. You get enough of the blind supporters, you know - those who get behind the team no matter how far supporters get gouged, to show up and these town halls become giant love-ins. I'm sure our invitations are in the mail as we speak...

Scarf-waving supporters, angry with the lack of improvement on the field and dramatic increases of over 30 per cent in cost and four more games in their season-ticket packages for next season, have been voicing their displeasure with chants and protests during home games.

OK, so enough people have made noise. Good. I didn't think MLSE paid attention. Earlier this week, I read an article about Bundesliga supporters going on strike due to rising ticket costs. I'm thinking Anselmi read the same article.

However, this is what got my ire:

The club is also removing a pair of CONCACAF Champions League matches from obligatory purchase in season tickets, a move that will cut the total cost of the 2011 package, he said.

[sarcasm] Yes. There it is. The real reason. We're upset over the Champions League matches. If I've said it once, I'll say it again, I am upset at how my seasons tickets include only games involving Toronto FC, right? [/sarcasm]

The article failed to mention a single WORD about the MLS Cup ticket included in the package. The ticket that is responsible for much of our outrage. I want all the tickets to games involving Toronto FC. I don't want to be gouged extra for it later *cough*Real Madrid*cough*. And I sure as hell do not want a ticket for a game that not only excludes TFC, but involves teams I couldn't give a damn about. Hell, 5 minutes on any message board would've brought this question to either Ansemi's or the author's attention.

I actually believe Mr. Anselmi when he states the following:

At Maple Leaf Sports, we've been accused at length about suits like me interfering with the team. (This is) proof positive, we don't interfere.

Why wouldn't this be true? After the sacking of talented players for unknowns and the protection and playing of liabilities, anyone who has watched the game with any discerning eye would've given Mo the hair-dryer treatment. Cronin's gone but White is still here? Gerba dismissed but Hscovanviscs has his contract seen through? Wynne disappears but Garcia still has employment? There's no WAY the suits are involved... especially since the league picks up their tab. The suits are damn-near comatose!

*deep breath in*

*deep breath out*

So am I crazy?

Monday, October 11, 2010

THE STARTING 11: Thanksgiving festivities in the Toronto FC Head Office

Mmm... turkey

It's that special holiday where we gather with friends and family, to give thanks for all the blessings we have received during the year. For Toronto FC supporters, we give thanks for umm... oh, what about - nah.... oh there was that time... ugh. Let's see... jeez. Mo Johnston being fired? High above our seats, in the TFC Head Offices, there's much to give thanks for. Namely, supporters with short memories and / or low attention spans. The suits aren't all that different from us though, they still have traditions and festivities that take place on Canadian Turkey Day...
11. Having 30 people over for supper - announcing that 250 attended
10. Dressing up Ex-Soviets and African trialists as Pilgrims and Natives
9. Cooking a dryer turkey than last year - charging 35% more for it
8. Eating leftover Panda steak, Dolphin filet and Bald Eagle pate from the last ML$E Board of Directors meeting
7. First Wave Agency sends a giant gift basket (Cancelled... for now)
6. You can have stuffing - if you buy Marlies' season tickets
5. Making a festive centrepiece in Julian de Guzman's hair
4. Take Mista on a hayride... to the airport
3. De Ro makes a cheque signing motion when he wants more sweet potato
2. Promise guests to buy the best dessert available on the market - instead buy a box of stale Latvian donuts
1. Danny Dichio carves the butty

Mmm... Turkey

Sunday, October 10, 2010

AFTER 90: "E" for effort

Goats on top of Asses. Think about it... well done.

It's late in the season. It's late at night. Chivas USA didn't want to be there. Toronto FC didn't want to be there. I didn't want to watch. Neither did you. As two pretty woeful teams heading nowhere fast played out the string on Saturday night, we decided to present this post-match report with the same amount of effort put in by Maple Leaf $ports and "Entertainment" in building TFC over the last five years.
Enjoy. Or don't. Whatever. As long as you renew your season tickets...
- Crappy crowd playing Mexican mariachi music. Like BMO 2012
- TFC wearing white. Hey new kits in two months. Whatever.
- Some guys are kicking the ball.
- Whatshisname - Dave De Romario almost got a goal. Fail.
- Chivas have the sauciest middle-age cheerleaders in MLS. Hola.
- That guy who looks like Poor Rooney... Barretta - miss.
- More kicking.
- Toronto's secret: pass to the goalie. Hasn't worked yet.
- Poor Rooney blew out his hamstring.
- I'm going for a ham sandwich.
- Our guy with the afro knocked a dude over.
- Maicon Santos... aren't Brazilians good at the soccer?
- I think this ham is off.
- Halftime.
- Fell asleep. GOL TV talking about pride and passion. Uh-huh.
- Missed some kicking.
- A Mexican dude scored. We should get one.
- Earl Cochrane. Jim Brennan. Discuss.
- The ham was definitely off.
- Kicking.
- I can hear Jason De Vos talking about TFC's "future" from the bathroom. Mine... not his.
- Maxim Usanov hasn't punched anyone in too long.
- Have we been falsely linked to any Italian coaches today?
- Remember late-night Italian movies? Ciao Tutti.
- 73rd minute... hey Jacob Peterson has been playing.
- O'Brian Wide.
- Ham was a terrible mistake.
- Nick Dasovic is shouting. You're hired. Discuss
- Budweiser and Clamato? That's a thing?
- Dichio sent off. Just like the old days... without the fun.
- No subs left and Cann goes off injured. Bet it was ham.
- Nodded off. Woke to Mexican guy scoring. Really, let's have one.
- His hombre got another one. Ariba.
- It's done. What? Three more of these? Wish the ham would have finished me off once and for all.
MAN OF THE MATCH: That Mexican guy
GOAT OF THE MATCH: Tiny expiry dates on cold cuts
MATCH IN FIVE WORDS: Desire. Pride. Future. Blah. Blah.
TOTALLY FAKE POST-MATCH QUOTE: "Playing for pride blah blah. The badge on the blah blah. Next year will be blah blah. Blah blah blah. All for blah." - Either of the current ML$E employees who will be named next GM

Friday, October 8, 2010

THE MATCHUP: Chivas USA VS. Underachievas CDN

Ugh, 10:30PM kick-off? Make mine a double

Home Depot Center - Saturday 10:30PM ET

Here's a bit of long-weekend philosophy: if two poor football teams with nothing to play for; play a match in front of few fans who could care less; broadcasted on a channel that hardly anyone gets... does it still exist? Deep. I know.
Don't expect this match to be leading any MLS weekend highlight packages as both teams play out the string while plummeting down the table. The irony isn't lost that the two clubs are also the two most recent posts of Predrag Radosavljevic. While both teams struggle to break free from their Prekiball tenures, his legacy (especially in player acquisitions) remains. There will be more plumbers on the field than your average game of Super Mario Bros.
Luckily for TFC fans, it looks as if our White Knight has arrived in the form of "Interim" Director Earl Cochrane. During "Smooth" Earl's Q & A session on TFC's website, the increasingly less "interim" director said that next year will be much different. Phew. What a relief! We can all sleep easy. In between corporation quotes Cochrane said that TFC 2011 will be a "very different team - young, organized, committed and quick - entertaining to watch". Wow! Great news Earl! ML$E should just make you Director now! They are? Great!... Good grief.
Let's see... young, organized, committed and quick. Umm that leaves... Sam Cronin? Oh yeah... Earthquakes. Yay! An all new team then!
GOATS WHO BLOW: Maykel Galindo, Jonathan Bornstein, Ante Jazic
BLOWING GOATS: Dwayne De Rosario, Stefan Frei, Chad Barrett
- Two Post-Preki teams refusing to play any defence at all out of spite: 5-1
- Earl Cochrane to miss match due to scratching the word "Interim" off of his office door: 4-1
- Combined LA and Toronto TV ratings for match almost equal to ratings for Commonwealth Games Men's Field Hockey: 2-1
- ML$E's never-ending quest to expand their empire includes plans to field a Canadian-esque team in Mexico called "Beavas CDN"
- Halftime show at Home Depot Center to invite fans of both clubs to hit a giant "Preki" piñata full of hard to swallow Serbian candy
- ML$E is planning to meet with corporate stadium sponsors Home Depot to set up a new cross promotion - "Home Depot and Toronto FC: Rebuilding Since Day One"
LOS BEAVERS SAY: 3-2 Toronto

Team of plumbers

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

ML$E Job Fair: Apply Within

That clicking sound echoing down Bay Street is likely emanating from the hallowed marble and platinum halls of the Maple Leaf $ports & "Entertainment" head office. Dozens of interns and partially trained monkeys are feverishly pounding their keyboards on Workopolis and Craigslist, sorting through the replies to the ad their bosses placed.
General Manager - FT - local soccer team - experience not necessary...
Yes, the men who have brought you such boardroom big-hitters as Rob Babcock and John Ferguson Jr. are poised to name the successor to Mo Johnston as Toronto FC's Director of Football but what do they have in mind? Based on ML$E's track record, the hiring should go one of four ways - but what kind of candidate will snag the best job at Exhibition Place (apart from the guy who makes the fried butter)?
RUMOURS: Carlos Queiroz, Jurgen Klinsmann, Ciro Ferrara
- A big name to attract a higher calibre of foreign player
- New ideas and tactics different from other MLS clubs
- Not connected with the previous drama of TFC and ML$E
- Unfamiliar with the complexities of MLS caps, squads and systems
- An expectation to change the club to fit their mould
- A possible lack of patience with ML$E's low expectations
ML$E SPIN: Shows the club's dedication to being a major force
WHY LIKELY: TFC/ ML$E needs a major PR coup
WHY UNLIKELY: It will cost a lot - something ML$E hates
THE ODDS: 500-1
RUMOURS: Paul Mariner, Steve Nicol, Domenic Kinnear
- Experience with the odd world of MLS club structure
- Building a club with low financial backing but high expectations
- Aware of the circus history of Toronto FC's first four years
- Best available people already tied to clubs
- Possible reliance on outdated defensive MLS tactics
- Difficulty dealing with higher level of media and public scrutiny
ML$E SPIN: The most qualified and experienced man for the job
WHY LIKELY: It's the right move
WHY UNLIKELY: It's the right move
THE ODDS: 50-1

Mariner and Nicol. Too much sense. Next

An All-Canuck combo featuring three or more of the likes of Earl Cochrane, Jim Brennan, Jason De Vos, Paul James, (enter random Canadian here)
- Understand the club and the ownership right away
- An easy way to increase staff levels immediately
- A simple transition for returning players
- No real professional club experience
- Will have little clout to face off with ML$E bosses
- Committee GM's don't ever succeed
ML$E SPIN: Helping to improve TFC and all of Canadian soccer
WHY LIKELY: A simple yet fairly uncontroversial move
WHY UNLIKELY: Hard to fire three guys next July
Jimmy Brennan
- Possible remaining connections in England from career
- Close ties to Canada Soccer
- Very few else. (Haircut?)
- A continuation of the dubiously cozy First Wave Agency relationship
- The direct descendant of his professor, Mo Johnston
- Absolutely no superiors or mentors in the club to get advice from
ML$E SPIN: All hail the first Canadian GM - Mr.TFC!
WHY LIKELY: Easy, very, very cheap and press friendly
WHY UNLIKELY: Won't help sell season tickets

"Barry is # 1 on speed dial Jim"

Monday, October 4, 2010

THE STARTING 11: ML$E 2011 season ticket ad slogans

Jim Brennan - star of "5 Year Plan II: The Plannening"

Poor old Maple Leaf $ports and "Entertainment". They work their fingers to the silk glove to bring us quality "soccer" and what do we do? Yell and protest at them because we are greedy and want a marginally "good team". We supporters should be ashamed of ourselves! Do you know how hard it is to get out of your solid gold bed, lift off the mink duvet and slip into your Siberian Tiger-head slippers, only to read in the morning papers that the fans that you treat like royalty (Sudanese royalty) are angry with you? It's enough to put the poor ML$E exec off his breakfast of blue whale steak, dodo eggs, unicorn DNA and virgin's tears. They'll have to try harder than ever to promote those ticket packages but don't worry - they have their best ad-men on the case...
(And yes... its sarcasm)
11. "Imagine how much we could have charged if they were good!"
10. "10% off Preki bobbleheads with season tickets"
9. "Come see TV commercial superstar Danny Dichio!"
8. "Witness new GM Jimmy Brennan embark on a new 5 Year Plan!"
7. "See Vancouver Whitecaps live - we here they're pretty good"
6. "Watch (enter false DP/ coach/ GM rumour here) and Toronto FC!"
5. "Come on people - you make more than Dan Gargan does!"
4. "TFC - what else you gonna watch? The Lynx? Pfft."
3. "MLS Cup 2010: Not because you want to - because we made you!"
2. "Can you say Butty Buffet?"
1. League One football - Premier League prices!"

All the chips you can butt

Saturday, October 2, 2010

AFTER 90: A Tale of Two Cities

At least we have that...


It's really not the result that aches in the Reds supporter's belly today. Honestly, so few of us expected any different when one of MLS' all-time worst road teams visited one of the league's harder destinations. It's not even TFC's impotent and clumsy showing - by now we're used to it and have seen it all before. No... that gnawing in the pit of the stomach, while an ML$E ticket renewal notice sits in the inbox, is looking at what the Seattle Sounders have become in half the time it has taken to destroy Toronto's football dream. As Reds fans taste their fourth official playoff elimination in four years, falling at the hands of a club which has so much more, makes it all the more bitter.

  • While Toronto FC supporters have had to endure corporate press releases and "feel good" stories of long-term goals and "5 Year Plans", Seattle has built a club from scratch (they didn't retain their USL squad) in half the time and has qualified for the playoffs in their first two seasons while appearing in the US Open Cup Final in 2010 and 2011
  • Seattle has a responsible private ownership that has tried, and continues to try, to listen to supporters concerns and build a proper football club. It has people in their ownership group who were football supporters long before owning the club and not a collection of hockey-centric "board members" whose only goal is profits for their shareholders
  • Sounders have managed to assemble a young, quick and exciting core with their best years ahead of them with players like Sanna Nyassi, Fredy Montero and Steve Zakuani. Meanwhile TFC now has to rebuild through a group of sub-par "grinders" such as Nick Garcia, Jacob Peterson and Martin Saric - the results of a club with no scouting system and a dubiously cozy past relationship with a single agency
  • While Toronto FC decided to give the keys to the club to a Scottish circus ringleader on day one and not build an infrastructure around him... Seattle decided to build a front office from the ground up and then hire the best available MLS manager there was in Sigi Schmid. This was before they ever kicked a ball. No doubt big names, like today's Ciro Ferrara rumour, will circulate around TFC's head coach opening but those will only last as long as season ticket renewal season does
  • Seattle signalled their intent as a "big club" in the first year by signing DP Freddie Ljungberg and acquiring Fredy Montero. When things weren't going good enough this season they dispatched Ljungberg and replaced him with the superior and exciting Swiss International Blaise Nfuko who has lit up the league since his arrival. TFC in comparison waited for 2 1/2 years before signing a seemingly reluctant DP in Julian de Guzman who is a good player, but wasn't the right player for TFC. Four years of big "emergency" signings such as Laurent Robert, Rohan Ricketts, Carlos Ruiz and now Mista have been one disaster after another.
  • Perhaps, saddest of all is seeing their fans. While much of their organized support does seem canned and a touch corporate, there is no denying the fun and excitement on their faces safe in the knowledge that their best days are ahead. We had that in Toronto too, but four years of anti-Seattle club mismanagement tends to knock it out of you

MAN OF THE MATCH: Blaise Nfuko (SEA)
GOAT OF THE MATCH: The suits eating caviar at the Leafs pre-season match

MATCH IN FIVE WORDS: Big. Loud. Green... with envy


TOTALLY FAKE POST-MATCH QUOTE: "Hey, comparing Seattle to TFC is apples and oranges. We've had four years to get this bad - they could still catch us." - ML$E VP Tom Anselmi uses his favourite produce-based line

Tired of hearing "we're never giving up", tired of Seattle, and like irony? Enjoy...

Friday, October 1, 2010

THE MATCHUP: Special ML$E Soccer Game Preview

" Mmm... the fragrance of hopes and dreams up in smoke"

Qwest Field - Saturday 3:30PM ET

There has been a whole whack of "The Matchup" issues since April of this year. While we strive to bring you the strangest of all Toronto FC match previews on the market - even a D-list, very local (my office) celebrity football blogger can get beat-down by mediocrity. The season is over in all competitions (I don't want to hear about math) so we thought we'd hand over the keys to "The Matchup" to a responsible figure. We asked if a member of the ML$E Board would ghost write the preview for us and while we cannot confirm or deny his ML$E connection, his breath did smell of money, virgins and the blood of the poor. Enjoy!
“Yes. Hello. Or... Hola, Ciao... whatever you immigrant soccer people say. Look I don't have a lot of time for this. The contractor is coming by to fix the Giant Laser and there's a shipment of panda-meat coming in on a gold-plated Concorde in 10 minutes. The FC's isn't something I know anything about. They make wads of dough, their fans keep coming back and like being on commercials - and, the GrassLeafs cost way less in salary than the real important Leafs.
What I don't understand is why Seattle has FC after their name too? Can't we sue for that? The FC's is our nickname! I don't understand - must be some kind of European thing. And shouldn't it be SC? It's called soccer douches - football is a real man's sport played in the NFL... and I guess the Argos, when they move to BMO. Oh... can we erase that last line? Whatever, enjoy watching your Latinos dive against Seattle's Latinos. I've got Leafs preseason to attend, and unicorn DNA to procure.”
MANUFACTURED DERBY NAME: "Derby? Is this a horse race? Immigrants."
SEATTLE'S BEST: “Christ, I don't know... Frasier, Kurt Cobain... who cares?
PENSION PLAN:Umm... Dave De Romario, Julio Guzman, Steven Fry... are those things?
- “One single tear being shed by MLSE no matter how many protests, signs and chants the FC fan clubs do": 5000-1
- “The FC's still announcing a 95%+ season ticket renewal... no matter what": 2-1
- “MLS Cup attendance assured by promise of free beer, Danny Dichio Bobbleheads and Scotts' Girls in bikinis... in November! Hahahahaha!”: 2-1
- “Someone told me that these Seattle Sounders are only in their second year and have made the playoffs in both and have won a cup - what gives? Haven't they heard of multiple 5 Year Plans?
- “Apparently soccer is actually a popular game in other parts of the world. You know what's wrong with other parts of the world? Full of foreigners.
- “Seattle and the Washington State area is a great region for rare Sasquatch blood - always a big fave at the MLSE Christmas Party."
THE CITY OF TORONTO (Which I also own) SAYS: “2-2 Tie - Is there a shoot-out?
Okay, okay - we will stop the billionaire ghost writer there. We thank him for taking a break from important financial meetings / sucking the life-force from nubile blondes.