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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Winter's arrival brings season of change to Toronto FC

Well, 3 out of 4 ain't bad!

When MLSE VP Tom Anselmi opened today's important press conference with an admission that the club had been "going in the wrong direction" it was hard not to point the finger squarely at the man himself. For four years under Anselmi and MLSE's direction, TFC was allowed to flounder, mostly at the hands of Mo Johnston, and on this site as in many other places, the ownership was rightfully criticized. This post-season Anselmi committed the club to finding a "second to none" MLS front office. The pessimists (this site included) scoffed but for today at least, credit is due. The changes announced today are indeed the finest in the club's history.
With the more than influential Jürgen Klinsmann leading the way, MLSE put together a braintrust with actual "brains". Introducing the new front office as one that would foster "our style of play" Anselmi brought the news that the club's leadership would be laid out with new blood in an actual football hierarchy. From top to bottom the main staff includes:

Aron Winter - Head Coach and Technical Director
Paul Mariner - Director of Player Development
Bob de Klerk - Assistant Coach and Assistant Tech. Director
Earl Cochrane - Director of Team Operations
Stuart Neely - Director of TFC Academy
It was also made clear that Nick Dasovic, Danny Dichio, Jim Brennan, Mike Toshack and Jason Bent will remain with the club in "important roles”.
In addition to the major staff changes, Anselmi also handed club supporters some late Christmas gifts with the announcements that TFC would be creating a much further developed scouting department, improvements to the Academy set-up and that the MLSE Board had approved a $17 Million training facility to be built in the GTA.
It may have taken four hard years to get to this point but there is a feeling today that Toronto FC starts here... for real this time. The people and plans put into place should have come in 2007 but there is little use looking back in anger today. A little bit of forgiveness today to MLSE... BUT, not forgetfulness. If Anselmi & Co. really want to make this a success, then we say - good start, now get out of the way and don't meddle with men much smarter than you! We don't have another four years like the last in us.

Was 2007-2010 all a bad dream?

Some highlighted points from the stars of today's feature "TFC II: The Tee Effening":
- Has a good feeling for the club and Toronto - a "soccer city"
- Spoke to Ruud Gullit about challenges of MLS before taking job
- Wants a "Toronto" style not an Ajax one but will lean towards an attractive 3-striker option made famous with the "Total Football" philosophy
- He expects Dwayne De Rosario to be with the club at training camp
- MLS is a "shtrange" league with long geographical distances; equivalent to a mid-level European league in standard
- Making TFC Academy strong will eliminate club's need for the MLS Draft system and will create strong young Canadian talent
- Will report to Winter and be "the bridge between league and Aron"
- Will oversee the short-term and long-term player targets
- Started to identify players already for 2011
- Used to "look across the border with envy" at TFC's support and atmosphere when he was with New England
- Answered first question of press conference in Dutch
- Has awesome Goldmember-esque Dutch-English accent
- Has penchant for dressing like a pimp from The Hague
- Had a priceless moment during a question regarding De Rosario where they both stared at their shoes and shuffled uncomfortably in their seats
- Despite Anselmi's references to what type of hockey players Torontonians like, the German said that the "Toronto style" will be attractive, attacking football and that this coaching staff reflects it
- Claims it's harder for a European coach to be successful in MLS
- Winter stands for "aggressive, attacking" football

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