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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Letters from Camp: "Of Men and Mice"

Times are tough for Preki & Mo... er... Lennie and George

With a couple of good preseason results against quality Belgrade sides Partizan and Red Star out of the way, Toronto FC started to look ahead to the next few chapters of training camp. With announcements both on and off the pitch today, Aron Winter and Paul Mariner (or Team WinNer!) and the gang are moving forward.
· The club will embark on its first "gruelling" away fixture against Dinamo Zagreb on Thursday as they have to travel to the Croatian side's practice ground. Okay, by gruelling we actually mean a 10 minute ride on a luxury air conditioned coach. Almost like having an away match at Lamport and travelling from BMO. Just less hot dog stands... and no GO Train tunnel.
· Two names will no longer be seen in preseason line-ups as TFC cut loose Dutch winger Bas Ent and young Uruguayan forward Santiago Gonzalez Acero. For Ent, this marks the end of a 7 month flirtation with The Reds which sees his career highlight with Toronto a halftime sub appearance in last summer's Bolton Wanderers friendly. Unfortunately for the not-so-quick, blind-cross happy Ent, TFC wasn't in the market for the next Dutch Andy Welsh. For the young Gonzalez Acero it seems as if his frail physicality and lack of ball control when faced with strong defenders (which MLS has a few) caught up with him - and with Joao Plata filling the "little man" quota, he was a long-shot at best.
· A new face was added to the trialist list as Team WinNer invited 23-year-old Dutch leftback Kevin Westmaas to camp. The sturdy defender doesn't have much of a professional record to his name but has had a history with Jong Ajax (Ajax Academy) and was no doubt familiar to Aron Winter. Westmaas won't have too long to impress the coaching staff and will have to be big in training to garner an invite back to Toronto at the end of the week.
· The club firmed up their travel schedule for the next few weeks, announcing that the next phase will see them return to the GTA with practices all of next week at their Oakville indoor facility. Anything to avoid the (minus-whatever-the-F-it-is) weather and also a chance to integrate the supplemental players who didn't make the trek to Turkey. After their Toronto stop, The Reds head to Orlando, Florida on the 21st where they will take part in the lengthy named Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic with matches against Houston on the 24th and either FC Dallas or the USL's Orlando City on the 26th. Aron Winter no doubt covets that famous mouse-eared trophy at a tourney that is rated as one of the Top 10 "Theme Park/ Cartoon-related Pro Soccer Tournaments in Central Florida". Goofy.


  1. At point of writing, Dinamo Zagreb is ahead of TFC 2-0 at half time. The Toronto squad was fielded with loads of Academy kids.

  2. God, the misplaced hype around the likes of Ent and Ornoch.