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Friday, February 18, 2011

Letters from Camp: Grade A Florida Oranje

"Orlando, Florida... The Grammar Interesting"

As Aron Winter gets used to life in the weird and wonderful world of North American football he will stumble across continental oddities that get under his skin. During a media scrum at TFC's Oakville training facility this week, the manager was grumbling about upcoming friendlies against other MLS clubs and mentioning he wouldn't have allowed it if he had it his way. It is of course nearly unheard of in Europe to play preseason matches against clubs in your own division but MLS of course tries to mimic other North American pro loops and their "exhibition season". Unfortunately for Winter, this will likely remain the norm unless he can talk MLSE into funding a month and a half camp somewhere distant like Turkey next year, or alternatively, only schedule friendlies versus CONCACAF clubs outside of MLS.
Supplemental draft pick Steven Beattie announced via Twitter today that he was leaving Toronto FC with his university being the most likely destination. The young Dublin native had been extraordinarily excited only weeks ago about joining TFC's camp but felt that his opportunities had been limited with The Reds. While not divulging too much of what led to his decision, he did tweet that he "wasn't getting a fair shot here". A "fair shot" for an unproven NCAA Division II player may be different in Beattie's eyes to TFC management's.
After enjoying a long weekend off (I wonder what Ty Harden got for Family Day?) The Reds will travel down to the Orlando area of Central Florida to continue training camp. When not drinking fresh OJ, riding on the teacups or watching the Space Shuttle take-off, TFC will take part in the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic(?). The Reds will face Houston on Thursday at 8PM and two days later play either FC Dallas or USL's Orlando City. The league is trying to promote the tourney by streaming the matches online via sources such as ESPN3's website but north of the border TFC-TV seems the most likely destination for footy starved Reds' support.
Aron Winter wants to pack lightly for spring break. No, not tiny orange Speedos but rather a trimmed down squad that can concentrate on game tactics. Reports out of Toronto whisper that TFC will invite 3 or 4 South and/or Central American trialists while some of the out-of-contract players who were with TFC in Turkey may still return but no more than that. With just about a month to go before the season starts, Winter wants to start putting his 1st Team squad together. Wasn't it more fun when Mo was signing players 2 hours before the first game of the season?
Toronto captain Dwayne De Rosario is claiming to be at his happiest in Toronto since the day he signed and it‘s not due to Toronto‘s natty new kit. While the mercurial midfielder claims that Aron Winter's tactics are suited to his game and that it will pay dividends on the field there may be other reasons for the Scarberian's smile. When asked about his contract situation, De Ro answered pleasantly and optimistically, while some news outlets in the city hinted generously that a DP offer could be in the pipe for the formerly corn-rowed goal-scorer.

1 comment:

  1. Seems the Beattie kid was more full of himself than first imagined.

    3 or 4 trialists in Florida is seriously underwhelming and a sign of things to come.

    De Rosario has probably changed his tone after recognition that fan support for him personally is at dangerously low levels. Future "Entertainment" products would surely suffer.

    De Rosario as a DP indicates that Winter is bankrupt of ideas.