Saturday, December 30, 2006


Nice to see another local product in the Premiership as David Edgar has made the jump to the first team at Newcastle this week. I personally thought Edgar was a possibility to return to Toronto FC but that notion is not likely now. With Kitchener native Edgar at Newcastle, Tomasz Radzinski (North York) at Fulham, and Paul Stalteri (Brampton) at Tottenham - Toronto /
Southwestern Ontario have 3 reps in one of the top leagues in the world. Add the likes of Iain Hume (Brampton), Paul Peschisolido (Pickering/Scarborough), Jason Devos (London), Jaime Peters (Pickering) one has to think the Toronto area is amongst the most productive export areas for soccer talent anywhere in North America (USA & Canada that is) . Add the likes of Jonathan De Guzman at Feynoord and brother Julian De Guzman at Deportivo (both of Scarborough), Atiba Hutchinson (Brampton) - showing his worth in the Champions League with FC Copenhagen to the English based players and the list becomes even more respectable.

Friday, December 29, 2006

NEWS: Paulo Wanchope heading to FC

FC Tokyo that is. Rumours that Wanchope was MLS bound - New York, Colorado, LA were mentioned, have apparently fallen through. I believe Wanchope is a Green Card holder which makes him a valuable MLS asset.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


DC United has been clearing cap room and reports from Brazil have Ruy making his way stateside as the often mentioned Brazilian signing.,,AA1400311-4399,00.html

Saturday, December 23, 2006


This article mentions Sir Mo has shown interest in Steven Pressley, Alan Thompson, & Stephen Pearson.
I'm not quite sure as to why New Jersey based Ives Galarcep picked Matt Holland as a Toronto FC target for his ESPN article - was Ives specualting? or has he been talking to agents or his MLS contacts and the name came up? Mo was in England a couple of weeks ago however Charlton was not one of the teams he went out to watch play. I'm stretching it a little here yet Holland played for Ipswich where many Canadians have played over the years a connection to Craig Forrest may be remotely possible however Forrest was moving on as Holland arrived.

I just pray and ask Sir Mo for one thing - don't waste allocation money on another Peter Canero! The UK hasn't been the best recruiting area for MLS coaches over the years. A bad season and another Peter Canero or two may be big trouble for a budding coach like Sir Mo.

Friday, December 22, 2006


Toronto FC were busy with yet another announcement this time a trade for Alecko Eskandarian.

I'm sure Alecko will be a fan favourite amongst the large Persian fan base in Toronto. Alecko comes from good pedigree as his dad Andranik played for Iran at the 1978 World Cup in Argentina and was one of the most reliable New York Cosmos defenders during his days in the NASL. With two former Cosmos players calling Toronto home - Robert Iarcusi & Carmine Marcantonio it will be quite the Cosmos reunion when he comes north of the border to watch his son play next summer.

I must say I am a fan of Alecko from his play at DC United over the years and he is a proven commodity in the MLS yet I have noticed that he has lost a step or two due to nagging injuries. And to think he has to play 15 games on Field Turf at BMO - there is risk factor to this deal. One can only hope this newest generation of field turf product is better than versions I've played on recently (including a fairly recent installation) because it just doesn't "give" when changing direction as easily as a good natural grass field.

Alecko has been called into the US National team camp by Bob Bradley & Piotr Nowak for their camp next month so we may get to see him in action fairly soon.


The tryouts turned out to be nothing more than a very successful publicity stunt. It was much better planned than I had originally anticipated. What now looks like a well written script included a dream ending for 1 participant - a member of the York University Lions coached by Paul James (James was helping out at the tryouts):

My hope is that the tryouts provided a platform for some of those 13, 14, and 15 year olds to showcase themselves for spots on the youth teams and a future academy.

Thursday, December 21, 2006


Sir Mo revealed some good info about TFC's finances:
- Of the $350,000 in allocation money acquired in trades approx. $175,000 remains after the acquisitions of Ronnie O' Brien & Greg Sutton.
- $1 million of original allocation funds still available
- $800,000 of salary cap still remaining (I am really hoping he meant TFC have used up only $800,000) on 7 players - Reda, Pozniak, Sutton, Braz, O'Brien, Nagamura, Buddle + Brennan who was signed prior to draft
- couple of comments about draft picks - 1 on board chance at another draft pick;
- looking to clear approx. $15ok- $200k off salary cap

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Aston Villa rumored to travel to Canada next summer:

If Villa does come and play in Vancouver as mentioned in the article - one would imagine Toronto FC will make an approach to have them stop over to play at BMO in one of the 5 friendlies.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Generation Adidas!

Tyler Rosenlund a star midfielder for the University of Califronia Santa Barbara (the 2006 NCAA Division 1 Champions) is set to finalize an agreement to become a Generation Adidas player. Although interest in Tyler is coming from more than the one MLS team it looks increasingly like he will be assigned to Toronto FC.

Sunday, December 17, 2006


While I appreciate the tremendous feedback and all the e-mails I am receiving I can not possibly answer every email so here is a run down of some common themes and questions for the many local fans that are new to MLS.

CALIBER OF PLAY: This is not the best league in the world, and at times the play is terribly scrappy and boring. The caliber of the Montreal Impact and Vancouver Whitecaps is not too far off, and some (including myself) may argue on par with some MLS teams. Now some may view this as a revelation or as a negative for a pro sport league in North America, but it really fits the description and nature of soccer across the world and in my opinion what makes our sport great. Lower division teams can compete with higher division teams on any given day. This is what makes promotion and relegation possible, the FA Cup worth following, and for that matter any club or international tournament worth watching. Don't expect the Premiership or Seria A or la Liga but its not bad overall and getting better. And just remember your not paying top league ticket prices either.

While the overall caliber has been improving the league is missing some of the show biz from earlier years. The excitement of watching the likes of Preki, Stoitckov, Valderamma, Nowak or Etcheverry perform or create something special and wonderful that will inspire fans and help develop domestic talent are long gone. With the introduction of the Beckham rule it sounds as if those running the MLS acknowledge that some show biz is again needed.

STYLE OF PLAY: The MLS style is hard to define with so many influences from different parts of the world. It really is a mixture with hints of British, Latin, Eastern European influences combined with that prototypical US College athlete . The tactical side and the coaching has improved unfortunately the style and excitement has given way to negative soccer with some clubs.

HIGH PROFILE PLAYERS: In terms of high profile players the league created a buzz initially by signing some recognizable names to lend credibility, help improve the caliber of play and to sell tickets and sponsorships. The likes of Donadoni, Valderamma, Diaz Arce, Cienfugos, Etcheverry, Zenga, Campos, Sanchez, Ravalli, amongst others in addition to returning US National team players mostly did what they were suppose to do. The league has also had its share of bad investments with Lothar Mattaus, Carlos Hermosillo, Luis Hernandez, Branco, Alain Sutter coming to mind. A big name does not translate into a good investment so for the millions spent on a Lothar Mattaues, I think fans in the long run would much rather see an investment in the likes of Carlos Ruiz, Christian Gomez, Stern John, Damiani Ralph, and our own Dwanyne De Rosario who combined may not have cost the MLS as much money as one of the aforementioned big names.

TORONTO ROSTER: Thus far Sir Mo has assembled a decent looking group on paper. I really like Cancela if he gets a chance to play regularly and Nagamura is a solid young player. O'Brien has proven himself in this league as one of the top players. This may be Buddle's last chance to live up to his potential. As for the Canadians hardly the National team that was advertised months ago, but a very good collection nonetheless. Reda, Pozniak, Brennan will be very good MLS players. Sutton will be amongst the best goalkeepers in the league and certainly on par with the likes of Matt Reis in the Eastern Conference.

Thanks for the feedback it is much appreciated and keep it coming.

Saturday, December 16, 2006


I found it interesting that Robbie Elliot to MLS rumours have surfaced in the UK. Sir Mo went out to take a look at Sunderland play while in England last week and Elliot is currently on the books at Sunderland. Sir Mo has clearly implied recently that his defence will be made up of Canadians, so Elliot does not neccessarily fit the bill for potential singings, yet it is still quite a coincidence that Mo found himself watching Sunderland. It is also very interesting that Los Angeles is said to be the target destination for Elliot as Lalas the LA GM and Sir Mo worked very closely assembling the 2006 Metrostars/Red Bulls - and will probably share many of the same contacts.

Friday, December 15, 2006

SPECULATION: Craig Forrest On Beckham to LA

Former Canadian International Goalkeeper Craig Forrest hints on the FAN 590 Soccer Show last night, that conversations he has had with old buddy & former Ipswich Town & Canada teammate Frank Yallop, lead him to believe a move for David Beckham to the Galaxy may be getting closer.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


According to Sir Mo Johnston who appeared on National TV on the nightly Sportsworld Show on the Score Network:

* Nate Jaqua has been traded to LA for a partial allocation $125,000
* Sir Mo was in London & Newcastle scouting matches last week
* Toronto have $1 million in allocation granted by MLS + $350k from expansion draft trades
* De Rosario to Toronto not happening - suggested Dwayne may be heading to Europe and Toronto will have an opportunity to sign him when he gets back
* Radzinski too expensive not coming home
* getting close to signing a young Canadian - perhaps U20
* Atiba Hutchinson who scored against Celtic last week is too expensive $3 million transfer fee
* several players appearing at the combine next week in Woodbridge Ontario will have top flight experience in Europe & S. America
* Jose Cancela will play for Toronto next year
* getting close on 5 - 6 more signings

Monday, December 11, 2006

OPINION: Klinsmann to Canada

(NO Toronto FC content here)

I am throwing Klinsmann's name into the CSA coaching search resume pile. And why not? If Klinsmann desires control over an organization he can have it all up here in Canada. He can be the Head Coach, Technical Director, CEO/COO (all high paying CSA positions are currently vacant) . He can continue to live in California - takes just about the same amount of time to fly out to California as it does Vancouver from Toronto. I think he even speaks French. Its a perfect fit - if not for a one tiny, tiny detail - money or lack thereof. Canada after all does not have the same financial capabilities of countries like the United States & Mexico let alone Jamaica and Trinidad.

It would be a chance to write the soccer book in Canada from scratch and replace the history of futility created by inept and unqualified people involved in running the Canadian Soccer establishment. Klinsmann is exactly what Canadian soccer requires - credibility.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

MLS Player Restrictions & NAFTA

Random Thought: As the MLS is now an international league can MLS teams place restrictions/limits on the amount of Canadian Players working for the U.S. based teams and American players on Toronto FC? Can labour laws or NAFTA rules play a part in opening the gateways for more Canadians in the MLS?

Sunday, December 3, 2006

SPECULATION: Swede Teddy Lucic headed to Toronto FC ?

Teddy Lucic the Swedish defender (played mid field with his club team this past season) may be an international target for Sir Mo. He is still rated amongst the best Swedish soccer players and would bring with him a wealth of experience - 3 World Cups, English Premiership, Bundesliga, Swedan, Seria A. Definitely not a Beckham Rule type signing and may still have 2 -3 good years left in his tank.

His affinity for the Toronto Maple Leafs Hockey Club is noted in the bio below:

Saturday, December 2, 2006


In a surprise move The Score - Canada's third all sports network behind TSN & Rogers Sportsnet has made a big move into the Soccer market. With ratings and interest in soccer at all time high in Canada - the Score has paid over $1 million per season to carry the English top flight. Some are suggesting that an MLS deal is also the works, with Gerry Dobson confirming Sportsnet is also interested.

Friday, December 1, 2006

RUMOUR: Carmine Isacco to join Toronto FC Coaching Staff?

This is a name floating around the Toronto soccer scene as a possible GK coach for TFC. Isacco was an all American at Maryland and has represented Canada. Has been involved with youth soccer for many years and played at various levels of the professional & semi-pro level as well as sitnts in the NPSL & A-League. He would be leaving a pretty decent pay cheque as head coach at the University of Toronto if he indeed takes on a full time job with Toronto FC.

As Bob Gansler was his coach during his days with the Milwaukee Rampage it looks increasingly like Isacco may be the mysterious third coach joining Sir Mo.