Well there is absolutely no news to roundup, not even an update on how many cookies Adam Braz has been eating, or the subtle Florida weather updates thrown in to each of the TFC official releases. I'm convinced those weather updates are meant to rub it in to all of us stuck in the GTA.
The reports concerning Zinadine Zidane, are being downplayed and outright shot down by the Chicago Fire GM Steve Guppy and head coach Dave Sarachan. The earlier approach made by the Fire for Zidane, apparently came via Chicago Fire French import midfielder Pascal Bedrossian, who is reportedly a very close friend of Zidane's brother in France. One thing is certain - if your splitting a ticket package with someone, hold on dearly to the 2 Chicago Fire games. While David Beckham may be a media celebrity, Zidane is a football legend. Chicago has cleared quite a bit of cap room off their roster and have not followed up with any big signings. So lets keep a close eye on this rumour.
With all the hoopla over the tickets from the negative article about TFC/MLSE sales policies the other day in the Toronto Star, you can't help but wonder what happens next year when the Beckham factor, as well as the curiosity over the team and stadium wear off. As much as I love MLS, and believe in it, the reality is many fans (which is probably 99% of the season ticket base) have never been exposed to MLS soccer. Many will surely be disappointed by the caliber of play if they compare it to the top leagues they watch from Europe of South America. They'll also complain about the field turf, the lack of media coverage, the stadium location, anything and everything to put TFC down. To boot if TFC stink on the field, which is what most expansion teams tend to do, then were in big trouble. I'm convinced that in Toronto the biggest battle to get pro soccer established is not with those that hate soccer, rather it is with those that love it.
If the renewal rate for seasons tickets is anything less than 100% next year, the anti-soccer media is going to publicly crucify Toronto FC & MLSE. Every "good news" ticket article this spring moreover, will be followed by negative stories next year. The anti-soccer media is waiting to come out screaming "failure" and "I told you so", and "white elephant", with regard to BMO. Heck, most people were pumped when TFC were on course to beat original estimates, and thought 7000 would be a fantastic number to reach. The bar has now been raised, and it's a lofty one (approx. 13000).
I guess this is a wonderful problem to have if your MLSE. An easy solution of course will be signing a well known, Designated Player from Italy, Portugal, Greece, or England (as you all know I can continue this list forever, so don't get upset if I missed your nationality - heck don't they get something like 3000 people out to watch a local Somalian tournament at Centennial Stadium each summer?).
Anyway, Sir Mo is proving to be quite the wheeler dealer. I mean you can't lose a trade if the players you send away can't play for the other team. Toronto FC Expansion draft picks Tim Regan & Adrian Serioux, both since traded away, are out with serious long term injuries. A word of caution to the people at MLSE - keep Sir Mo out of your playoff hockey pools.
Ok, now on to the trivia answers for the questions posted the other day: (if I'm wrong or I missed someone send me an email)
(1) The two MLS head coaches who were involved with the Toronto Blizzard are Bob Houghton who coached Colorado in 1996, and Argentine legend Carlos "Cacho" Cordoba who was the original coach of the Miami Fusion in 1998. Cordoba was also an assistant to Dave Dir in Dallas for a couple of years .
(2) The 4 former Toronto Blizzard players who suited up for MLS teams are: Alex Bunbury (KC), Pat Harrington (KC), Pat Onstad (SJ/HOU), and American Ted Eck (Dallas)
(3) Indoor Soccer legend Hector Marinaro, is the leading point man in the history of pro indoor soccer. Marinaro, has been a big part of the Cleveland soccer community for many years now. His father Hector Marinaro Sr., a player of great pedigree himself in Latin America, had been involved with many pro soccer teams over the years in various capacities in the Toronto area. The famous North York Rockets bus from the CSL days, some of you may remember, was run by Marinaro.
(4) The NHL hockey question was very easy - Peter Zezel who played with the Leafs, Philadelphia Flyers amongst others was drafted by the Toronto Blizzard and played for the North York Rockets in the Canadian Soccer League. Tie Domi formerly of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and New York Rangers played one summer in the Puma International Pro League at Lamport Stadium for a Macedonian Selection.
According to his youth team coach (who also coached Paul Peschisilido) current NHL'er Mike Ricci of the Phenoix Coyotes was also a high caliber youth soccer player. Former Leafs Gary Leeman & Nick Kypreos are a couple of others who were said to be quality youth soccer players, as was former Buffalo Bills NFL kicker Scott Norwood who hails from Oakville, Ontario.
(5) The correct answer is former Arsenal man Anders Limpar who played a couple of seasons for the Colorado Rapids. Someone smartly offered Frenchman Gilles Grimandi who I'd forgot totally about, though technically he never played in a regular season game for the Rapids.
A bit of TFC Soccer Trivia happened this week as well - the first goal scorer in an official game was Colombian Hector Hurtado, who may not be with the team at all come April.