Saturday, March 3, 2007


Two slightly different versions of the same article by Dean McNulty of the Toronto Sun have surfaced this morning. The first was in the Toronto Sun, while the other ran in the London Free Press, hometown of TFC Supplemental pick Tyler Hemming. Hemming has survived yet another obstacle, and will remain with the team as they move to Bradenton, Florida. The Hartwick College star, has yet to sign a contract with Toronto FC at this point. Mo Johnston has changed his tune, and has said he will now be willing to use the number one allocation on Conor Casey.

York University product, and open tryout survivor Jamaal Smith, has apparently been recalled to the team, and is also expected to be in Florida next week.

Bill Lankof of the Sun, takes a shot at Toronto FC this morning. Basically claims Toronto FC have been invisible. He has a point in a way. I mean aside from die hard fans, there are many who have no clue about the players on the team. Most of the discussion in the media has been about ticket sales and the like, with little focus on who and what to expect this coming year. I know of a few season ticket holders, that honestly couldn't tell you one name on the Toronto FC roster. One of them was actually convinced TFC had drafted Freddy Adu - instead of Maurice Edu. I couldn't change his mind, and he still believes I'm wrong. A few others believed MLS was an upstart league until I set them straight. All have unrealistic expectations of what MLS is all about, mainly due to the Beckham signing. They wonder why Alessandro del Piero, Luis Figo, or Michael Owen (or in some cases all three) haven't been signed yet. This level of expectation has been known to hurt MLS clubs in the past, the best example being New York, where the fan base has dwindled since 1996. One advantage Toronto does have however, is the tidy 20,000 seat Soccer Specific Stadium (although if it were truly "soccer specific" the field would be natural grass) from the get go. Here's the link:

An article in the Toronto Star today, mentions players in contention for the U-20 National team participating with Toronto FC in training this winter - Stephen Lumley, Andrea Lombardo, AJ Gray and Gabe Gala.


Aljarov a.k.a Al Clark said...

Invisibile? There's been a stream of news coverage, the tryouts, the pub crawls, the billboards, the seaosn ticket news, Beckham and how that has drawn attention to the team. All in all it seems TFC have been very promoinent, though I;m not in TO.


As Sir Mo said himself - "he hasn't seen this type of media coverage and attention since leaving Europe."

Honestly, the amount of coverage has been great and much better than expected (I mean a tv crew & 2 reporters from the papers in Florida) What else can we honestly ask for at this point.

Toronto will have the best "local" media presence in the league bar none - including LA. The big question is not the quantity though, rather it concerns the quality, and content of the coverage we recieve.

That said, Al, you and I have been following MLS for a long time now- we understand the drill in terms of the general lack of information out there. Fans read these stupid blogs and message boards because they have no other choice (from doing this blog I can tell you the fans aren't alone, many in the media, and from the MLS teams themseleves check in on a daily basis). Fans can;t expect to follow MLS in the same manner as they would higher profile sports.
What would we have done without the people at Matchnight and similar pages that have come and gone over the years????

The so called soccer experts/commentators are going through a major learning curve themselves. MLS has largely been ignored in Canada, even by these "soccer experts" who continue to surface. Look at how many mistakes we've seen thus far from the guys getting paid to cover the team. Even Toronto FC itself has made a blunder or two on their very own website. Yesterday, one of the beat writers actually suggested Toronto may consider purchasing all the allocations from #2-#5. We both know that to be absurd, like saying an NFL team will trade for the first 5 picks in the draft. Other writers stick to articles about ticket sales because its safe. They may have nothing to offer with repsect to the soccer side of things. For the example, the article about the players arriving late to practice the other morning, was very interesting - but what the hell actually happened at the practice should come first imo. I mean who was at the practice, what were they doing, who's out injured, how did they get injured, etc.

Everything will come in time I hope. I just pray the new fans to MLS here in Toronto (many who write me emails complaning about the lack of real news coverage) are just as patient as you and I have been over the years Al.