Archive for January, 2011
Monday, January 31st, 2011
Toronto FC and Nick Dasovic are about to part company. I am not a fan of this move for both soccer and I will admit, personal reasons. Over the weekend, a source within the team confirmed what was last weeks speculation . I am not sure at this point as to the “whys” but I will say I do think Toronto FC has made a mistake and missed an opportunity here to grow a relationship with a Canadian up and coming coach.
Dasovic has witnessed plenty of In’s and outs with coaches and players since his arrival to Toronto FC. My knowing Nick goes back to United Soccer League days calling Toronto Lynx games at Centennial Park in Etobicoke. Always a personable man, Nick’s absolute love of the game is visible from the moment you take five seconds to talk about the game with him. Toronto FC has reportedly in the past made promises to keep Dasovic in the fold during coaching changes, but those promises were allegedly never held up by the club. That is the peril of a pro sports business , I understand that as I am sure Nick does as well.
Toronto FC in my opinion does need Canadian content on the sidelines. The goal of Toronto FC is to sell tickets, make no mistake. They can do that by winning games and championships. I feel the club should also continue its mandate to help grow the game of soccer in Canada on a national level. While players making hundreds of thousands of dollars are taking moments out of a game to show up management by mocking the signing of a cheque, all Nick Dasovic has done is do whatever the team has asked of him, including going on some alleged scouting trip while he and then coach Preki were clearly not on the same page. So it is odd that the man who was asked to step in for Preki’s failures and take the reigns in Toronto is now clearly made to feel like his coaching thoughts and opinions are no longer wanted.
In my conversations with Nick Dasovic, it was clear to me he understood the North American pro game, and why shouldn’t he, that’s been his soccer tutor since 1993-94 with the Montreal Impact. Players needed, strategy shared, all made good sense for Toronto FC going forward. All Nick needed was for others to get out of his way in trying to acquire the players he felt were necessary to win in MLS.
Seems now Toronto and Nick Dasovic are getting out of each others way, and I for one feel this is one The Red’s let get away, instead of hanging onto and grooming for the sake of the club but also for soccer in Canada.
Wednesday, January 26th, 2011
By: David Alter
One day after reporting for medicals, staff and members of Toronto FC met the media to discuss their expectations for the upcoming season. There are several issues that the new management need to address-most notably-Dwayne De Rosario and his status for this year. He’s clearly not happy with his current contract and hopes to have something new done before the season starts.
De Rosario also discusses his time with Celtic FC and tries to address the confusion behind his time in Scotland.
Julian de Guzman talks about his knee injury and how far along he is from returning.
Nana Attakora discusses how the current managment team has taken a different approach to the upcoming season.
Check out the audio report which features my one-on-one with team captain Dwayne De Rosario
Friday, January 14th, 2011
A quick thought or two on Toronto FC’s draft day trade of forward Chad Barrett. I am just bouncing back from a nasty nasal infection that floored me for over a week after the world juniors. I cleared my head just enough, and pumped up on antibiotics to follow the draft on-line Thursday.
Chad Barrett to LA. I like Chad as a player and as a young man growing into his role on and off the field. I appreciated his efforts both on and off the pitch. As a newcomer to Toronto Chad had some growing up to do, but he was only in his early 20′s so I cut he and memories of me at that age some slack. Last season TFC made sure some poor influences were removed from the team and hence Barrett’s space became his own, instead of he and a back up goalie who talked too much for a guy who did not play very much at all.
The important thing for Barrett is he battled through the Downs of his early years in MLS. Chad’s efforts outweighed for me the missed opportunities that were littered throughout his 2009 season in particular. Last season Chad grew to become the teams second leading scorer with his seven goals, but more importantly, he developed a real “touch” to his service game.
Chad’s tenacity to get to the ball and fight for possession will be missed up front. Toronto fans I think liked Barrett for the fact he wanted to win, he wanted the ball, despite hearing the moans and groans from fans born of his missed chances to put the ball in the back of the net.
In the end money seemed to be root of this trade. To lose a player who fought for this city’s team, and played hard for the crest he worse every game is a shame. It is a trade predicted by many as last season was winding down.
Now with LA the pressure is only on Chad to support an already good cast, despite the loss of Buddle to Europe. Barrett I think will be a key piece to the Galaxy’s chase for a tile while Toronto rebuild once again. I wish him well.
Saturday, January 1st, 2011
In all my years covering this World Junior Tournament I have never witnessed a coach showing up a young group of players, a nation or a coach the way Sweden’s Roger Ronnberg. After Sweden beat Canada in a SHOOT OUT New Years Eve in Buffalo, Sweden’s coach felt it was necessary to rub a little salt in the small wound by suggesting Russia and The Czech;s gave the Swede’s tougher games than Canada. Maybe true, but rarely said in the manner Ronnberg did last night. This morning in Buffalo, Team Canada coach Dave Cameron would not take the bait. Well ok, maybe he would just a little.
Cameron responded to the comment this morning by saying “He won, he can say what he wants, they’re the king of the mountain right now.” Cameron added, he also wished there was a shinny game he could play against Ronnberg without any media present.
Issues covered today in the meeting Dave include, Goalies…no decision until later Saturday as to who will start aganst The Swiss tomorrow in the quarter final.
Kassians return, could play centre to get his legs moving, and what a huge addition to the power play and physical game, plus the fact it allows Canada to roll four lines.
Handling a loss….Mentioned how the players were schooled on the last five world juniors and how each tournament has its moments where medals are decided on one shot, one moment. Showing how tough it is to win this event.
In his parting shot, Cameron asked the gathering who it was in the group that said his media training must have come from the KGB? That member of the media who made the remark did not show his face this morning. I won’t out of professional courtesy name the person most suggested made the remark, I will lave it up to him or her to fess up to. I have known Dave Cameron for many years as a coach in the OHL. Into my tenth year calling Majors play by play and Cameron has been there most of those years. Dave is one of the most intriguing, passionate, and caring people I have ever met. I know of the caring element from talking to his players and hearing how he is there for them, often at the expense of his own family time. I know of the passion because I see it every night. The intrigue comes from a few conversations Dave has shared with me in his office over the years. While those meeting have been few, they are moments I will never forget. To hear Dave talk about his passion for the game, the kids, hockey players period, is fascinating. Dave is also the first to admit he is not a huge fan of the part of his job that requires he talk to the media. It’s not that he does not like to talk about hockey, he is just so very focused, at times the tunnel vision we all get at times, clouds the perspective of the fact others around him are also trying to do their job as he is trying to do his.
Dave Cameron is a not a coach or media interview for everyone. But if you want a man who will be straight with you, look you in the eyes, and never mislead you, then Cameron is your man. Right now I believe for this team and in this tournament Dave is the right man for the job.