As I wrote in my previous post, TFC director and head coach Aaron Winter had seen enough after losses in NY and Houston and promised trades. Did he ever mean it!
Out are Alan Gordon, Nana Attakora and Jacob Peterson, in comes Ryan Johnson and an international spot TFC can use to sign the big defender they have been seeking.
Being the one man who travels all MLS games with this team, I have gotten to know a little about some of the players through various conversations in different settings. I have to say that two of the three on their way out I will miss and I think TFC will miss as well. Will they be missed for the means of winning a playoff spot?, only time will tell, and on the other hand we will never know.
Since his arrival in Toronto at the start of this season Alan Gordon was a polite, seemingly honest and up front, aloof kind of personality. The latter description referring his “Californian” styles. Gordon wanted to prove himself with TFC and did by having an impact on almost every game he played. If there is a weakness in Gordon’s game its his health. For whatever reason, Alan just has that Aura of being “breakable”.
Jacob Peterson and I would chat the odd time waiting at the airport. Our talks were rarely about TFC but moreso about life and his background. A sincere and polite young man who admitted he was frustrated with the way his time was going in Toronto. Jacob never blamed a coach or teammate for his up and down stay. Peterson put it on himself, and to bad luck with regards to injuries suffered this year in particular.
As far as Nana goes, I spoke with him a few times and he too was kind enough, but there was a distance to him at times and he seemed pre-occupied with whatever else was going on off the pitch. What Toronto FC needs now is a player who is focused on his job at practice and between the lines on game day. Yes all players have issues off the field with respect to contracts etc. But in my opinion there is a time and way of handling these things so it does not become something that ultimately hurts the team. I know for fact, if Nana was focused on football/soccer and left the rest alone for the right time, he would have been playing and would likely still be in Toronto.
Newly acquired Ryan Johnson from San Jose did have a good season in MLS in 2009. Since then, San Jose fans could not wait for the day the Quakes got rid of the Jamaican National. The Reds are hoping his addition along with that of Koevermans and Frings for their next game vs. Dallas, will provide as many scoring chances on a more frequent basis, as Alan Gordon could muster when he was fit.
Winter did not like the attitude and culture some of the players were/are putting out their so far this season. I don’t expect Aaron and Paul Mariner and Bob de Klerk are done making changes to this years side.