Until owners MLSE funded several big-money signings this past off-season, Toronto was a revolving door of mediocrity. At last count, the club had given MLS minutes to over 150 players in just over seven seasons. Such was the team’s shotgun approach, you can form a playoff-ready XI from former Toronto FC players still active in MLS like Joao Plata, Matias Laba and Maxi Urruti.
There’s a small group of coaches with Canadian roots working abroad, from the glamour of top divisions to lower tiers across the globe. For his part, Canadian-born Dwight Lodeweges was recently in the headlines when hundreds of SC Cambuur fans demanded his immediate resignation as manager…
Toronto FC’s big-money signings are expected to lead the Reds’ playoff charge this year, but expectations of easily qualifying for the postseason are likely unfounded. A reasonable target for the Reds in the Eastern Conference is one that Jermain Defoe can relate to – a top 4 finish.
Watching Canada’s women’s national team can be a blast. John Herdman’s girls showed at the 2012 Olympics that they can entertain and play good football, but casual fans often feel more like it’s an obligation or a chore to support our women’s team. It doesn’t need to be – but yesterday’s 0-0 draw against Mexico at BC Place won’t have done much to convince them.
Toronto FC have been public in their desire for a big-name striker next season, with recent reports suggesting that Italian Alberto Gilardino has supplanted Jermain Defoe at the top of the club’s list. There’s one hitch – both players are likely to stay in Europe until after the World Cup this summer, and looking at the history of big-money Designated Players, that doesn’t bode well for Toronto FC’s 2014 season.
Two of the three Canadian MLS teams were in action away from home on Saturday, but neither could take anything from their respective road trips. Vancouver’s playoff hopes are looking like a distant memory after a 3-1 collapse in Dallas, while Toronto fell 2-0 at Portland Timbers in the first game of the post-Kevin Payne era.
Montreal were back in form this weekend and now top the MLS Eastern Conference. Although they still have to balance the league run-in with CONCACAF Champions League play, last night’s 5-0 win over Houston showed that Marco Schällibaum’s men could be on course for a Voyageurs and MLS Cup double.