It’s back to square one for Toronto FC.
In one quick move, Tom Anselmi, executive-vice president and chief operating officer of Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment, announced Tuesday that general manager Mo Johnston and head coach Preki Radosavljevic were relieved of their duties.
“At the end of the day, it’s a results-oriented business and the results just weren’t there,” Anselmi told reporters.
Nick Dasovic was named interim head coach and Earl Cochrane, manager of team operations, took over as interim general manager.
Dasovic’s coaching career started in 2002 as a player/assistant with the Vancouver Whitecaps. Currently, he is a man wearing many hats: an assistant coach for the Canadian men’s national team and has been the head coach of the Canadian under-23 team since 2008.
His style is just as demanding as Preki but he allows his players to have a little more fun.
“The one big thing is to get the guys relaxed a little, get them enjoying football,” said Dasovic.
“I want guys like Julian [de Guzman] and DeRo [Dwayne De Rosario] and all our big players to enjoy and express themselves.”
Dasovic becomes the fifth man to serve as head coach in the nearly four-year history of the club. Johnston was the first, followed by John Carver, Chris Cummings and Preki.
Playoff hopes still alive
Toronto FC (7-10-7) is on a six-game winless streak but still have six games remaining in the MLS season and four more in the CONCACAF Champions League.
While the chance of making the MLS playoffs is slim, the opportunity still exists.
“Short-term we’ve got six games remaining in the regular season of MLS,” said Anselmi.
“The players play up to their potential we believe we can still make the playoffs.”
Poor effort the final straw
The changes came three days after a lacklustre effort at BMO Field.
Needing a win to keep their slim post-season dreams alive, TFC turned in an abysmal performance against D.C. United, the league’s cellar dwellers. The 1-0 loss was not received well by the support groups, who hurled verbal raspberries at the team as they left the pitch.
Time is right for a change
With Toronto hosting the MLS Cup in November and the team on the verge of missing the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year, Anselmi felt the time was right for a total change of direction.
“What we have seen over the last several weeks was [that] the team was heading in the wrong direction but it was even bigger than that,” said Anselmi.
“The situation was not right, that’s the best way I can describe it.”
Past coaching results
Johnston was the first coach in TFC history and his tenure resulted in six wins in 30 games. Carver replaced the Scot to start the 2008 season and resigned for personal reasons on April 29, 2009, after compiling 10 regular-season victories in 25 games.
Cummins took over for the remainder of the season and guided the Reds to nine wins in 25 games.