Toronto FC’s disgraceful freefall in MLS is not only about wrong decisions. At least, that’s what interim coach Nick Dasovic thinks.
Dasovic believes one of the most important things that the players have is character.
“Character is the most important thing for me,” Dasovic told The Fan 590 during and interview with soccer hosts Nigel Reed and Bob Iarusci.
“The last 10 games there were a lot of players that showed character. Is not a lot of players but that to me is the biggest thing.”
The Reds had difficult times in the league and, once again, didn’t make it to the playoffs.
But this time, there was something else that went wrong. Even during a disastrous season, Tom Anselmi, chief operating officer of Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment, announced the franchise would raise ticket prices in certain section, further infuriated an already frustrated fan base.
Feeling the wrath of TFC’s faithful, Anselmi later apologized for the team’s bad season.
“What this team needs to do is to engage the fans. You can have the best team in the MLS but if you don’t have followers it doesn’t really make sense,” said Dasovic.
The Vancouver native also highlighted the way players have been preparing for the games and the passion they have in every match.
Coming from a tough situation after firing general manager Mo Johnston and head coach Preki Radosavljevic in mid-season, the players absorbed a lot of pain but they have learned to come through this very well, according to Dasovic.
The 41-year-old also admitted that they are still working with young kids that come from the Toronto FC academy. However, this won’t be the main objective of the team.
“We keep bringing those kids. At least four academy kids will be in the roster for the next season.
“We want to win. We want to prove to fans that we can win. If they are Canadians we will go for them but if they are not good we will look to another direction,” said Dasovic.
Who is playing on Saturday?
Though chances to make the playoffs are officially over, Toronto FC keeps finishes its home regular season Saturday (4 p.m. ET) against the Columbus Crew.
Dasovic will not be able to use most of his best players mostly because of injury problems.
The team trained Thursday at Cherry Beach where strikers Chad Barrett and Mista watched teammates getting ready for their last performance in front of their fans.
While Barrett is still struggling with a hamstring injury, Mista is recovering from a foot injury.
Captain Dwayne De Rosario will also miss the game against the Crew due to a one-match suspension.
Martin Saric also has a hamstring problem and it is not very likely he’ll play.
The Reds will miss a total of eight players, including long time absentees Amadou Sanyang and Emmanuel Gomez.