How dire has Toronto FC’s situation gotten?
The desperation is so evident that the beleaguered MLS franchise has hired a consultant group to help in the search of finding a new general manager.
Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment is looking for some aid in rebuilding a team that just came off another atrocious season.
On Tuesday, MLSE chief operating officer Tom Anselmi said management is close to finalizing an agreement with a company with “some names you’ll recognize” that will go through the whole operation of the team.
“The new boss will make all the decisions around the soccer business,” Anselmi said.
After firing Mo Johnston and coach Preki last month, the front office decided to name Earl Cochrane and Nick Dasovic for the interim positions of director of soccer operations and coach, respectively.
One of those decisions the GM will make is whether Cochrane should keep the title or find a new face for the job.
Cochrane has also expressed his interest in becoming the general manager, but would not be disappointed to return to his current position of heading the TFC Academy youth program if the team goes in another direction.
“I want to be here for a long period of time,” said Cochrane.
However, Anselmi assured Cochrane that he will have a part in the front office even after the arrival of the new boss.
On the coaching front, there was a slight change in the general performance of the Reds after Dasovic took over.
The offence showed a steady improvement but the defensive line could not function effectively as a wall.
“In the last six games we played we scored 11 goals, and in 24 we scored 22 goals,” said Dasovic.
“With that current rate we would have scored 50-plus goals. On the other side, our defending, we allowed too many goals, and that’s why you don’t win games.”
Continuity could be the answer
For some players, as in the case of defender Nana Attakora, one of the main problems the club is facing is a lack of “steadiness” since joining the MLS in 2007.
“I think we need more stability within the club,” said Attakora. “Five different head coaches in four years isn’t the way to get it done. But I think the club has learned its lesson.”
Also, aiming for big names or skilled players from other soccer markets in the off-season should not be a priority.
Instead, the Reds should acquire players who can adapt to the style and environment of the MLS.
At the end, Anselmi is more concerned about finding the right person who can make the shrewd moves.
“The objective is [to find someone] as soon as possible. But most important is getting the right guy. And if that takes more time, then we need to wait.”
Anselmi might not be rushing to hire a new general manager, but he should consider finding the right man before beginning the search for new players.
Patience is a virtue that general managers need in this league to be successful.
And certainly, building a successful team cannot occur overnight.