Crazy like a fox!
That is the only way you can describe the history of Toronto FC.
When they arrived in MLS in 2006 they symbolized many things including the rise of the supporters groups.
I never forget calling their first ever game at BMO Field along the Toronto lake shore on HDNET with a full house and a passionate supporters group and fan base that made us in the booth feel as though we were in Europe.
At the time you felt they just might be on course to lead the way.
Truth is it the product was never prioritized but selling beer and poor quality soccer was. It has bit TFC in the proverbial ____ who now struggle to get fans.
Initial hires were poor ones.
They were dead last in MLS this past season. To be fair the injury to striker Danny Koevermanns was a huge blow for then coach Paul Mariner.
They have inexplicably over the years in MLS lacked any consistency ripping through players and coaches in the meanwhile wasting away the loyalty and trust of fans.
Were all these coaches in-capable?
The solution is GM Kevin Payne who comes from DC United and now is entrusted with making TFC respectable and believable in MLS.
One of his first decisions has been to make a controversial hiring as coach in current QPR player Ryan Nelsen who played for him at DC United.
Nelsen replaces Paul Mariner but has no experience as a manager which will all know is alot different than being an inspirational center back and captain.
Nelsen is currently playing for QPR and manager Harry Redknapp trying to help that club avoid relegation so Nelsen will miss the MLS draft, training camp and MLS games until the EPL season is over in May which makes this not an ideal situation.
That means in the meantime assistants like Fran O’Leary, Jim Brennan, Jason Bent and Stewart Kerr. Former DC United coach Thomas Rongen runs their youth set-up and is connected to Payne based on his days at DC and with U.S. Soccer where Payne has been influential .
It will be interesting to see how this story unfolds and if Toronto FC truly wants to achieve in MLS or just exist. I am just scratching my head as to why it has taken seven seasons to figure out you need a competitive, hard team that will never give up and will never die?