We Will Be Creative

TFC coach Paul Mariner gives fans something new to consider and hope for next season
by Sonja Missio   |   Monday, November 19, 2012

Red Dawn Rising - column on Toronto FC (TFC) & the Toronto Ontario soccer scene

After a few quiet, end-of-season weeks from the Toronto FC camp, the club began making headlines once again when it announced the release of six players.

But although Adrian Cann, Oscar Cordon, Ty Harden, Nicholas Lindsay, Keith Makubuya and Dicoy Williams parted ways with the club as per Thursday’s announcement, head coach and director of soccer operations, Paul Mariner, reassured TFC fans soon afterwards.

Appearing on Soccer Central’s Matchday program on Saturday afternoon, Mariner discussed the releases. He noted the contributions of both Cann and Harden, recognizing their “fantastic services to the club.” He also revealed that the club was looking to help the six players find new placements.

“As a club we don’t just throw people to the side and say ‘you’re no good’ and that’s it,” Mariner explained to hosts Gerry Dobson and Craig Forest. Eyebrows were raised about the six players released, especially when three of them – Cordon, Lindsay and Makubuya – had been products of the Toronto FC Academy.

Cann was also a surprise release to unsuspecting supporters, as the Canadian was a bit of a fan favorite. However, with a history of injury and this season’s terrible defensive line, the decisions made by the club do make sense. Harden and Cann did not make the contributions to the club that were expected of them. And freeing up the salary cap would help in future signings.

Speaking of which, Mariner did shed light on the upcoming season, re-confirming his position as head coach. He also disclosed that he has been in Europe since Halloween (thanks for letting me know, Paul, I was there too; we could have hung out, geez). He’s been scouting in Scandinavia and Cyprus.

He gave no other details, but hinted that the club was in a position where it was just waiting for confirmations from targeted players.

I’ll be honest: I expected the interview to be much different. I was waiting for the usual TFC buzz words to come out as to why next season would be different.

But they didn’t. In fact, Mariner said something noteworthy, something that I hope he will be sincere about: “We’ve got to be creative. We will be creative.”

“Creative” would not be the first word I would use to describe TFC, but I wish it would be. Granted, the quote is taken while discussing salary cap and future designated players, but let’s stop and think about it for a second. Let’s take the quote out of context: imagine if Toronto FC had a creative style of play.

Soccer tactics and formations have never been my strong suit. Don’t get me wrong, I’m the best at screaming at players for what they’re doing wrong from my couch in my living room, but I am no Jonathon Wilson. However, even someone like me can see something is not quite right with Toronto FC; the team’s just slightly out of sync. I want to watch a game and think, “Man, that was pretty fantastic.” I want to rub my eyes in disbelief. I want to talk about a lead-up to a goal, not just a goal itself.

Though, right now, I would settle for “just a goal” at the beginning of next season.

As Mariner said in the interview, “it’s been difficult,” and he’s absolutely right. However, I am going to remain positive over the upcoming months that Toronto will do something. That maybe the promise of creativity will spill into the season. I mean, if it’s happening for the Blue Jays, maybe all Toronto sports teams are under some sort of restructuring renaissance.

Maybe.

Well, whatever. The only way to survive watching sports in this city is to be delusional anyway. Speaking of, don’t think that I haven’t convinced myself that “scouting in Scandinavia” wasn’t code for “I am trying to bring back Toronto FC hero Chad Barrett.”

To end on a positive note, Toronto FC’s Eric Hassli is up for the 2012 FIFA Puskas award. Sure, it was a goal that he scored against Toronto, when he played for the Vancouver Whitecaps, but it’s Ibrahimovic-esque all the same. You can view and vote for it here

Sonja MISSIO

Nationality:
Canada
College:
Univ. of Guelph, Univ. of W. Ontario, Brock University
Club Domestic:
Toronto FC
Club Foreign:
Udinese
Supported Udinese since birth, TFC was her own stupid decision; writing on her masochistic relationship with soccer started after. Doomed as a Canadian - Friulano - Swiss - Filipina. Searching for Juventini actually from Turin and running for FIFA Prez.
SONJA'S SPONSORS