Toronto FC: Players Field Guide

Everything you want to know about Toronto FC’s current roster! Warning: may be slightly bias.
by Sonja Missio   |   Monday, December 24, 2012

A few months ago, I was on a plane flying back to Toronto wearing a Toronto FC zipup hoodie. As the flight attendant handed me a cup of coffee, she inquired about my outfit:

“Does FC stand for Fight Club?”

“No, Football Club, but, like, soccer.”

“Oh! Do you play for them?

*Pause*

“Yes. Yes I do.”

You’d be surprised, but this is not an isolated case of a lack of awareness for Toronto FC. Most of my friends, colleagues and loved ones, along with those random strangers on the subway, will be quick to tell me that they know nothing about the team and that they “couldn’t name a single player if their life depended on it.”

Now, my mother does not “share” my articles on Facebook because none of her friends will understand it. My father has informed me that he will read me when I “write about a real team.” My best friend constantly tells me that while he likes reading me, he just doesn’t understand what I’m talking about. And even my European soccer friends claim that they don’t really “get” Toronto FC.

All of this subtle rejection has got me thinking: maybe I should go back to the basics. So, I will take advantage of a quiet offseason and try to explain the team that I love in the best way I can.

Here is my Christmas present to you, all of my Toronto FC awareness lacking readers: a field guide to the current TFC (that stands for Toronto FC) squad.

God help me if there’s any changes between now and when this article gets posted. 

Goalkeepers

Stefan Frei

Frei has become the face, and heart, of Toronto FC. I am sure that my bias towards my fellow countryman comes as no surprise. But Frei offers more than just someone I can discuss Sprüngli, knöpfle, and the Masoala Rainforest at Zoo Zürich with. Despite being injured for most of the season, the TFC veteran has become a fan favourite for his enthusiasm on and off the pitch. His love for the team is apparent as in between fitness training, he has also been responsible for creating TFC tifo. However, despite his artistic abilities, every Toronto fan is counting down the days until he is back in net so he can keep away any goals.

Quillan Roberts

Roberts hasn’t really had a chance to shine for Toronto FC yet, but any U-17 Canadian fan will remember this goal as the reason why he stole Canadian hearts.  

Defenders

Richard Eckersley     

Eckersely is fun to watch, mainly because you are never exactly sure what he is going to do next. Of course, by “fun,” I mean, “painfully excruciating,” as what he does next usually results in some sort of card. Regardless, he has been a constant player for Toronto, even earning his own hashtag, #EcksNotBecks, during the 2011 CONCACAF Champions League Toronto FC versus LA Galaxy series.  

Ashtone Morgan

Morgan is not only a fan favourite, but also the poster boy for Canadian soccer. A Toronto FC Academy graduate, he was also their first call up to play for the Canadian Men’s National Team in 2011. Still a young player, he has the chance to become the face of soccer in Canada, and is already someone to watch both at club and international level.

Doneil Henry

Like Morgan, Henry has the potential to be a homegrown hero. He was the first from the Toronto FC Academy to sign for Toronto FC. More recently, he was called up to the Canadian Men’s National Team. Henry also has scored one goal for Toronto FC, which, hey, considering the team’s record last season, is a pretty big deal.

Darren O'Dea

Despite being signed to Toronto only at the end of August, O’Dea has already made an appearance as the team’s captain. The former Celtic player – who has bounced around to other teams before signing with Toronto – also recently won the 2012 Ireland Young International Player of the Year Award. Though O’Dea has only played a handful of end-of-season games for Toronto – in between call ups for the Irish national team – I am actually quite interested in seeing what he can do for Toronto next season; a player for sure to watch out for.

Logan Emory

I am still on the fence on Emory. Cop out answer? Maybe. But I’d like to see more from the American before I make any decisions. I have actually talked about him several times to several people, and I am hoping my thoughts on his potential turn out to be correct.

Midfielders

Terry Dunfield

Once again, this blurb might be bias, as after Chad Barrett, Dunfield is my favourite all-time Toronto FC player. The Canadian International plays with heart and soul, and while not always the best, he’s the guy to root for on the pitch (much like Barrett). Also, in my humble opinion, Dunfield was responsible for the most important goal of Toronto FC’s short history: a late stoppage winner against his former team, Vancouver Whitecaps.

Torsten Frings

Frings is a retired German international who formerly played in the Bundsliga with teams such as Werder Bremen, Borussia Dortmund, and Bayern Munich. In other words, I imagine he spends most of his time in Toronto thinking, “Scheiße! Was zum Teufel mache Ich da?!” Regardless, Toronto is happy to have him and though he is currently sidelined due to a hip injury, the team – and its fans – are eagerly awaiting the return of their captain.

Reggie Lambe

Like Emroy, I am on the fence with Lambe. Everyone I have ever spoken to has told me to give the kid a chance, but I need to see more. The two of them are on my “Players to Watch” list, which we won’t get into now.

Luis Silva 

Signing in 2012, Silva’s career with Toronto FC has been an interesting one so far. He first made headlines with the club when he was arrested in Houston – along with former TFC teammates Miguel Aceval and Nick Soolsma – for public intoxication. While the incident could have cost Silva his place on the team, he has steadily improved since, earning him a starting position.

Matt Stinson

I am a little bias when it comes to Stinson too, as I recently found out that the Torontonian once played for my little local soccer club. While Stinson has not seen as much playing as others, hopefully the team will utilize his talents more in the upcoming season.

Jeremy Hall      

Technically Hall is a defender/midfielder, but I needed to balance out the sections. Anyway, Hall had his first season with Toronto this year after battling injury; seeing 23 league appearances, he was re-signed for Toronto after being left up in the draft. Hall is another player I suggest keeping an eye out for next season, as he continues to grow with the club. Plus, his name makes for great puns.

Forwards

Eric Hassli

Hassli’s strength has been something Toronto FC has not seen before and the former Vancouver Whitecaps (and Zürich FC!) player has been an interesting addition to Toronto FC. Additionally, The Little Rabbit (which no one but me calls him) was up for the FIFA Puskás Award (goal of the year) for this stunner, ironically against Toronto FC.

Danny Koevermans

Other than Frei, Koevermans was probably the most missed player of last season. Before an early exit due to an injury, Danny K was a goal-scoring machine. It wasn’t just his goals that made him a fan favourite, but rather, it was the pure joy and enthusiasm he exuded while scoring them. In other words, watching Koevermans score was fun. Watching his reaction to said goals was fun. Heck, I even think Danny had fun playing! (Keep in mind, “fun” and “TFC” don’t usually go together). His enthusiasm on the pitch was infectious and he will be welcomed back with opened arms.

Andrew Wiedeman

Wiedeman was traded to TFC in July 2012. However, the news of his signing was slightly overshadowed by the fact that it was in exchange for Julian de Guzman. Wiedeman, like Hall, was on the draft list only to be re-signed by Toronto. He is yet another player to watch out for next season.

Quincy Amarikwa      

Amarikwa: the most fun name to say on Toronto FC! Amarikwa made his TFC debut by scoring a goal against Liverpool at the Skydome during the World Football Challenge (a “Challenge” I still don’t understand the point of). Amarikwa also was the reason why I seriously injured my knee in August: when I crashed into the bucket seat in front of me while celebrating his goal against Santos Laguna (the game ended as a resulted in a 3-1 loss, and my tears). Needless to say, Amarikwa is another player I’ll be watching.

TBD

The following players are those recently signed by the club. I am waiting for them to show me what they got:

Joe Bendik (GK)

Danny Califf (D)

Gale Agbossoumonde (D)

Justin Braun (F)

I hope this list sort of helps you understand Toronto FC a little better. Or, at the very least, hopes you understand how I understand Toronto FC a little better.

Merry Christmas! 

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.
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