• Duane Rollins

      Covering the world’s game from a Canadian perspective, the 24th Minute has been at the forefront for Toronto FC coverage since 2008. It is the source for breaking news, analysis and all things Canadian soccer.

    • Michael Crampton

      Mike Crampton has been an avid follower of Canadian club soccer and participant in the emergent Canadian soccer supporters scene for over a decade. When not playing, watching, or writing about the game he continues to serve the grassroots as an administrator at the local level. You can follow Mike on Twitter @BHTC_Mike

    • James Grossi

      James began covering the game in 2011 after a slow process of two decades saw him gradually consumed by it. He contributes to The Shin Guardian, Waking the Red, and had a piece featured in Issue Two of The Blizzard, as well as maintaining his own site, Partially Obstructed View. He covers the rest of MLS in the hope of providing context to fans on the edge.

    • What to make of Hassli

      Apparently Eric Hassli wants out.

      Thatís the rumour, anyway Ė reported by Soccer by Ives, who seems to have had his red Batphone re-installed in the TFC front office. So, itís probably true that Hassli asked to be moved.

      Itís even possible that TFC leaked the request itself to allow it to stay ahead of the story.

      Itís widely thought that the tail wags the dog at TFC and this is a perfect opportunity for Kevin Payne to make it known that the culture is changing. Heís in charge, he is saying, and a player like Hassli canít boss them around.

      The truth is that Hassli doesnít have a lot of power here. MLS doesnít allow a lot of movement and when he agreed the contract extension he gave up control of where he can play in 2013. If he wants to move from TFC, TFC needs to give him permission. Sure, he can pout and play terrible, but thatís not a great way to get another contract and he doesnít want to retire.

      So, if he wants to play in 2014 and beyond, for a wage that is close to what he gets now, then he needs to play well in 2013. Heís hardly the first player to have to suck it up and play for a club heís not fully invested in.

      TFC could also accommodate him, of course. But, the power is in their hands.

      There is a bit of a misunderstanding about the Hassli situation. It has been incorrectly suggested that by agreeing to the option year of his contract, TFC was stuck with Hassliís contract and DP status for all of 2013. Thatís simply not the case.

      By agreeing to the extension, TFC only re-gained their rights to him Ė their control. Although, itís highly likely that Paul Mariner had Hassli in his plans for 2013 when he extended him, the truth was they didnít have much option but to agree to the option year. If they were to have let him walk away in November they would have got nothing back for him. Now, they can go about deciding what to do with him.

      Yes, they would have freed up a DP slot and salary cap room, but thatís still an option now.

      Under the CBA teams can buy out one guaranteed contract per year without a cap hit. DP players are considered the same as non-DPs for the purpose of that rule. So, TFC still has the option of walking away from Hassli Ė they would just need to give him some MLSE money.

      There is no argument that can be made that says that it makes more sense to let a player walk away for nothing when there is a possibility of getting something back. That something could be in production (he may yet play for TFC), an MLS asset or allocation in the form of a European transfer. And, make no mistake, Hassli would generate a transfer fee in a mid-level European league (Switzerland would seem to be a fit as he came from there to Vancouver).

      Ultimately, this is as likely to be nothing, as it is to be a problem. Hassli is an emotional guy and he could just be reacting to losing a coach in Mariner that he trusted and who believed in him. It's quite possible he'll show up in Toronto's camp next week and this will all be forgotten.

      Time will tell, but at least it's never dull in TFC-land...
      Comments 20 Comments
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        Wake me up.. I must be dreaming! Get rid of Hassli now!

        Please Payne. Do it!

        Mariner was right when he said Payne is the best signing TFC has made. This is great!
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        I am having real trouble with your logic here. Exercise his option so you don't lose him for nothing ..... because you can buy him out if you are unable to get anything for him? If they have to buy him out they are much worse off than getting nothing for him ... they get nothing and are out the $ to buy him out.
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
        I am having real trouble with your logic here. Exercise his option so you don't lose him for nothing ..... because you can buy him out if you are unable to get anything for him? If they have to buy him out they are much worse off than getting nothing for him ... they get nothing and are out the $ to buy him out.
        There is NO CAP HIT to buy him out now and they have a likely chance to get extremely valuable allocation. The only money being spent is MLSE's, which has very little to do with TFC's ability to build the team.
      1. TFCfan4life's Avatar
        TFCfan4life -
        Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
        I am having real trouble with your logic here. Exercise his option so you don't lose him for nothing ..... because you can buy him out if you are unable to get anything for him? If they have to buy him out they are much worse off than getting nothing for him ... they get nothing and are out the $ to buy him out.
        This only makes sense in TFC land
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        "Sure, he can pout and play terrible, but that’s not a great way to get another contract "

        It worked for Vince Carter.....
      1. Duane Rollins's Avatar
        Duane Rollins -
        Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
        "Sure, he can pout and play terrible, but thatís not a great way to get another contract "

        It worked for Vince Carter.....
        In the context of this rumour Hassli would be closer to éan Tabak than Vince Carter. He doesn't have quite the same power that one of the top 10 (at the time) players in the world did in trying to force a move.

        Put the trade aside. Debates about the merits of the trade have NOTHING to do with the decision to agree to the option year. That decision was basically "do we want any chance for this trade to work out, or no chance for it to work out." They chose the former.
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        is hassli even a starter on TFC? if they're playing a 4-4-2, i have danny and silva up front, and hassli on the bench.

        if i was hassli, i would be asking for a trade too. he probably wants to be a starter, not danny's back-up.
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        Quote Originally Posted by Duane Rollins View Post
        In the context of this rumour Hassli would be closer to éan Tabak than Vince Carter. He doesn't have quite the same power that one of the top 10 (at the time) players in the world did in trying to force a move.

        Put the trade aside. Debates about the merits of the trade have NOTHING to do with the decision to agree to the option year. That decision was basically "do we want any chance for this trade to work out, or no chance for it to work out." They chose the former.
        Ummm ... continue to contradict yourself much. You say the merits of the trade should be set aside ... then say that they pick up the option year so that they have a chance for the trade to work out. ??????????
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
        Ummm ... continue to contradict yourself much. You say the merits of the trade should be set aside ... then say that they pick up the option year so that they have a chance for the trade to work out. ??????????
        This isn't a hard concept. Why in would you let an ASSET walk away for free, EVER?

        I'm not contradicting anything. Explain how getting NOTHING for him is good for the club. The speed in which the average TFC fan wants to get rid of MLS level players is staggering.
        Duane
      1. Brenton's Avatar
        Brenton -
        Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
        This isn't a hard concept. Why in would you let an ASSET walk away for free, EVER?

        I'm not contradicting anything. Explain how getting NOTHING for him is good for the club. The speed in which the average TFC fan wants to get rid of MLS level players is staggering.
        Duane
        The only time getting nothing for a player is perhaps better for a team is when one of the other likely options is to get nothing AND pay out money, which is entirely possible. A gamble for the team that may not turn out badly, as it turns out.
      1. elmateo's Avatar
        elmateo -
        Isn't the problem that they made a really bad deal for him in the first place? Not sure keeping a toxic player is 'good business', if that is how he feels. Does anyone in MLS want his contract? Does anyone in Europe? If they do they have to move soon, transfer window is closing... And he'd have to put a decent performance to go in the summer.

        If he is pouting over Mariner going - as you suggest - then he has some weird ideas about what a good manager looks like.
      1. Fhurion's Avatar
        Fhurion -
        Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
        is hassli even a starter on TFC? if they're playing a 4-4-2, i have danny and silva up front, and hassli on the bench.

        if i was hassli, i would be asking for a trade too. he probably wants to be a starter, not danny's back-up.
        Danny's not expected back until May at the earliest, I believe. So Mariner's plan was likely Hassli up front with either Amarikwa/Wiedeman/Braun and Silva playing in mid. That'll still be the most likely forward setup if he sticks around.

        If the sources are true and he wants to stay in MLS, he'd make a good fit in Montreal, no? They've got a surplus of mids with quality & MLS experience (Arnaud, Mapp, Nyassi, Neagle...).
      1. C to the D's Avatar
        C to the D -
        Quote Originally Posted by Fhurion View Post
        Danny's not expected back until May at the earliest, I believe. So Mariner's plan was likely Hassli up front with either Amarikwa/Wiedeman/Braun and Silva playing in mid. That'll still be the most likely forward setup if he sticks around.

        If the sources are true and he wants to stay in MLS, he'd make a good fit in Montreal, no? They've got a surplus of mids with quality & MLS experience (Arnaud, Mapp, Nyassi, Neagle...).
        I could see him being a good fit in Montreal, particularly given the fact he's French. Never been a huge fan: he's a big, intimidating looking guy, who plays soft. Technical wizard, but mentally soft: ghosts out on games.

        C.
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        Quote Originally Posted by C to the D View Post
        I could see him being a good fit in Montreal, particularly given the fact he's French. Never been a huge fan: he's a big, intimidating looking guy, who plays soft. Technical wizard, but mentally soft: ghosts out on games.

        C.
        Totally agree w/ you C to the D. and Fhurion. love the idea of a solid AM coming in place of him perhaps? I hope DK is able to recover and stay healthy for 2013-thats key to a decent run this season? Impact have a few spare pieces it appears. Always liked Arnauld and feel he would be a solid swap (?)...jmo
      1. msaunde's Avatar
        msaunde -
        Thanks for the analysis Duanne. Was wondering why they ever picked up the option. Didn't realize that they could simply buy him out if he proved untradeable. Need Hassli's cap space and possibly his dp.
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        Quote Originally Posted by Brenton View Post
        The only time getting nothing for a player is perhaps better for a team is when one of the other likely options is to get nothing AND pay out money, which is entirely possible. A gamble for the team that may not turn out badly, as it turns out.
        But, again, this isn't money that a fan needs to worry about. It doesn't impact how much TFC has to spend. It's just MLSE'S money - and, within the context of that company, not very much of it. This is a NHL 4th liner to them.
        Duane
      1. elmateo's Avatar
        elmateo -
        I'm pretty sure they do not look at TFC in the context of the Leafs budget... They look at it in the context of the TFC budget - and whether or not it is turning the margin of profit that they like. MLSE is a business, each of its operations is about margins and percentages, Anselmi would not have been promoted had TFC been eeking out small profits despite its relative small size to the Leafs. We could also assume that MLSE would see the expenditure at this point and say "we cannot afford that given the lower returns we are expecting this season". There is nothing in that argument one way or the other that is conclusive... the bigger point is whether MLSE can be convinced about the 'value' in the future of taking a financial cut in the present - what they might have come to about the ticket prices.
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        Let him go and use that DP spot on someone who's young and wont be injured every other game! This is awesome! I hope Payne can pull the trigger on this and send him packing.
      1. Fhurion's Avatar
        Fhurion -
        While I agree with the sentiment that it might be best for the club to move him for both the DP slot and cap space (not to mention either lucrative allocation if he goes overseas or a possible valuable midfielder incoming for an MLS swap), this is yet another quality player that will have been rushed through the turnstile of TFC.

        Just think: Our longest serving outfield player is...Doneil Henry...since 2010. Jesus.
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        Wow, that is actually staggering, Doniel Henry. Incredible. But I must admit I'm also not a fan of Hassi. Koef is the man, Haslli can play some minutes until Big K is back. For me I'd rather see Wiedaman as a back-up. Btw both DP's are overpaid.
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