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  • 2012 TFC season review, part IV: Player report card


    In part IV of our season review we grade all players currently with TFC, or who played a significant role on the club in 2012.

    [PRBREAK][/PRBREAK]Richard Eckersley B+

    Durable and far more disciplined in 2012 than in his first MLS year, Eckersley solidified his position as a fan favourite. Eckersley is not without flaws in his game—he can be drawn out of position (whether from his natural fullback slot, or at centreback where he filled in this year). However, he remains a valuable piece of TFC moving forward, despite being overpaid.

    Terry Dunfield B

    Dunfield played the best football of his career in the second half of the season. He does give the ball away too often, and he really shouldn’t be the guy TFC relies upon to take free kicks, but he brings an intangible value to the club that makes him an important piece for 2013 – expect Dunfield to play a utility midfielder type position next year if the Reds can add more attacking skill in the middle. However, expect him to play a lot of minutes.

    Danny Koevermans B

    He’d be higher graded if not for two factors – showing up out of shape and getting his knee torn apart once he was in game shape. Koevermans, when healthy, is one of the best pure scorers in MLS. If TFC is to make any significant improvements in 2013 they will need the big Dutchman to return in full form.

    Ashtone Morgan B-

    Maybe the best story of 2012, if not the best performance. Morgan continues to improve technically (although he’s still more of an athlete) and should be an important part of TFC for years ahead. He’s still very young and he probably should have been spot started a bit more in 2012, but the Reds lack of depth prevented that.

    Luis Silva C+

    A bit more was expected, but there were flashes of what made him the No 4 selection in the Superdraft. He should be a regular starter for years to come in MLS. TFC needs to figure out if he’s a forward or a midfielder.

    Ryan Johnson C+

    The hottest player in March, Johnson’s game slumped badly in the second half. The emergence of Silva during that time might make Johnson an obvious trade asset for Toronto this off-season – he’s likely the only piece that is both valuable enough to attract something of worth back, and disposable to Toronto.

    Torsten Frings C+

    Beyond the injury, Frings was inconsistent in 2012. He’s slowed down a great deal and, although his intelligence allows him to cover for a lack of pace, he was exposed at times. Still, a vital piece of TFC with intangible components of his game that cannot be measured. Coming off surgery there will be questions. Like Koevermans, TFC absolutely needs Frings to be back in 2013 to have any chance of turning it around. It seems likely that when the end does come for Frings it will come quickly.

    Darren O'Dea C+

    He just wasn’t here long enough to fully measure. There is a lot of promise, but to grade higher we will need to see him for a full MLS season, with a consistent, natural CB partner. Obviously, a massively important part of the 2013 team.

    Milos Kocic C

    When he’s checked in Kocic can be a great shot blocker and a capable MLS keeper. When his head is out of it he slips to a slightly below average MLS keeper that is prone to making the odd, dangerous error. In an ideal world, TFC would keep him around as a solid back-up, but realistically Kocic will be gone as soon as it’s determined that Stefan Frei is fully healthy.

    Julian de Guzman C

    The same issues that held de Guzman back throughout the early years in the league were there again in 2012. He is pushed off the ball far too easily and he tends to mentally float in and out of games as his frustration level ebbs and flows. Where de Guzman did shine was in the CCL, especially in the games against Mexican teams. That speaks to his game, which is better suited to a less physical league. Hopefully for de Guzman he can find a suitable place to play – he does have a few years left if he can find the right setting.

    Eric Hassli C -

    The C- grade might be generous. He was too fragile and, based on what has been returned so far, nowhere near worth the No 1 SuperDraft selection in 2014, nor a DP contract. However, he did have flashes and he does have potential. Will he be part of TFC in 2013? Probably. They simply do not have many better options and, with Kovermans fitness in question, the Reds likely have little choice but to figure out a way to bring him back.

    Reggie Lambe D+

    At his best Lambe was a serviceable wing player. At his worst he was invisible. His youth likely earns him another year to be something more.

    Doneil Henry D+

    Injuries derailed a promising campaign. It’s important to remember how young Henry is and realize that most players his age in North America are still in college. His ceiling is high. Expect more minutes in 2013, with 2014 the true goal to have him start regularly.

    Aaron Maund D

    Maund was converted to a holding midfielder and is likely athletic enough to get another look in 2013. He's a long way to being a regular starter though.

    Ty Harden D

    He just isn’t athletic enough or technically skilled enough to effectively play at this level. It’s unlikely he’ll be back and the NASL or USL likely beckons.

    Jeremy Hall D

    Hall did very little to suggest that he deserves to be a regular starter at fullback. A lack of options made him just that. He needs to be much better in 2013 if he is to stick around.

    Andrew Wiedeman D

    He did find the goal a couple times and he is still young. As a cheap depth forward he’s likely worth keeping around another year, but the ceiling is Chad Barrett, not Chris Wondolowski.

    Eric Avila D-

    He was barely used by Aron Winter and even less by Paul Mariner. There looks to be talent, but the consistency is lacking. His metal game is way below par. The NASL or USL is likely his next stop.

    Nick Soolsma D-

    OK on the pitch; a disaster off. At 24, Soolsma isn’t a kid anymore. If he’s to have any type of career he needs to stop acting like one. There is a base level of talent there... likely to be wasted.

    Quincy Amarikwa F

    Athletic and game. There is a reason why he was a free pick up. It’s unlikely he would have gotten a look without the amount of injury issues TFC had up front. Every team needs a few cheap options to fill out the reserve bench and, if he’s willing to come back to fill a role like that, Amarikwa might stick around for a while. But he can never be a regular player for a successful side.

    Freddy Hall F

    He could occasionally surprise with a save, but was generally terrible. Below average as a back-up. TFC will need to either find a way to keep Kocic happy or upgrade.

    Joao Plata F

    He was vastly overrated by fans in 2011. It’s comical how much of a free pass he still gets. Here is the bottom line: In 2012 he has barely played (18 games total, mostly as a sub) and has a single goal. At best, he is at least partly to blame for the unprofessional way he left the club at in the transfer window and it’s telling that no other MLS club was willing to roll the dice on him when TFC offered his as trade bait. Plata could have a role as a supersub in MLS, but his physical size makes it highly unlikely that he’ll ever be a regular starter. TFC will offer him a chance to come back. It might be for the best if he says no.

    Miguel Aceval F

    An unqualified disaster and, by far, the biggest player disappointment of 2012.

    Junior Burgos F

    It’s a bit harsh to give him an F, but he was offered a contract and did fail to make any significant impact. He was out of his depth.

    Nicholas Lindsay Inc

    Time will tell if he can ever recover from the terrible snowmobiling accident he suffered two off-seasons ago, but it was nice to see him back in training at the end of the year. He showed promise in 2010. Hopefully, he can come back either at TFC or at a lower level.

    Keith Makubuya Inc

    We’ve never really had a chance to evaluate him and one wonders whether it was in his best interest to have signed a homegrown contract. He’s a player that probably would have benefitted from at least a year in college soccer.

    Oscar Cordon Inc

    Much of what was said about Makubuya applies here.

    Quillan Roberts Inc

    Roberts, even more than Henry and Morgan, is thought to be the best prospect to come out of the academy. He needs playing time somewhere. Hopefully a loan situation can be worked out for 2013.

    Matt Stinson Inc

    Injuries have stalled his development. Next year will be vital for Stinson.

    Stefan Frei Inc

    Frei will be the longest serving player for TFC and will take over the all-time appearance lead in 2013. He is the Reds clear No 1 and a guy that has made it clear that he wants to be there when TFC finally gets it right. Every soccer fan in the city is cheering for him to fully recover from the injury. By all accounts he is.

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