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  • Doing the right thing about (and for) Julian


    Julian de Guzman is much better than most give him credit for. As a defensive midfielder there are few in MLS that can touch him. And, in the modern game, there are few positions on the pitch that are as important as having a good holding mid player.

    Whenever you talk to other players they will tell you that he is gifted. Is he worth the near $2 million a year that MLSE pays him? It doesn’t matter. He is worth a $335,000 cap hit though. That’s all that matters.

    CSN has been a big supporter of de Guzman over his time in Toronto. Time and time again, it’s been argued here that he is one of the most valuable pieces at the club.

    So, it might seem inconsistent to suggest, as we are about to, that it might be time to seriously consider whether to keep him around while Aron Winter builds this club. It isn’t a question of whether he's good enough though – talent and fit are different things. No one here is arguing that de Guzman lacks the former. The latter is the question.


    A couple things are clear five months into Winter’s time with the club. The first is that the club is him. MLSE has decided that it has done its due diligence and has found the right person to lead the team intro the Promised Land. Whenever Winter talks he makes reference to three years – the length of his contract. He says that he is here for a three year project. And he stresses the three part of it with conviction. You get the feeling that he’s been promised that whole three years and that he has told the club to expect no more than it from him. It’s a win-win: Winter proves he’s a manager; MLSE gets its football team back on track.

    That fact leads to the second factor that seems clear. Winter has decided that the way to make TFC a champion in three years time is by putting together a core group of young players now that will be in their prime in 2013. To that end, he`s stayed away from the journeymen pros that could make TFC a better club now and instead focused on players that he feels will be something more than journeymen in three years time, if not as good now.

    That brings us back to de Guzman. Now 30, and coming off knee surgery, you must start to project forward. Will de Guzman still be worth a max cap hit when this club is set-up to be be a championship contender? Maybe, but it’s a bit of a gamble. Football is a young man’s game after all.

    When Winter talks about de Guzman he seems sincere in his appreciation of the player. That sincerity might make him more likely to treat him fairly by allowing him the opportunity to start looking for a last European option. Memories are short sometimes and maybe they have forgotten in Spain that he demanded to actually be paid. It would be too easy to suggest that he might fit well with Mallorca, but...

    You don’t cut de Guzman unless it’s in the best interests of the club. But, as TFC continues to try and build a young core that can grow together, maybe that time has come.

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