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  • Sober Second Thoughts: Long Range Goals vs Really Angry Fans


    The Gambians are gone.

    Emmanuel Gomez was waived today months after his countryman Amadou Sanyang was shown the door. The move doesn’t free up much cap room (and TFC doesn’t really need the cap space anyway) and it moves the club one spot further away from having anything close to a full roster signed.

    So, from an outsider’s perspective, it’s hard to understand the move – unless Gomez simply could not play at this level any longer after losing a full year to injury. Regardless, the move, and lack of signings to fill the empty roster spaces, has some fans feeling distinctly 2010-ish again.


    In case you forgot 2010 was when the fans wore green in the stands and forced Tom Anselmi to spend his evenings sucking up to people that paid less for their season tickets than it costs for a roast beef sandwich in the Platinum lounge at the ACC. TFC does not want it to feel 2010-ish. TFC has appealed to have 2010 removed from the history books.

    The new colour is, of course, orange. Specifically the great Oranje hope that will lead the Reds to the Promised Land. (Note: The Promised Land does not go through the Disney Pro Soccer Classic.)

    Coming from a place where the sport is A Really Big Deal, Aron Winter and Bob de Klerk will be able to handle some of the negative comments that are starting to trickle out. They will instinctively understand that such noise is just part of the gig. Hopefully their bosses will understand that as well because the last thing this club needs now is another change in management. (Note: Mo Johnston was employed for almost four years. They’ll be fine).

    Vito from Woodbridge* might not be. Good ole' Vito likely started to plan the protest about 15 minutes after the Orlando USL-Pro-ers captured the bronze medal at the previously mentioned Disney Pro Soccer Classic. Vito is, of course, insane, but is there reason for some concern?

    It depends. If your Bottom-Line-Or-I’m-Taking-My-Hard-Earned-Money-Elsewhere is a championship contending season, then probably. If you just want to see some evidence that someone is doing something productive then you should probably chill out a bit longer.

    TFC needs warm bodies to play out the season. The club will deserve every bit of criticism it receives if there is a 2011 equivalent of Dan Gargan putting his boots on in the cap from the airport as he races to the season opener. But, the Reds cannot sign players for the sake of it. They have to be the right fit.

    Many people, this writer included, have expressed a fear that Winter may not have a full handle on the talent level needed to compete at MLS. That’s why Paul Mariner was brought on board. The evidence from the Disney event seems to suggest that those worries could have merit, however. Still, it’s one tournament and it was a shaky Web feed. So, we’ll see.

    We will also see whether the fan base has the stomach to deal with a youth heavy approach to 2011. Every indication has suggested that’s the approach TFC is going for. If the Reds aren’t the youngest team in MLS in 2011 be surprised. Winter and De Klerk are from Ajax after all. There are few clubs in the world that put a greater emphasis on youth development than the Dutch giants. Consider that and consider the $17.5 million academy investment coming down the pipe and you might get an idea of what TFC is thinking.

    Winter was brought in to find and mould the 2015 Reds as much as he was to manage the 2011 team. The senior players here now are pawns, really, in a much bigger vision.

    And the successful fulfilment of that vision does not put as much emphasis filling out the current roster as does the average fan.

    * Vito from Woodbridge (a T.O. suburb with a high percentage of people with Italian heritage living in it) was a fictional creation of Toronto radio station The Fan 590. He was meant to be a parody of a typical, simple Toronto sports fan – one that doesn’t necessarily think long-term.

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