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Have TFC discovered a hidden gem ?


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CIS Rookie of the Year, OUA Rookie of the Year, and only 18 years old:

http://www.sport.yorku.ca/interuniversity_sport/teams/soccer_m/index.asp

Smith survives Toronto FC open tryouts

Toronto FC have invited defender Jamaal Smith to participate in preseason training camp. (Toronto FC)

Jamaal Smith is one-in-a-thousand.

Those are the odds he overcame in becoming the only survivor of the Toronto open tryouts, which were held all week at an indoor venue in Toronto.

Friday was the final cut day and after sorting through just over 1,000 prospects from all over North American and Europe, FC coach Mo Johnston had found his prospect.

Smith is an 18-year-old defender who plays for York University and the Mississauga Classics. He will now attend the Toronto FC training camp in Florida in February.

Smith was approached and urged to attend the camp by York coach Paul James.

"I didn't say yes or no. I was worried about my exams for university but right now I'd have to say I'm glad I came," Smith said.

The Mississauga native never saw a roster spot as his goal.

"I came to gain some exposure and maybe catch the eye of someone on staff. This is definitely a bonus."

Smith's selection made him an immediate target for the media, anxious to document his ascension from 'wannabe' to invited player. Asked if he knew how to deal with the sudden media crush, Smith laughed and said, "Can't say that I do."

He will learn, of course, about surviving media interest and about building on his game.

"I know that I have lots of stuff to work on. I'm just glad to be getting the chance."

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Of course the question is - is this a media stunt? Somehow I doubt Mo would allow that, but you never know.

He seems to be quite a player, based on the awards he's won. A spot in the reserves is definately not out of the question - but he won't displace the previously signed Canadians already in the back 4. An 18 year old prospect is an exciting one - looks quite big, and apparently very quick. (says Paul "Snore" James)

Any idea whom the forward is Mo says he has signed and will announce early next week?

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possibly paulo wanchope, according to the usector site. i hope not. it would be good for tfc but not for canada imho. costa rica is a major rival in wcq, and i dont care to have one of their major stars feeling especially comfortable playing on OUR turf (and possibly being familiar with subtle weaknesses which some of our defenders may have)

edit - of course, paulo MIGHT just be subject to an accidental hard challenge or two from a Canuck teammate in practice, in the days just prior to a canada-cr wcq matchup :D

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quote:Originally posted by Cheeta

1%

(Odds of Paulo Wanchope playing in the next round of World Cup Qualifying).

2%

(Odds of anyone on Toronto FC being part of Canada's 1st team starting 11).

So let me get this straight... are you saying you'd want to see Wanchope taking up a premiere position on a CANADIAN mls team? I'm sorry, but I would never in good conscience cheer for the guy. Too many memories of Central American flopping, diving, cheapshots, spitting on our players, corrupt officiating etc. Those guys are the enemy, pure and simple. No way Canadian ticket buyers should pay his salary. Bring in some youngish Canadian as a striker, and let him learn on the job. Lombardo or Gerba come to mind as reasonsable options. Hell, bring in another Yank if need be... just not a Central American.

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quote:Originally posted by Dave

possibly paulo wanchope, according to the usector site. i hope not. it would be good for tfc but not for canada imho. costa rica is a major rival in wcq, and i dont care to have one of their major stars feeling especially comfortable playing on OUR turf (and possibly being familiar with subtle weaknesses which some of our defenders may have)

edit - of course, paulo MIGHT just be subject to an accidental hard challenge or two from a Canuck teammate in practice, in the days just prior to a canada-cr wcq matchup :D

The Wanchope thing isn't exactly signed and sealed, definitely in the realm of "rumour" at the moment.

Oh, and Cheeta, our keeper might have a thing or two to say about your 2% prognostication :)

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No, Dave. I'm saying Paulo Wanchope is yesterdays man. Maybe he'd be a good thing for TFC (if the price is right) or maybe he wouldn't be. Don't know but I sure suspect he wouldn't be worth the money you'd have to pay for him. On the pitch or in the media. And, he has absolutely no upside. None.

I'm agreeing with you. Better to bring in a rising star than a falling one. Especially one who's falling as fast as Wanchope.

But that means Mo would need an eye for talent, a preditors instinct, and a sweet talking siren voice to land such a creature. In other words, be a good manager. He's been positive so far, but for me the jury isn't in yet.

Hmph. Yeah, Sutton is the exception that proves the rule. He'll need a good year though. The Wee Elf's crystal ball thinks Lars will be back in the loop in 2007.

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I don't understand why Jamaal Smith had to pay to try out for TFC. It's one thing to give no-namers a chance through open tryouts and ask them to pay for the opportunity, but as CIS and OUA Rookie of the Year, Smith was not a no-namer. They should already be looking at such players — all the top USL, CSL, PCSL, university, college and amateur Canadians. I thought this was part of the point of having an MLS team in Canada.

What about Mike Bialy? Never mind rookies, he was CIS Player of the Year. And his coach at U of T was Carmine Isacco, who is now a TFC coach! Have they looked at him? Did they make him pay for it?

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quote:Originally posted by DJT

I don't understand why Jamaal Smith had to pay to try out for TFC. It's one thing to give no-namers a chance through open tryouts and ask them to pay for the opportunity, but as CIS and OUA Rookie of the Year, Smith was not a no-namer. They should already be looking at such players — all the top USL, CSL, PCSL, university, college and amateur Canadians. I thought this was part of the point of having an MLS team in Canada.

What about Mike Bialy? Never mind rookies, he was CIS Player of the Year. And his coach at U of T was Carmine Isacco, who is now a TFC coach! Have they looked at him? Did they make him pay for it?

Rumour has it that some players were taken aside and invited to camp separately. "Nudge, nudge, wink, wink type of thing. A player like Asante, who is at the MLS Combine comes to mind. Then there are all the U20 players who were off at the US camp. Mo has already stated that some of them will be on the team, or at least the development team.

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quote:Originally posted by DJT

I don't understand why Jamaal Smith had to pay to try out for TFC. It's one thing to give no-namers a chance through open tryouts and ask them to pay for the opportunity, but as CIS and OUA Rookie of the Year, Smith was not a no-namer. They should already be looking at such players — all the top USL, CSL, PCSL, university, college and amateur Canadians. I thought this was part of the point of having an MLS team in Canada.

What about Mike Bialy? Never mind rookies, he was CIS Player of the Year. And his coach at U of T was Carmine Isacco, who is now a TFC coach! Have they looked at him? Did they make him pay for it?

Certainly would've done better but they seem to rather have the PR and the Cash than do something rational.

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quote:Originally posted by Dave

So let me get this straight... are you saying you'd want to see Wanchope taking up a premiere position on a CANADIAN mls team? I'm sorry, but I would never in good conscience cheer for the guy. Too many memories of Central American flopping, diving, cheapshots, spitting on our players, corrupt officiating etc. Those guys are the enemy, pure and simple. No way Canadian ticket buyers should pay his salary. Bring in some youngish Canadian as a striker, and let him learn on the job. Lombardo or Gerba come to mind as reasonsable options. Hell, bring in another Yank if need be... just not a Central American.

You realize that point is to put out the best team possible and to win as many games as possible. I can gurantee you that if Wanchope becomes the leading scorer (which he would) the fans won't care if he's Canadian, Marsian, Costa Rican, or Plutonian. My team is the Fire and our best striker is Costa Rican. He scores a lot of goals and plays a big part in our success. Why the hell should I take a xenophobic position and care about his nationality? I mean how dare an American team use a non American?

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Have to say I agree with you Crazy Yank. In the professional sports entertainment business it is all about winning and profit. Most clubs would be happy to see any league imposed quotas eliminated that impacted their ability to sell tickets and preferably seasons tickets at that.

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Really. What difference does it make whether we have an American (of which we now have two) or a Costa Rican at striker. Until a Canadian steps up and wins the position, may the best man win.

Right now, it appears TFC is loading up on Canadian defensive players, with young Canadians as backup to the strikers (hopefully).

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Guys, whether or not to favour Wanchope with TFC is a matter of personal choice. As such, there isn't much point in debating it, as everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I have nothing against Wanchope as a person. I just wouldn't want him (or any Central American) as a member of TFC. Canada always comes first for me, and I don't much care for the dishonest tactics which Central American teams often use against Canada, hence as a matter of principal I will never support those guys. It's much the same as the feelings which arise from any spirited sports rivalry (Celtic vs Rangers for example). For what it's worth, I'm OK with Americans or Mexicans on TFC, since they don't compete directly with Canada for third or fourth WCQ spots in CONCACAF (realistically they should finish first and second most years). The stronger Caribbean sides compete with Canada for those spots, but unlike the Central Americans they play an honest and honourable game, so I have respect for them. As I said, I expect that some will disagree with me, but that's OK. I plan on coming to TO and seeing some games in person. As a fan, I pay for my ticket and can support (or not support) whomever I like. Wanchope would be in the latter category. Just my personal opinion.

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Although the Costa Ricans are prolific divers I can't remember Wanchope being that much of a diver though maybe someone can refresh my memory. Regardless the last World Cup showed that diving was FIFA approved (or at least FIFA approved when the FIFA approved teams do it) so until Sepp and company have a change of heart I find it hard to blame players for diving. They are just following the rules laid down by the FIFA mafia who are the ones to blame.

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I'll leave this to one short post since we don't want to go off topic. FIFA approved diving by not enforcing in the past and enforcing it even less in the recent World Cup. There were a record number of yellow and red cards in this WC but very few were for diving or simulation as it is officially known yet this WC featured an extremely high amount of diving. A couple of viewpoints about this including Beckenbauer's can be read at :http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/07/09/sports/web.0709wcrefs.php

http://soccernet.espn.go.com/columns/story?id=373195&root=worldcup&cc=5901

http://www.knowledgeproblem.com/archives/001685.html

The situation is like having a speeding limit but everyone knowing that the cops will not enforce it. Sure noone should speed anyway but in real life most people will do so if they know they will not be punished. Noone should cheat either but if the other team is doing it is hard not to do it yourself. That is why until FIFA decides to get serious about diving I have a hard time blaming the players for it. I also think it is no coincidence that many of the nations who benefit most from the diving culture also are very powerful within FIFA. If we want to discuss this further we should open a new thread.

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Toronto FC is run by MLSE, and despite illusions by many people otherwise, MLSE is interested in making TFC win which will then make them more money.

Wanchope being Costa Rican is meaningless in this equation, because TFC needs a striker.

Let's face it: TFC is not here to promote Canadian talent, they are simply another club in MLS, and will do whatever they need to do to win.

Canadian talent will only be properly developed if there can be a bunch of clubs. Even having Vancouver and Montreal in MLS will not provide enough spots to sustain the National Team. We need at least ten clubs, where Canadians are playing lots, and at a high level. But that just won't happen now.

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