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TFC 2010 | Week#3

Adios Jim Brennan

The Rumour Come True

It’s official. The press conference is over.

Toronto FC's new AGM

Jim Brennan has retired as captain of the Toronto FC and will now join Mo Johnston’s management team as an Assistant GM. Both men were quick to deny the move had anything to do with a conflict between Brennan and Preki, the new coach . “It’s all a lie” stated Brennan regarding this particular flavour of the rumour, with Johnston calling it a “total fabrication”. So, there you have it. Officially, Jim is retiring because his body is telling him he can’t put 100% up for every match. He also made it clear he’s much more interested in front office duties than coaching.

Still clinging to the logic that a fight with Preki has to be the real motive to retire? It’s tempting to see it from this angle, as nobody really wants to see Jim give up before his time. Thinking about it from an organization perspective, however, and it just doesn’t make sense to keep Brennan in the building if he’s at war with the coach. Notice there weren’t any offers for Gerba within the team? I think it says a lot about Jim Brennan that his move is taking him from being a player subordinate to Preki to being one of the coach’s bosses. That would hardly be a smart choice if there were real animosity between them.

No News Is Good News

Mo Johnston stated quite clearly that there were two to three players in negotiation with the club and the MLS at the moment. He said we should expect signings before Saturday, or at the latest by Monday or Tuesday. While more rumours fly about who will be added and when, Johnston had nothing specific to add on the subject. He said that the players included a left back/winger and another left sided player along with someone who plays on the right side. Frustrating as that obliqueness may be at this point, it is fair to say that supporters and critics may not read that statement as heeding their call for a central defender and a striker.

None of the press in attendance asked about the change in the MLS’ designated player rules, or the possibility that Toronto FC now can sign one or two star players beyond their salary cap considerations. In fact, Mo commented on the fact that teams need to shop at both ends of the salary spectrum within the salary cap limits. Thus, the cards were kept pretty close to his chest today. Anyone looking for exciting news or clear strategic purpose in the player acquisition game will be disappointed. And now, we must wait up to six more days for the contracts to drop and the press releases to fly.

Blue Skies Ahead?

I remain optimistic about all these moves, though I’m guessing we should all relax our expectations for the coming season. With the degree to which the roster is being rebuilt, and the fact that the season is already underway, it appears the coach and the team are looking beyond the most immediate campaign. One must hope that the mid-season might bring another designated player or two to the club, to shore up our scoring and defending, but this year looks to be a grinder year in the making. Chalk it up to establishing a new system and culture on and off the field, both of which could/should form a team with a solid core and a functional system for playing their game. I’m sure there’s going to be lots of chatter about Brennan leaving and the quality of any new players added this week. None of it will be relevant to what’s happening on the field this week or next, though, and that’s where Preki ultimately will have to prove himself going forward.

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