TFC 2014

2013’s Payne could be 2014’s Pleasure

TFC’s management hydra: “Leibatchenksen”

MLSE haters and TFC doubters, Timmy L has just gone “all-in” on 2014

Anyone who has lived in Toronto knows the whiney old tune. It gets sung year in and year out. The chorus has lasted a generation for fans of the Maple Leafs. It’s almost two decades now for the Raptors. And Toronto FC is closing in on a 10 bag of seasons too.

The song is the epic about the evil old Scrooges at MLSE who smugly reap monster profits and never care about their teams winning trophies. No doubt there is some truth to those verses. And maybe those greedy old suits are guilty of some of those charges.

Anyone with half a mind for business would know, however, that it’s totally ridiculous to accuse any corporation of not wanting winners in its stable. All of those teams and all of their ancillary products become ever more valuable with those victories.

It’s certainly understandable that fans would tire of the frustration and the futility. Those greedy suits sucking our pockets dry and shredding our loyal hearts are an easy target too. From the outside, it often seemed like the profiteer could be spending more on the substance of those teams in search of lasting success.

New corporate owners are in charge now. And a new leader has taken the MLSE helm. His mission is to make winners of all three teams.

In the case of Toronto FC, Tim Leiweke, MLSE’s new boss, has just dumped a big pile of chips on the table. The true price tag of acquiring Jermaine Dafoe and Michael Bradley are not yet public. They may never be, as the MLS likes to keep such details private.

There is no doubt Bradley and Dafoe are big steps up in terms of talent for TFC. The MLS is already winning with their decision to play in Toronto. Top talent joining the League will always be good publicity.

MLSE’s commitment to raising its stake in the game is commendable. To the players’ credit, it could not have been an easy decision to enlist for duty on a ship that has never really been seaworthy. Whopping sums must be involved.

Great as their reputations are, and popular as they may be with fans, these players are still unquantifiable contributions to the greater mission. Bradley and Dafoe remain unproven commodities for TFC until they can reliably deliver on the pitch.

Kudos to Leiweke, though. Toronto FC are certainly in their best position ever going into a new season. Only time will tell if these big bets will pay off.

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