Toronto Soccer Fans to Relaunch

The more observant among you may have noticed that Toronto Soccer Fans has been dormant for some time.
Various work/life changes have meant that there was insufficient time to keep this site updated to the extent that it deserved.

The Home game on Saturday was an opener in more ways than one. An Eye Opener. The passion of the crowd was fanstastic to see, and was reflected by most of the team. I am shortly relaunching this site as a suitable complement to that.

Check back soon, and any suggestions can be sent via the contact form

Toronto Replica Home Jersey

The Home Opener saw a sea of scarves. Lets make BMO Field into a sea of red shirts, and show your support for the team.
Buy The Jersey Now!

Open Trials Underway

Mon 18th Dec, 2006 1:46pm - news

The coaching staff of TFC are in Vaughan today to oversee the 1000 participants in the open tryouts.

The open tryout process started today in the Ontario Soccer Centre in Vaughan. A fairly rare event in pro soccer, wannabes payed approximatly 120 dollars for the chance to be seen by MoJo and his cohorts. With 1000 hopefuls turning up, Toronto FC coaching staff are quietly optimistic of finding a gem in the rough, but it is a rapid process at the outset. Likely only 200-250 will remain for Round 2 on Wednesday.

Early reports from the team, suggesting 'big names' will be turning up appeared to be unfounded based on a list posted on the official site this morning. Although Ronaldinho decided to take a raincheck, there were (inevitably in a Toronto soccer tryout) some Lynx alumni in the fold - Marko Bedenikovic (D), Matt Palleschi (M) and Niki Budalic (F). The last of these holds some promise. He was the A-League Rookie of the Year in 2002, and plays up front, a department in which we are sorely lacking. What the list also reveals is a wide range of profiles and ages for the hopefuls. There is a spread of 50 years between the oldest, Stephen Martino (63 years old) and the youngest , Vincenzo Sasso (13). The former is liable to be past the optimum age for a soccer player, who usually peak in the late 20s and are for most purposes past it by 35, but the younger kids are possibly the most interesting aspect of this process. Part of the MLS' stated goal is nurturing grassroots talent in North America, so although nobody expects a Freddy Adu to debut at 14, some prospects may appear to keep an eye on.

Mojo and his staff will be there assisting in grading and cutting the players. Additionally, as pointed out by Dean McNulty in his article for the Toronto Sun, agent Barry MacLean will be there to oversee. McNulty tellingly uses the following phrase:
"Barry MacLean, the sports agent who is running the show for the team"
I have mentioned previously my lack of enthusiasm at soccer agents, who are more often than not architects of moves in the interests of their own pockets than the players in question. Saying nothing of Mr. Maclean, of whom I know little, we have already signed three players who are on his books, and clubs getting too many players under a single agent can make them a very influential power with the team honchos.

For the 250 hopefuls who remain there will be a return call on Wednesday for another quick paring. The 50 that stand up to 11-a-side games will go on to Friday for another set of games, after which the ever-optimistic MacLean thinks 10 may have the potential to go to a pre-season training camp in February with the rest of the team. Any that hold up to their standard have the opportunity for the full training camp in Florida. Whatever the outcome, what has been shown is that the club listened to the loud clamours for this process to happen, monetized it to pull a tidy 100,000 dollars and gained some positive news coverage to raise the club's profile. Whether we find MacLean's "one or two players of elite ability" remains to be seen.