Toronto FC has built up its reputation as one of the best cities in Major League Soccer. The fans have come out in droves even during Canada’s harsh weather and even when the team has been disappointing. Disappointing is a mild word to describe the play of TFC over the years. The city is ripe for the taking and it’s up to Danny Koevermans to become the city’s first real soccer superstar.
In a 2012 season shortened by injury, Koevermans only bulged the back of the net nine times. It took him six games to get his first and it just didn’t seem that he scored the big goals when needed. That was left to another striker, Jamaican international Ryan Johnson. Johnson is now a member of the Portland Timbers. Eric Hassli was brought in at the end of last season as another striker but he requested a trade before the preseason and was traded to FC Dallas. That leaves Koevermans to score the goals and really make a mark with TFC.
Koevermans is a designated player making over a million a year, making him the second highest paid player on the squad behind Torsten Frings. The former German international’s career is slowly and begrudgingly coming to an end so Koevermans has all the weight on his shoulders to turn the team around.
The city has been looking for someone to become their superstar. Danny Dichio is really the only player to make a dent in becoming a star. He is always remembered by a song in the 24th minute of every match as it was he who scored the franchise’s first goal. That really was all he did so he is a star in name only. Dwayne De Rosario was brought in with the reputation as being the best and most exciting player in the MLS. All he will be remembered for was his pay me the money gesture after scoring one of his few goals. He requested a trade and left soon after. Julian De Guzman, another Canadian international, was signed with the idea of becoming the best midfielder in the league. He was another dud and was traded away.
The list of disastrous internationals signed can go on and on with Laurent Robert, Carlos Ruiz, Armando Guevara, Carl Robinson and much maligned Spanish international Mista to name a few. They have all been failures in leading the team to more wins or becoming house hold names in the eyes of soccer fans in Toronto.
So what does Toronto and TFC want? They want someone to score goals of quality and lots of them. They want someone to help garner wins and even make the playoffs. They want someone to be out in the community and good with the media. What they want is their first real superstar. It is wide open for Koevermans to become that player.
Many believe that European players come over to Toronto for their last pay day before retirement. Dichio did that and now Frings is doing the same. Koevermans should be able to see what he can become if he just fulfills what the management and new president and general manager Kevin Payne see in him. He can have the keys to the city.
Toronto is a soccer mad city and they are looking for a winner. Koevermans has one chance and that’s this season to do that and if he does they might actually build a statue of him outside BMO Field.
Shahab Khan is a Columnist with Rant Sports focusing on the MLS and TFC
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