It hasn’t been the most successful preseason for Toronto FC. Bad news and results on and off the field haven’t changed any of the attitudes of the pundits and fans of the club. The ineptitude of the past couple of seasons hasn’t changed and unfortunately the results during the season probably won’t change as well. What the club needs is professionalism. Professionalism in everything they do from bringing in players to how they deal with other clubs and the media to how they achieve results.
It was all supposed to go differently when former German international Torsten Frings was brought in. His leadership and tough nosed play was going to propel TFC to the top rungs of the MLS. He was going to partner Julian DeGuzman and be the rock of a stout defensive core.
A season later and it has all gone wrong. DeGuzman is gone and now Frings might be as well. Frings left the preseason tour in Orlando to take care of personal issues in Toronto. That is what the media was told but truthfully he was sent home because he hadn’t rehabilitated enough from his off-season hip surgery. Rumors started flying as quickly as Frings left for the airport. Coach Ryan Nelsen left as well as he went to England for a scouting trip so there wasn’t anyone to confirm or deny any of the gossip.
General manager Kevin Payne came in to change the attitude at the club. Nothing really has been done to see his words in action. The club is short players and has continued to bring in off-beat trialists to fill spots on the roster.
Now is the time for Payne to put his stamp on the franchise. TFC and Payne have to buy out the remaining part of the reportedly $2.5 million owed to Frings immediately and end their association with the German. Of course, it will leave a bad taste in all our mouths but something has to be done to let the rest of the roster know that no one is safe. Payne and Nelson need to stand up and make their first big decision together: Frings is out.
In the past, TFC have made most of their decisions based on how their fans and sponsors would react. The new boardroom of the club have to do things differently. It must start with Frings and must continue until the ship has been righted. It might take some time, but after the club finished at the bottom of the MLS last season, the only way to go is up.
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