Its the very last team in our 2010 Look-in series. First off sorry TFC fans for not posting this sooner. I had ever intention of doing this last week but set backs got in the way.
Lots of changes have taken place in Toronto this winter. From the turf being removed for natural grass at BMO Field, to a new manager in Preki taking cover and re-doing the roster his way. Lots of changes have taken place but have any really done a good enough job of getting this club ready for 2010?
Will this be the year that Toronto finally gets to the playoffs? Is Preki the right guy to lead the way? Let’s take a look now to see where this team is at right now and what places they need to improve on before the new season gets underway.
Who they have: Stefan Frei, Brian Edwards
Notes: Honestly they are set for years here between these two. Frei is an All-Star keeper in the making and Edwards may be one of the better backups in the league. I’m sure they’re working on getting a third keeper on the books as well. Still they’re covered here.
Who they have: Nana Attakora, Nick Garcia, Jim Brennan, Marvell Wynne, Ty Harden, Gabe Gala, Emmanuel Gómez, Zach Harold.
Notes: What they did this winter in this area was added a young prospect in Harold and traded for Harden. Two moves that aren’t bad but aren’t exactly going to help them out in the area that I’d argue they are pretty weak in still. But things could improve since the field is no longer turf, which has to help out the older guys like Garcia and Brennan.
I would have liked to have seen them go more for depth in this area this winter. Adding a quality center back would have been a real upgrade here and would help increase their playoff chances. They do have good speed on the outside with Wynne.
I’d like to think they improved here over the winter but I’m just not buying it yet.
Who they have: Dwayne de Rosario, Julian de Guzman, Sam Cronin, Nane Joseph, Amadou Sanyang, Jacob Peterson.
Notes: Losing Carl Robinson wasn’t a terrible thing in my eyes. Cronin will slide in nicely in his old spot and for the most part they shouldn’t miss too much of a beat with De Rosario and de Guzman leading the way in the center of the park. I would have liked to have seen them go for more depth on the wings but the trade for Peterson should help that area out a decent bit if he is full fit to go this year.
They lost a lot of fire power in this area with Robinson and Amado Guevara both exiting this winter. But if I were a Reds fan I would see it as addition by subtraction. Sure Robinson was a big leader and a fan favorite but if he wasn’t happy there he wasn’t going to help this club in the long haul.
They’ll need more depth on the wings and possibly in the attacking portion of the midfield here to get through the long season and the Nutrilite Canadian Championship.
Who they have: Chad Barrett, Ali Gerba, O’Brian White, Fuad Ibrahim.
Notes: One thing is for certain either Barrett or Gerba have to step up in a big way this year. Also the club has to hope that both Ibrahim and White grow as players. No doubt there is the most pressure on this group of players as compared to the rest of the club. If the team doesn’t score they won’t win, it is as simple as that.
Most would have liked Mo Johnston to get a primary striker for this season this winter but that didn’t happen. Most likely that will come this summer, if at all. I’d like to think they can win with these four (and the help of De Rosario and de Guzman in the midfield) but realistically they didn’t improve in this area at all this winter.
No doubt there is loads of pressure in Toronto this year. Offensively they have to produce like never before and defensively they have to be able to prove to teams that they won’t give up 5 goals in a must-win game. Preki is a good coach though that will change the culture of that club inside and out. The team will be tougher, which may have been lacking in the first place.
I do however have trouble seeing if this club improved this winter though. They have so many questions to be answered as well. I think depth wise they are very weak but I do like the talent they have starting out on the field.
It just looks like another long, yet interesting year in Toronto.