Toronto Sets Their Sights On Mariner

Toronto Sets Their Sights On Mariner

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On December 30, 2010
  • Paul Mariner

One thing is certain, this winter has been crazy in Toronto. So far there has been the somewhat annual coaching search, the Dwayne De Rosario saga and a overall lack of identity surrounding the club.

But all of that could change for the better if they are able to cross one of those items off their list soon enough. Canadian Soccer News is reporting that the club could be setting their sights on former New England Revolution assistant manager Paul Mariner for their coaching opening.

CSN’s sources say Mariner is Toronto’s top target for the coaching vacancy. Mariner has left his post at England’s Plymouth Argyle and could join the club before next week’s MLS Combine or by mid-January at the latest. He will likely be under current interim GM Eric Cochrane, who looks to be getting promoted to the full time post. Cochrane will likely take a more administrative role as GM of TFC and will also handle the day-to-day operations. Mariner would end up handling the first team resources according to CSN.

Mariner was always thought to be a future MLS coach while in New England under Steve Nicol. Instead he left to England a couple years ago in hopes to lead a struggling Plymouth side out of the lower leagues.

Landing someone like Mariner would be a huge win for the Canadian side who have struggled at developing young talent on their roster (note, that comment doesn’t include their academy players). Some thought Mariner was always the one with the eye for the young talent while in New England. If you believe that then just look no further at the Revs drafts over the years and who they were able to develop into big time talents (names like Clint Dempsey and Michael Parkhurst come to mind).

They need to make a decision before the SuperDraft in my mind. If not they could struggle to draft yet again this year. Remember last year when they traded away most of their picks? Their first selection in the second round was a player that unfortunately for them never played a minute due to a health condition. Mariner would certainly change that by drafting smart like he helped do in New England.

  • JohnC

    I bet he won’t appreciate the fact they already traded their first pick in the draft away.

    • I’d imagine most TFC fans aren’t happy with that fact either.

  • I love Mariner and I think he would be a fine choice, but I wonder if he has stopped paying as close attention to American college soccer while in England. Could effect his ability to draft, like he used to at the Revs.

    Then again his strategy to go for the best the ACC had to offer never failed him before.

  • Danking Dk

    Hey Drew been a while, happy holidays ! As one Toronto fan I can say the draft pick thing doesn’t strike me as a big deal. We get a 23 year old out of it who has more than 5 years of MLS training. You know the odds on a 9th pick sticking around to make an impact are pretty low especially with the impact of the new re-entry draft in the future.

    Or maybe it’s just compared to not having a coach or manager at this point that makes it look inconsequential. 🙂

    The importance of the draft is another story. I personally don’t see it meaning much at all once the MLS backed academies begin to kick in. Each year there will be a handful of blue chip prospects that will go in the first few picks, just like baseball and hockey. But just like those other two sports the real training happens in the minor leagues after or even before the draft. American college soccer programs are about helping athletes achieve their greatest potential (as I think it should be). Professional academies are about making athletes the best soccer players they can be. It seems clear to me which model the league should adopt.

    On the other hand the draft gives you something MLS related to write about in January besides which players we’ve lost to other leagues 🙂

    Enjoyed your blog all year again man, and just made up for the lack of comment in one shot