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Toronto FC 2008 Season Preview

Toronto FC

2007 Record: 6-17-7 (7th in East)

Coach: Mo Johnston (2nd Year) John Carver (1st Year)

Key Players: Maurice Edu, Marvell Wynne, Jeff Cunningham

Key Pickups: Julius James (Drafted 9th Overall), Pat Phelan (Drafted 10th Overall)

Key Losses: Chris Pozniak (to San Jose), Ronnie O’Brien (to San Jose)

2008 Outlook: Poor

No more Mo?

I miss seeing him on the sidelines already and the season hasn’t even started. Toronto fans can take solace in the fact he is still closely affiliated with the team, though now he makes decisions in the boardroom instead of on the pitch. Based on how the team played last year, that could be a good thing.

Yes, Toronto was not very good last year, but what can one expect from an expansion team? I was born in Tampa. Toronto can whine when they literally lay a goose egg for an entire season like the 1977 Buccaneers did.

Toronto’s biggest problem last year was an anemic offense. It’s not a good sign when the leading scorer in the history of your franchise is Danny Dichio with six pathetic goals. Unfortunately, Toronto concentrated on defense during the SuperDraft, and while they got some good players, they failed to correct their biggest weakness (i.e., the fact that they never actually score goals).

The only player I can even get excited about on their roster right now is Maurice Edu, who is probably one of the finest American defensive midfielders playing right now. Notice I said “defensive” midfielder though. Even though Edu can produce offensively, all too often last year he was so occupied trying to prevent goals, he didn’t have very much time to create them.

There are signs that 2008 could be better for TFC though. Edu, who was deservably last season’s rookie of the year, will likely continue to develop well. Cunningham can be dangerous in spots (when he decides to, it seems), and Collin Samuel apparently is playing with new speed after shedding some weight during the offseason. The young talented defense should also get better, though it has looked poor at times during the preseason.

It doesn’t really matter though if Toronto wins in 2008. Their insane fans will love them anyways.

Toronto may have finished last in the standings last year, but it finished first in one important statistic: highest attendance of any team (well, other than Golden Balls and his Galaxy). More fans means more money, and more money may mean the signing of a DP who can come in and directly impact the team’s W/L record in a positive way.

If TFC can sign a big talent and play some better defense, they should improve on last year’s poor results.

Don’t expect cup success yet TFC fans, but at least now there is a new kid on the block to pick on. That means you may not finish last this year. Sorry San Jose fans.

Hey, at least there’s no relegation, right?