By Tony Edwards - San Jose, CA (Sep 6, 2012) US Soccer Players -- In Thursday’s column, Tony has the reason Toronto FC has never been able to compete in MLS presented to him, examines the NASL’s new schedule, and looks at a title change in Philadelphia.
After all these years, now we understand why Toronto FC has never gotten it right?
“We're the only (expansion) team that started from scratch. Most of these (expansion) franchises had infrastructure in place and were playing in a league somewhere, and we were behind the eight ball. It was probably something (having an infrastructure) that we didn't take seriously enough. So we're playing catch up now, and we've got to get it right on the field, there's no doubt about it."
That quote is from new Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment president and COO Tom Anselmi, who previously was Toronto FC’s president. The guy who outsourced the hiring of Aron Winter, for instance. The guy who brought in established MLS coach Preki and gave him nothing with which to work.
To make things better for Toronto, Torsten Frings will miss the rest of this season with a hip injury.
With teams in Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Carolina, Puerto Rico, and San Antonio, among others, what is the NASL doing to address issues involved in playing through the summer heat and humidity?
Apertura and Clausura anyone?
Starting in 2013, the NASL is splitting their season into opening and closing seasons, with the winners of each competition meeting in the championship game. No divisions, no unbalanced schedule, just a home-and-home season from late March until July 4th, then wipe the slate clean and do it again from early August into November. As of today, Atlanta and Edmonton are 5-12-7. Wipe away that lousy first half of the season and maybe you have a chance to sell some tickets.
Did you know that, according to UEFA.com’s squad listing for Champions League teams, Malaga chose to list US National Team defender Oguchi Onweyu’s nationality as Belgian?
He’s had Belgian citizenship for a while, but it’s a minor shame his accomplishments on the field this season won’t be officially categorized as ‘American.’ In terms of UEFA tournament experience (UEFA Cup, Europa League, Champions League), Onweyu is Malaga’s second most experienced defender, with more than 30 appearances. The experienced Argentine Martin Demichelis has the most, with 55 appearances in UEFA tournaments.
Onweyu will be seeing his US National Team teammate Sacha Kljestan during the group stage, as Malaga and Anderlecht are in the same group, along with AC Milan and Zenit St. Petersburg.
What did Salt Lake coach Jason Kreis demand from his players before Saturday night’s home game?
Three more home games, three home victories. Everyone at Salt Lake is well aware of the pitfalls of avoiding the wildcard play in game, especially with an uphill battle in the CONCACAF Champions League in front of them.
Has Philadelphia decided 5-6-2 and a run to the US Open Cup semifinals was enough to keep John Hackworth permanently?
They have, removing ‘interim’ from his title earlier this week. Interestingly, Hackworth’s title is ‘Team Manager,’ not Head Coach. That's a throwback to the previous era when Peter Nowak had the manager title. Of course, then it was Hackworth holding the 'first team coach' honorific.
Tony Edwards is a soccer writer from the Bay Area.