Mo Johnston has one very extensive scouting network. Rumours also have him being spotted on the Dufferin 29 bus looking for Andrea Lombardo and at the Ben & Jerry's Factory scouting Collin Samuel.
WORD FACTOR: 7 / 10
- Nick Garcia is a great defender who was San Jose's team captain; he plays 90 minutes a game (isn't that his job?); he should play on Saturday; blah, blah, blah
- Ali Gerba will hopefully attend Saturday's game; hope to have him signed on Monday or Tuesday (never heard this before - wait until he tries the turf); money issues not a concern; tried to sign him before he went to MK Dons; blah, bloody, blah
- He's got another piece of the puzzle on his radar (too bad his radar system only covers the lower end of the Scottish and English leagues); blah
- He also added blah, blah, f***ing blah
11. Striker dilemma solved as wonder kid Andrea Lombardo re-signs after apparently riding the Dufferin 29 bus back and forth since his release.
10. Next year's friendly: Rangers vs. Celtic vs. Toronto. Johnston will suit up for all three clubs followed by the First Annual Carlsberg Fan Pitch Invasion!
9. DP signed! Dill Pickles now on menu at BMO Concessions!
8. Breaking News: Chad Barrett almost scored on an open net during Wednesday's training session. Contract extended for another 4 years.
7. Results of Mo's latest South American scouting trip: Brazilian girls have sweet behinds and there's a great new restaurant near the Maracana Stadium.
6. Johnston has been avoiding the press up until today to unveil his new Adrian Serioux-style hair-do!
5. Sol Campbell to sign and be named Captain. Will then move on a free transfer to arch-rival Montreal.
4. Loyalty pricing for Real Madrid improved. Instead of 1 for $125, South End seats now 2 for $250!
3. Aberdeen attacking midfielder Jamie "Tampax" Smith joins TFC - immediately injured for remainder of season after hurting hand during contract signing.
2. Fan protesters to receive special apology coupon - 5cents off your next Chip Butty!
1. Due to Credit Crunch - 5 Year Plan extended to 10 Years.
Toronto sent its third round pick in next year's MLS draft and undisclosed financial considerations to the Earthquakes in the deal for Garcia and Gerba.
Sutton had been with Toronto FC since its inception in 2007. He was 0-1-1 this season after losing his starting job to rookie Stefan Frei.
Garcia helped the Earthquakes rank as one of the best defensive teams last season and played every minute in San Jose's first 12 games this season.
The massive waves of excitement surrounding the club's first season did little to quell our appreciation to the previously maligned corporation. Most of us had suppressed that little voice in our head telling us that we were inevitably going to become "Leafs on Turf". Despite the terrible football of the first couple of seasons, the majority of us had a level of forgiveness towards MLSE and knew they wouldn't dare pull the same stunts they had been doing with Leafs and Raptors' fans. Right? It was in the second year though when cracks started to form. Promises of exotic players from South American scouting trips; big investments with the cash we got after selling our most promising player; not-so-subtle hints of a DP in the days leading up to season ticket renewals; and grass - beautiful real green grass to lure great players here. Supporters couldn't help but get excited but these promises disappeared as mysteriously as they appeared - coming and going on the wind depending on that week's results. TFC win: no need to say anything. 3 losses in a row and no goals: rumour has it an International captain/Brazilian wonder kid/World Cup hero is in town on trial and he drove in on a truck with fresh real grass and a construction crew to expand BMO Field. For supporters who were reading between the lines - cracks were emerging.
As Season 3 approached, the purchase of Dwayne DeRosario gave us a whisper of optimism but not long into the campaign, the cracks became larger and more evident. Halfway through the 2009 campaign, it is fair to say that things have gone from glass half-full to grass half-empty quickly. At the time of writing, our tough talking coach, John Carver, abruptly quit under very odd circumstances; the massive holes in our back line are only overshadowed by one of the worst strike forces ever seen in professional football; our pitch looks like a green pair of old man's slacks and now has very visible lacrosse markings on it; our Director of Soccer only appears once a year like a groundhog (except his appearance usually marks 6 weeks until the end of a season without playoffs) and he somehow can't find any suitable players to fit within acres of cap-room; we are all but eliminated from CONCACAF Champions' League by lower division rivals - again; and most obviously, TFC seems to be hitting it's annual mid-season collapse. Sadly, these are not the worst things happening at Exhibition Place.
The most alarming development has been the gradual gap which is widening between the club and its most loyal supporters. The close relationship which was seemingly cultivated for three years has been damaged badly by the Real Madrid friendly-fiasco. The money grabbing move immediately undid MLSE's image as a patron of football and TFC and exposed them as the same group who have been fleecing Raptors' and Leafs' fans for years. The insertion of one-day-only grass has even angered their star player DeRo who feels disrespected by the move. Add to the list a feeling from certain supporters that players aren't as available as they were before; pushing of Marlies' tickets onto ticket packages; hard line security crackdowns at the stadium; blaming the City of Toronto for every ill of the stadium despite having a lucrative lease which no doubt comes with a level of influence; and worst of all, the inevitable fact that in a few short weeks, 2010 ticket packages will be announced with the equally inevitable price increase.
These frustrating facts can only make the loyal supporter ask - was MLSE's good will and football-friendly decision making truly benevolent or are we in the middle of a 3-year marketing plan that has reeled us in to the point where our loyalty to the club is being used against us? Is the real corporate monster about to be unleashed with the supporter's only remaining choice being go to matches and revel in mediocrity or say goodbye to a club you've taken on as your own? It is at MLSE's peril if they take that route because as much as their bottom line would have them believe now, Toronto FC are not "Leafs on Turf"and the casual football supporter will not wait 44 years for a cup.