Tag Archives: Preki

Time neccessary for Winter and Mariner in Toronto

Paul Mariner takes over as Toronto FC's director of player personnel after leaving his post as coach of Plymouth Argyle. Toronto hopes the former New England Revolution assistant coach will have answers for the club's struggles with scouting and player development. (Courtesy David Saunders)

By Kevin Koczwara

Toronto FC fans may well be one of the best supporting groups in North America, but since becoming a member of Major League Soccer, TFC fans haven’t had the chance to sing their hearts out in a playoff game. It’s been four years. Six coaches have walked the line as the manager of the Reds. Still, there hasn’t been a Toronto post-season playoff game — just an MLS Cup between the Colorado Rapids and FC Dallas in November of 2010.

In 2010, former MLS standout Preki took over the reigns as the club’s manager. He didn’t finish out the season and Toronto finished 5th in the Eastern Conference, 11th overall, missing the playoffs, again. Could Total Football be the answer Toronto and its fans have been looking for? Only time will tell.

To find out Toronto and its fans must give Aron Winter, the Reds’ newly appointed manager, and Paul Mariner, new director of player personnel, enough time revamp a disjointed squad, bring in their own players and work the system.

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Kyle Beckerman's Journey to the Top of Major League Soccer

Kyle Beckerman celebrates Real Salt Lake's MLS Cup Championship victory in 2009. Beckerman was traded by the Colorado Rapids to RSL in 2007. Courtesy Real Salt Lake

By Kevin Koczwara

The 2009 season was a dream come true for Kyle Beckerman and Real Salt Lake. The team snuck into the MLS Cup playoffs as the last team to qualify. RSL had to go through Supporter’s Shield winners, (awarded to the best team of the regular season) Columbus Crew, to start. The team did that and made it all the way to the MLS Cup final where Beckerman and company had to take on the heavily favored Los Angeles Galaxy with American soccer icon Landon Donovan and English import, and tabloid favorite, David Beckham.

Beckerman lead the charge against the Galaxy as the captain of Salt Lake. Real went onto surprise just about everyone, beating the titanic duo of Beckham and Donovan, claiming the team’s first piece of silverware in club history.

Since the historic win, Real Salt Lake hasn’t looked back. The team finished second to Los Angeles in the MLS regular season with 56 points (15-4-11) and a record for fewest goals allowed in a season with 20 goals allowed in 30 games – a staggering .66 goals against average – and became the first North American soccer team to win its group in the CONCACAF Champions League group stage.

“The biggest thing was it [the playoffs last year] helped us turn the corner for road games. That was our biggest problem in the past few years and is why we struggled to get into the playoffs [last season],” said Beckerman. “It was the road form, once we did that [started winning on the road] we turned a corner. We really grew up in the playoffs last year and we were able to get the results in the playoffs. We have transferred that into this season, and we haven’t stopped. Now, we defend better and we’re more mature as a team.”

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Schilawski Scores 3 as Revs Rout Toronto

Courtesy Revolutionsoccer.net

By Kevin Koczwara

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Steve Nicol became one of only three coaches with 100 wins as a manager in the MLS, joining Sigi Schmid and Bob Bradley as the Revolution won 4-1 over Toronto F.C. (0-2-0, 0 pts) in the team’s home opener.

Nicol would need some help to get that win as the Revolution found themselves down 1-0 in the 28th minute when Toronto’s Dwayne De Rosario scored the game’s first goal after heading in a well placed cross from Nick Garcia from 15-yards out from goal.

The Revolution (2-1-0, 6 pts) showed good build-up play and controlled play in the first half of the game for the most part, but they found themselves behind at half because of De Rosario’s perfectly placed header that got past Revolution goalkeeper Preston Burpo. De Rosario’s goal was his third goal against the Revolution in as many games.

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