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Monday 6 June 2011

Toronto FC - Xmas in July

     The mid-season transfer window opens on July 15th. Toronto FC is in dire need of some reinforcements, these are not rumours, just desires. Depth at two positions, striker and defender, would greatly enhance the team.


     Frédéric Kanouté (33), the French-born Malian forward has recently penned a contract extension that will keep him at Sevilla for another season ending rumours of a move to either MLS or Qatar. One of the more underrated talents of European/African football has spent time in France, England and Spain. His goal scoring exploits have only gotten better with age, as his match intelligence allows him to float gracefully through the anarchy and put himself in the best positions. His lack of pace is more than compensated for by his cerebral game.

     Kevin Davies (33), the recently capped Englishman and captain of Bolton Wanderers still has a few good years in him. Fit, Strong, and renowned for his physical play that has seen him set records for the most number of fouls in the EPL, usually battling with defenders to win a header. That physicality would serve TFC well as the middle man of their front three. His deft skill at knocking down or flicking on headers, as well as feeding intelligent through balls to his quicker more skillful teammates is what has made him such a valuable fixture in the English game. Hardworking and loyal, two skills that have been deficient in Toronto’s repertoire over the five season, his leadership and commitment would serve the team well. Interestingly he was in Toronto for the Carlsberg Cup last season, hoisting the trophy at BMO Field, good portents for certain.


     Sami Hyypia (37), though he announced his retirement recently as he intends to finish his coaching badges, luring the massive Finn across the pond for another spell in the autumn of his career would be a boon to the frail TFC backline. After a legendary career at Liverpool, Hyypia helped Bayer Leverkusen climb the German Bundesliga table, finishing 4th and 2nd in his two seasons. Though age is catching up with him, he is still a physical specimen of a footballer with an extensive Dutch background, having spent his early career at Willem II. Perhaps a half-season contract to help guide Aron Winter’s system into the feet of the confused TFC defenders would be a good coaching experience for Hyypia as he prepares for a new role in the game.

     Sol Campbell (36), unattached, though he did not feature much for Newcastle this past season, his positional play, organizational skill and experience would only help the TFC backline. Sol has always been a leader, what he lacks in pace and fitness he more than makes up for with a good football brain and a desire to win. Arsène Wenger saw fit to bring him back to Arsenal, something that never happens, to help secure their defense two seasons ago. On one occasion he shut down Gareth Bale, even outpacing him to a loose ball. That competitive streak is something one never loses, and that Toronto FC needs.

     Kevin McKenna (31), the Canadian has been out of favour at Köln the past few seasons as a reorganizing team has transitioned through several coaching regimes. He has not seen the field in Germany since December. He did, however, take the field for Canada against Ecuador last week to earn his 50th cap. Physical and Smart, fantastic in the air on both sides of the pitch; he has even seen time as an auxiliary striker should the need arise. Experience and Canadian, snapping up the native Albertan would be a coup for Toronto FC in this era of MLS expansion in the Great White North.

     Hermann Hreiðarsson (36), the Icelandic international has spent the past 14 seasons toiling in the lower reaches of the EPL. After fighting back from an Achilles injury he has returned to the Portsmouth lineup at left back. He is currently out-of-contract as he weighs up a one-year deal while on international duty. Experienced, big and skilled, he could ass that something the TFC backline needs desperately.

     Just a dream… The recent retirement of Paul Scholes was a sad day. Not just for the loss of the pleasure of watching the great man, but also as it dashed any hopes of seeing him suit up for the Canadian Red Devils. It should be known that the Red Patch Boys were named for the 1st Canadian Division in World War II, known as ‘the little red devils’ to their foes for the red patch they wore. Even at his advanced age his expertise and passing would be a weapon to any midfield, while his pace has left him, he is still as fit as any one, though he may melt in the summer sun of North America. Jamie Carragher similarly a one-club man would be a great addition to the squad. Fiercely competitive, wily and experienced the Liverpool legend would command his fellow defenders into position and better performances. Always a marshal at the back, his leadership is the sort of presence Toronto has been lacking from their backline.
On the topic of mid-season reinforcements as the summer transfer sagas begin be sure to keep an eye out for a multi-part feature on the tenure of Mista, coming soon. 

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