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MLS- Toronto FC

Carver: MLS meddling made me leave TFC

John Carver (ISIphotos.com)

Former Toronto FC head coach John Carver has spoken out about his departure from TFC and he places blame squarely on MLS for his decision to leave.

"I've had restraints on me ever since I got here," Carver said in alengthy interview with the Toronto Star. "If ever you do anything or say anything out of order, they're straight on the phone complaining to the owners and that's how they work because, in my opinion, it's all about image.

"Obviously I wasn't the right image for the league."

Carver was also clear in stating that he had no issues with Mo Johnston or Toronto FC ownership. He also denied that he would be taking any jobs in England, such as a position with Newcastle, which was believed to be an option.

What do you think of Carver's complaints? Think he is right? Was it still not a good enough excuse to quit? Could Toronto FC be better off without him, or will TFC wind up suffering because of meddling from MLS?

Share your thoughts below.

89 comments
  • Better off gone?

    Hey TO,

    I respect your opinion about how you want this league to improve. But why should MLS be the one to conform to Carver? In other words, what makes Carver’s opinion so perfect? Like you said, this is not about a low salary cap, players, or quality of their play. This is about his personal opinion that he’s being restricted. Is that true for all other coaches? It’s one thing for Sigi or Kinnear to complain about this, but what kind of credibility does Carver hold?

    Like I said earlier, is MLS perfect? Of course not. But does it mean the league should cater to Carver because of it? How about this, it seems other coaches don’t seem to have such a dissatisfaction with the league, so what if Carver took some pointers from them instead on how to adapt? Or am I being too demanding to expect that because this league is just not upto your, or Carver’s standard?

    Like

  • JoeW

    First, the complaints with the refs–anyone who complains gets fined. That’s not meddling or micromanagement.

    Second, not being on the field–well, that’s a rule every team in the league has to follow, not just TFC and Carver. And agree with it or not, there are a bunch of reasons why. The league disciplines coaches by fining them money and ejecting them from the bench. But if a coach has worked out an arrangement where he can manage from a luxury box than that red card ejection he just got is meaningless isn’t it? It’s like the premiership requiring coaches to wear suits–is that micro management? Or other leagues requiring their coaches to have a license/badge (which at times has been an issue for Premiership and Bundesliga coaches).

    I absolutely agree that managing in MLS is very different than it is from any other league in the world. Every league has its differences but MLS is really different (which explains why a number of very good foreign coaches do poorly here). But to put it off to “micro management” or “meddling” seems pretty weak to me.
    –MLS doesn’t has the staff or oversight to micromanage. Now, player acquisition isn’t as simple as it is in Europe. But for the most part MLS has gotten out of the way of the players a team signs, how they use their DP slots.
    –I suspect that the “meddling” Carver alludes to is a combination of two factors: he doesn’t like the various rules (like: foreign player limits and SI slots, allocation order, waiver order selection, salary cap, GenAd players issues, difficulty of getting work permits for Canada, roster limits) and because he viewed MLS and North America as being “lesser” he looked for excuses to complain. Really now–you’re going to quit a job because you don’t want to stand on the sidelines with your team?

    Like

  • Better off gone?

    Hey TO,

    I respect your opinion about how you want this league to improve. But why should MLS be the one to conform to Carver? In other words, what makes Carver’s opinion so perfect? Like you said, this is not about a low salary cap, players, or quality of their play. This is about his personal opinion that he’s being restricted. Is that true for all other coaches as well? It’s one thing for Sigi or Kinnear to complain about this, but what kind of credibility does Carver hold?

    Like I said earlier, is MLS perfect? Of course not. But does it mean the league should cater to Carver because of it? How about this, it seems other coaches don’t seem to have such a dissatisfaction with the league, so what if Carver took some pointers from them instead on how to adapt? Or am I being too demanding to expect that because this league is just not upto your, or Carver’s standard?

    Like

  • Nutmegger

    umm, what was the MLS’s reason for not lettin him coach via a suite?? kinda agree w/ him.. he seems like a stand up guy and it sucks we lost him

    Posted by: dave | April 28, 2009 at 12:50 PM

    ________

    Little known fact. Use of telecom devices on the part of team officials in the technical area is against the Laws of the Game. It’s not pointyball. Carver should have known this. I really don’t see why he should complain that the league wants him to comply with the laws like every other coach.

    Like

  • sack

    MLS appoligists i swear. He’s right the league and its structure is too melesome. Any foriegn manager would hate it here because its so different and restrictive.

    Like

  • WeatherManNX01

    If he doesn’t end up in Newcastle, then I might be inclined to believe him. But at the same time, league meddling in little things hasn’t seemed to have upset anyone else. It is what it is, like it or not.

    Like

  • Jeff McIntyre

    Carver was just looking for an excuse to leave. He’s constantly in the news bitching about something or passing blame to players.

    Good riddens!

    Like

  • DC Josh

    needs to quit whining like a baby. Unfortunately, MLS is his boss. I still wouldn’t be surprised to see him in England on the bench somewhere.

    Like

  • John

    I don’t care how much MLS rules suck, no one should be sad to see the backside of John Carver. TFC will immediately improve just through his departure. MLS is kryptonite to foreign coaches with little background in the US. Can anyone think of a successful foreign coach who enjoyed success in the US without having been in the country for a while (like Steve Nichol, etc.)?

    Like

  • TO

    Well it is a done deal now, the Carver era is over at TFC, so lets hope league evolves and matures over the next couple of years. It can’t happen soon enough for me. Good conversation though guys keep it up hopefully MLS is listening.

    Like

  • paul lorinczi

    I don’t know why we are even arguing.

    He has never really managed a team before coming to TFC. He has always been an assistant or in a caretaker role.

    He was never an accomplished Manager.

    In the fashion of English mediocrity, he points the finger at the league for his inability to Manage a team. If Carver had accomplished something whilst here, his word would mean something.

    With players like DeRosario and Guevara, a traditional English kick and run tactic is a waste on that talent.

    Toronto fans deserve better from their team and it is probably a good thing that Carver is gone. He is not a credible voice when his record as a Manager is limited to caretaker roles and an inability to get a good roster to work together.

    Like

  • mednus

    some of you people need to listen to interviews before you make some kind of off the wall comments.

    As for MLS who cares about the salary cap it is the only good thing about the league and you don’t need single entity to have one.

    The rest of MLS’s arcane and ridiculus rules are what most people have an issue with and its interferance with things at the club level. can you imagine any other league in the world telling a coach where they must sit to coach the team?!?

    Like

  • zenabi

    Good riddance….Ruud and the rest blame MLS when they fail to succeed here. No, it’s not the EPL but winners win within whatever rules exist. One thing that is clear- to succeed in MLS a coach has to be an exceptional judge of talent as well as a tactician, since you can’t just go out and buy another player whenever. Carver was neither as far as I could tell. Steve Nicol seems to have it figured out…

    Like

  • art

    Dear John Carver:

    Don’t let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya.

    Sincerely,
    North America

    Like

  • Matt in SF

    I always make life decisions based on ticky tacky stuff.

    For instance, this morning my coffee was nice and hot, but a little too sweet for my taste, so I decided to quit my job, leave my wife and kids, and move to Katmandu and become a monk.

    Like

  • Jon E

    Any foriegn manager would hate it here because its so different and restrictive.

    Posted by: sack | April 28, 2009 at 03:23 PM
    ——

    The following people probably disagree:

    Gary Smith, Robert Warzycha, Preki Radosavljevic, Steve Nichol, Juan Carlos Osorio, and Frank Yallop.

    Heck, as far as I can tell, only two current MLS head coaches (Jason Kreis & Bruce Arena) were actually born in America or Canada.

    Like

  • dorian lopez

    I dont care who you are –as a coach it is in extremely poor form to resign (quit on a team) in-season. He should have walked away at the end of last season or at the very least if he couldn’t wait until the end of this season the he should have waited until the all-star break. Just poor from whichever angle you analyze this…. As for the “excuses” they sound like sour grapes to me from a coach who wasn’t able to live up to expectations.

    Like

  • Alex

    What Babies, and those of you agreeing with him are babies. I don’t think anyone in the league cares where the guy coaches from, secondly even MO said that maybe he should cool off because he(carver) was acting out of character. And as much as you guys complain about the rules, Jenas has to write the FA and explain his match comments about the referee or he’s subject to the disciplinary panel. This happens everywhere and to be that paranoid that someones out to get you is ridiculous. He just needs to learn to shut up! Like there aren’t bad refs everywhere, Mike Riley!!

    Like

  • MiamiAl

    Hahaha…He’s a liar..His reasons are all B.S…He’s going be at Newcastle next year. Guaranteed. That’s why he quit…

    Like

  • Zico

    as a TFC fan, the fact that he has gone out of his way to have an interview and say that he came up with the 4-3-3 tells me he is very insecure!

    Like

  • jeb

    Did Carver over-react? Yes.
    Should MLS be dictating where coaches sit during games? No.

    The league can be more than a little OCD at times, and it’s obnoxious.

    Like

  • aristotle

    I can understand a coach being frustrated with the unique and frustrating system that is MLS single entity, but nobody explained this to him before he took the job?

    I realize the single entity system sucks, but I really don’t understand the people repeatedly calling it a joke and demanding that it be changed now. I’m pretty sure that anyone involved with MLS right from the start new it was going to suck. It’s almost like people think that there are people who think it’s a great way to run a league.

    Remember the league wasn’t supposed to survive. Soccer sucks and will NEVER make it in America, etc., etc. Until this league is strong enough for any team in the league to take a serious hit while standing on their own, single entity is the ONLY way it will survive. If they got rid of single entity now how long it would it be before the teams with the money took over and everyone else went out of business? I can just see teams with new stadiums and attendances of 6,000, like Dallas, competing in that free for all environment. I guess NY would finally get a good team, but is that really what we want now?

    Like

  • Tom P

    It’s interesting what he says and I think there is a lot of merrit to it. The MLS is all about imagine and doesn’t focus on substance like:

    CONCACAF Champions League

    improving quality by investing more in players, acadamies etc.

    better referees

    working with USL more closely

    Bringing outsiders in to improve play, tactics, teaching etc

    this list could go for hours

    I think Toronto will miss him in the long run.

    Like

  • Federico

    I like the MLS as a league, but I don’t understand why an owner would pay 40 million not to own and run their team.

    Like

  • MiamiAl

    Think about it…This guy has a team in first place with a great fan base that is anxious for the playoffs…In this bad economic times, no one should be quitting their job…Makes me really wonder…He must have another job already lined up…My wife would slaughter me if I came home and told her I quit my job because of the same excuse he is giving….

    Like

  • martha

    Its easier to blame the league than admitt you are a sh!t coach and your team s#cks.

    Like

  • Matt

    This is why foreign coaches with little to no experience with the MLS system fail.

    They just don’t grasp that things are done differently in a land where soccer is not 90% of the sports market. Here its .5%.

    Prima donna coaches aren’t important enough to cater too.

    Like

  • Matt

    Carver never impressed me. Not to say he doesn’t know the game but I’ve never seen a coach whine so much.

    Every game, its the referee’s. Incidently, every Premier League game shown last weekend had some sort of “fiendishly” poor call.

    These things even out so theres no point complaining.

    Carver just thought he was too good for the league.

    When a coach says “restrictive rules”, it usually means that they want to buy the title by spending ten times more than the other teams (which would of course make him a great coach).

    Poll question: What would you rather have? Sir Alex as your coach with a mid-table a budget or your grandmother as coach with Man U’s budget?

    Yeah, I think grandma would kick his ass.

    Money matters more than coaches in European “futball”.

    In MLS where there is parity, coaches matter more.

    And Carver never accomplished anything.

    No big loss.

    Like

  • bee dubya

    ^ Sir Alex seems to get away with it quite a bit without getting fined by the FA.

    Like

  • Adam

    This league needs more perosonalities and rivalries. Look at Rafa and SAF. They are constantly bickering and it keeps it interesting. MLS needs more rivalries like that. The corporate sterility of the league needs to loosen up. It’s a soccer match, not a funeral.

    Like

  • RLW2020

    this guy can never keep a job for more than a season!

    so if he is not going to the UK and not back to the mls… uls? national team somwhere? back to being a trainer?

    Like

  • S

    Toronto fans loved JC, he was passionate, charming, loved the city, loved the team, we all thought he was a die hard Red.

    He let us all down with his actions.

    Like

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