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Don’t rule out a Toronto FC designated player just yet

Given Toronto FC’s rampant success at the box office you might think the young club would be looking to hold off on using its designated player slot. Think again.

Toronto FC isn’t ruling out using the DP slot in 2008, according to head coach Mo Johnston. Reports out of Canada suggest the club was going to sit on the slot this year but Johnston insists he has the go-ahead to land a marquee player if the team finds one this off-season.

"We can use a DP if we want to," Johnston said. "The board here has backed what we’re doing and if that’s something we’re ready to do, you’ll see it.

"We’re looking at player and have been for a while and if we find the right player, someone who can make a real impact like a Juan Pablo Angel, then we will do it."

Johnston acknowledged that Toronto FC has been approached by at least two teams aboout trading its DP slot. The Scottish legend wouldn’t rule out the possibility of dealing the slot if the right deal came along.

"If it was for the right guy, I would seriously consider it," Johnston said.


  1. Um… this is an expansion team.

    A disgrace? A disappointment? Make the playoffs or Mo’s gone?

    That’s absurd.

    And anyone who knows anything about MLSE should realize that all they’re worried about is the cash flow. Considering that, and considering how much time they’ve given failing GMs on their other teams (Rob Babcock, John Ferguson), there’s nothing that would suggest to me that we should think Mo’s job is remotely in trouble.

    There’s also nothing to suggest that they’d be willing to sign off on a DP this year. As much as a lot of fans (myself included) would love to see a big name, elite talent come to TFC, there’s just no reason financially to do it. As much as people want to make noise about it on here, they won’t be turning in their season tickets (and if they are, there’s already a huge waiting list– or you can just call me, I’ll take ’em). And even though the argument about TV revenue makes sense, I just don’t think there’s anyone out there who is going to produce enough of an increase in profitability to justify the cost.

    It doesn’t make sense for the team and doesn’t make sense for the bottom line to bring in a big name player just for the sake of it. What Mo is saying is exactly right– and I’m not sure what else people expect him to say?

    Don’t rule it out. But don’t expect it either.

  2. Everyone realizes that DP’s eventually have to come to the MLS and the number of DP slots has to grow for the league to grow.

    All DP slots should be used. Then in a couple of years more slots will be added as the league continues to grow in popularity and reputation outside of the USA. Eventually the teams will be solid enough and have good enough support where the DP slots will go away and be replaced by a much higher salary cap. This is a slow transformation but it will make the MLS is a good league with good players.

  3. Clearly, the way to go if you want a championship team is the Houston and DC way — a very solid team concept with a few below-DP players who perform consistently surrounded by a solid cast who compliment each other well, including some who are likely playing for low salaries. The Revs are very similar in that respect.

    My question: given Canada’s recent history of producing solid players, where is the next Hargreaves, De Rosario or de Guzman, and can Mo and TFC find and cultivate that player? He really needs to produce this year or he’s a goner.

  4. For all you DP slot fans out there, you need to stop pretending that any DP you get will have a “Beckham” effect. There is no player on earth with his appeal. Toronto may field a team of the 11 best players alive and still not get the jersey sales of Beckham surrounded by a team of 10 people randomly selected from a phone book.

    There are no other Beckhams. Live with it.

    Ronaldinho, Rooney, and Pirlo would not generate remotely the same amount of coverage or money. They would just demand the same salary. Given that BMO field is already selling out, I don’t see the financial benefits.

    This is like the Luis Figo idiocy. I’m sure he’d bring in another 5000 portuguese whereever he goes.

    Hopefully people in MLS will realize that spending money on huge salaries does not automatically guarantee additional revenue to pay for them.

  5. why not use the DP slot? I can’t understand why not, afterall it’ll be used for the right reason in the end – to strenghten the team…and that’s only good.

  6. Big soccer money doesn’t come from attendance…it comes from jersey sales and TV rights. Mo would be stupid to think the rest of Canada would start watching if he doesn’t get a DP. The MLS, outside people who read blogs such as this, is the league that David Beckham plays in. Thats all. Bring a DP in Toronto and the 30 Million in Canada will stand up and notice. Mo is full of shit and would never trade the DP spot. Its his excuse for giving the fans something to talk about rather than say he’s signed someone or he’s that bad a manager.

  7. I’d have no problem if Mo traded the DP slot in return for the depth of talent TFC desperately needs. TFC has a decent core of 6-8 players but the drop off after that is pretty significant.

    Unlike most MLS teams, TFC doesn’t need star power to sell out BMO Field. I’d rather build the team along the lines of DC United (with a lot of good players instead of one great player and a bunch of middling guys surrounding the great player).

    Do what’s right Mo. I don’t believe that there is any real pressure from TFC fans for star power. I, for one, just wants a more competitive and more offensively capable team for 2008. I don’t care about stars…I care about wins.

  8. He isn’t going to get a DP, He is just talking up his DP slot to coerce a better deal out of the two clubs looking to buy a second DP slot.

  9. No surprise that Mo’s team wasn’t playing so hot, but they were still just an expansion team, I don’t think it was a “disgrace” at all, a dissappointment? Maybe, but not a disgrace.

  10. -24 GD is a disgrace, no matter how many excuses you want. It was Mo’s team from the start – he made all the moves – and for my money he did a lousy job of it.

  11. PS I am well aware we had some truly dreadful games but once again, we can chalk it up to several players inadequacies (who are now gone) as well as our first year out on the pitch.

  12. Puh Leezz

    4-0 over Dallas a disgrace?
    1-0 over Houston a disgrace?
    I do believe we beat New York at the end of the season n all.

    It was our first year and half our squad was out with injuries about halfway through. Anything less than the playoffs this year and there will be a fullscale riot in the hands of MLSE.

  13. Someone please remind me when Johnston said anything of value. “If it was for the right guy, I would seriously consider it.” – right, Mo, shouldn’t you consider all options? Your team was a disgrace last year.

  14. Toronto would eat Johnston alive if he traded away the DP spot. The city wants a winning team and star power. If he does this, look for him to be fired the same year. Two things come to mind if he does make this mistake: 1)MLSE (owner) just wants to make the team a cash cow or 2)Johnston has no connection with the fans at all. I think it would be the former.

  15. Toronto is the one team for whom a defender DP would actually make sense. They would a get a DP to make the team better, not increase attendance, and their defense is woeful. A dominant centerback, perhaps?

  16. Also id love it if Mo would announce some new players or something rather then reiterating stuff we all know (or have heard for a while). The offseason has been a test of patience. JUST GIVE US SOMETHING PLEASE MO!!!!

  17. Alot of people really wanna see a DP here, to be honest i think itd be a stupid move without strengthening the rest of the squad first (seems like an obvious point to make but youd be surprised how many people jump the gun). Also i dont see any players being a good fit outside of DeRo at this point. Hopefully ill be surprised when it happens?!


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