Aron Winter Archive

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TFC waves bye bye to Bob de Klerk

Bob de Klerk

In a move that will surprise no one, Toronto FC announced that the club and technical director Bob de Klerk have mutually agreed to part ways.

“We want to thank Bob for his commitment to the club over the past two seasons,” said Toronto FC President and General Manager, Kevin Payne in a release issued by the club. “As we enter a new era for the club, we all agreed that this move made sense for all parties. We wish him all the best in his future endeavours.”

Last May, de Klerk was moved from the assistant coach’s position, where he sat next to then-boss Aron Winter on the bench, to the technical director slot. Three weeks after de Klerk was moved, Winter was out of a job.

With Winter gone and the Dutch 4-3-3 system being dismantled by Paul Mariner, de Klerk was increasingly isolated in the club.
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TFC chops six players — including four Canadians

Adrian Cann

Toronto FC has declined the options on six players — four of them Canadian.

Adrian Cann, Nicholas Lindsay, Keith Makubuya, Oscar Cordon, Ty Harden and Dicoy Williams will not be back with the club for the 2013 season.

Cordon, Lindsay and Makubuya came up through the Academy program to the big club, but none really made an impact at the MLS level. Lindsay missed all of the 2011 season due to injuries suffered in an offseason, non-soccer incident, while Cordon’s most memorable contribution was drawing a red card on FC Edmonton’s Shaun Saiko during the 2011 Canadian Championship. None of the three players ever threatened for an MLS place under the tenures of former coach Aron Winter and current coach Paul Mariner.

Still, the move will likely dampen the enthusiasm of TFC fans who hold the moral high ground over Montreal and Vancouver supporters; TFC fans could claim their team’s Canadian content was much higher than the Impact and Whitecaps. But, if the three Academy grads and Cann aren’t replaced by other Canadian prospects, that moral high ground won’t be as lofty in 2013 as it was in 2012.
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Soolsma, TFC part ways by “mutual consent”

Nick Soolsma

Toronto FC announced it has parted ways with Dutch forward Nick Soolsma “by mutual consent.”

The team made the announcement on Wednesday, just hours after confirming that it has sent midfielder Joao Plata on a six-month loan to LDU Quito, five days after Quito confirmed the move and the player had started training with the team.

Soolsma was one of three players arrested in Houston in June for public intoxication after an alleged incident with police outside a nightclub.
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In Canada, the 4-4-2 is making a big comeback

Harry Sinkgraven

At the start of the 2012 season, two of Canada’s four major teams, FC Edmonton and Toronto FC, were deeply devoted to the 4-3-3.

When TFC changed coaches in the second week of June, the 4-3-3 was jettisoned in favour of the 4-4-2, and TFC’s results have improved, even though the club is clearly in “rebuild for 2013” mode.

This past weekend, FCE — mired in a skid which saw it win just three of its first 12 NASL matches of the season, switched to a 4-4-2. And, while the Eddies had to settle for a 0-0 draw with the Puerto Rico Islanders, FCE bossed the possession and held a large territorial advantage — and didn’t look all that uncomfortable after going down a man.

Toronto FC is a much bigger club than second-division FC Edmonton but, relatively speaking, FCE’s decision to go 4-4-2 is more stunning than the Reds’ change.
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Timing was right for TFC coaching change: Anselmi

Tom Anselmi

As Toronto FC players came onto the pitch Thursday morning for training, they knew something was afoot. Coach Aron Winter was nowhere to be seen.

The players soon found out the news that Winter had stepped down and that the team’s Director of Player Development, Paul Mariner, would take over as the new Head Coach and Director of Soccer Operations. But is that what really happened? It became clear that the move was basically a firing in disguise.

Winter and Tom Anselmi, the executive vice-president and chief operating officer for MLSE, had regular discussions about the direction of the club and a couple of days ago and it became clear to management that a change was needed.

When informed of the news, the Dutch coach was offered a technical role with the team and the opportunity to continue his work building the Academy but, not surprisingly, he declined. So reading between the lines, essentially in a polite way, an ultimatum was given. But when Anselmi was asked, he wouldn’t bite.
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Winter’s era comes to an end at Toronto FC, but the blame isn’t entirely his

Aron Winter

A season and a half ago, the wise people at Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, whether through a series of gross miscommunications or ill-devised planning, decided to hire two men to do, essentially, the same job.

At the same time Paul Mariner was planning to return to North America from England to take the reins of Toronto FC, Aron Winter was summoned from Ajax to, well, take the reins of Toronto FC. While both men were given mildly different job titles, they were placed in the uncomfortable position of having to basically split a single job into two.

The experiment, if we can call it that, has been an unmitigated disaster — and it finally came to an end Thursday, with Winter removing himself from the head coaching and technical director positions. Mariner, who had recently been brought into training sessions to work with the strikers, will now coach the team, looking to salvage a 1-9-0 season.
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“It’s a big relief:” TFC finally gets its first MLS win of 2012

Danny Koevermans

The streak is over.  Toronto FC finally got on the board for the 2012 MLS campaign, winning a 1-0 result over the Philadelphia Union on Saturday at BMO Field that ended the Reds’ record stretch of nine consecutive losses to begin the season.

“After nine games and zero points, each game that you play in the league without points isn’t nice,” said TFC head coach Aron Winter.  “It’s a big relief.”

The Reds couldn’t win without some extra drama for the 18,227 in attendance at BMO Field.  Despite outshooting and outplaying the Union for much of the game, TFC couldn’t find the back of the net, raising the possibility that Toronto would have to settle for a disappointing draw or another last-minute heartbreaker of a defeat.

In the 88th minute, however, Nick Soolsma saved the day.  After Philadelphia’s Michael Lahoud stumbled while trying to take the ball out of his team’s box, Soolsma pounced and eventually stripped the ball away.  Soolsma then kept it alive on the left side of the box and eventually found room to cross in front to Danny Koevermans.  The striker’s first attempt was blocked but goalkeeper Chris Konopka couldn’t hold on, allowing Koevermans to bury the rebound for his third goal of the season.
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Another eventful Voyageurs Cup finale, another TFC victory

Just call them the Winless Wonders.

Toronto FC captured its fourth consecutive Voyageurs Cup on Wednesday, winning the Amway Canadian Championship with a 1-0 win (2-1 on aggregate) over the Vancouver Whitecaps at BMO Field.

The fact that Canada’s best club team hasn’t won a game (0-9-0) in MLS competition this year sounds like a punchline about Canadian soccer, yet once again this tournament, TFC played like a team worthy of silverware.  The Reds are 8-0-4 in their last 12 Canadian Championship games and now advance directly into the CONCACAF Champions League, having to no longer compete in a qualifying game to reach group play.

“We can still make something out of the season because we play Champions League now,” said forward Danny Koevermans. “The club needed this. The fans needed this.  Everybody needed this.”
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TFC’s Koevermans: “We’re just the worst team in the world at the moment”

Danny Koevermans vented after TFC's ninth league loss in a row to start the season.

Midfielder Dwayne De Rosario put his old club to the sword Saturday night, scoring twice to lead D.C. United to a 3-1 defeat of Toronto FC.

De Rosario’s goals in the first and 43rd minute of the first half, and a goal by D.C. forward Hamdi Salihi, consigned Toronto to its ninth straight league defeat of the season. Danny Koevermans scored the consolation tally for Toronto.

“It’s not good when you lose 3-1,” head coach Aron Winter said after the game. “I think again we have given away very easy goals, the first, second and also the third.”

Winter named an unchanged starting XI from Wednesday’s 1-1 draw against Vancouver Whitecaps in the Voyageurs Cup match. But things couldn’t have started worse for TFC, as it found itself down a goal in the game’s first minute.

?De Rosario found the back of the net off a Branko Boskovic free kick, as the unmarked midfielder headed past a Milos Kocic to put the home side up 1-0.
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TFC moves de Klerk from pitch, promotes Brennan

Bob de Klerk

Toronto FC announced two promotions on Monday. Bob de Klerk will move away from the coaches’ bench and will be the new technical manager for the club, while Jim Brennan moves from coaching the Academy ranks to the senior squad.

And, tacked into the body of Toronto FC’s press release was mention of an increased role for Director of Player Development Paul Mariner, who will have more of an on-field presence and work with the strikers.

Brennan will join Jason Bent as men who have coached the Academy but moved up to become assistants with the senior squad.

According to TFC, “In this new role, de Klerk will be responsible for Toronto FC’s technical program, including advance and international scouting, as well as serving as the technical conduit between the First Team and Academy program. He will also assist players transitioning from the Academy into the First Team and support the education of Toronto FC coaches at all levels.”
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