Eric Hassli Archive

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Impact satisfied with effort, but disappointed with draw against FC Dallas

Patrice Bernier

Patrice Bernier

Neither the Montreal Impact nor FC Dallas could point to a recent victory going into Saturday’s Saputo Stadium match-up. After playing to a scoreless draw, the local side is now winless in its last five outings and the visitors have to go back eight games to find their most recent positive result.

Playing in front of 20,801 fans, the first sell-out crowd of the 2013 schedule, the Impact did everything but score as it outpaced the Texas side all evening long, denying the Hoops all but the most meagre of opportunities while directing 15 shots at the goal defended by Raul Fernandez, seven in the opening half and eight in the second 45 minutes of play, and tightening up the defence that had allowed far too many goals in recent outings.

With Marco Di Vaio overseas at the moment, the Impact went with Daniele Paponi up top and used wingers Justin Mapp and Sanna Nyassi to support him, the three players linking up repeatedly in assaults on the Dallas goal, as the back line showed the shape and determination that was the cornerstone of Montreal’s early season success.

Also significant in his efforts was midfielder Felipe, at the origin of several plays that finished with shots towards the visitors’ goal.
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The Super-Duper MLS preview, 2013 edition

Philip F. Anschutz Trophy, the big prize at the end of the season

Philip F. Anschutz Trophy, the big prize at the end of the season

With the MLS season moved up to its earliest start ever, forgive us if we don’t feel 100 per cent totally prepared for First Kick. Judging by the way many MLS teams finished preseason, with tentative matches and still looking at trialists with a week to go before the games count in the standings, a lot of coaches aren’t quite ready for the early start, either.

And that could be telling. The teams that got the jump and have their ducks in a row could have a real advantage in these March matchups; and they could find some bonus points that could help them in the fall.

Steven Sandor, Editor of The 11 and contributors Randy Davis, Aman Dhanoa, Mark Polishuk and Gavin Day all submitted their picks. We tallied the scores and we present our picks below.
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Payne does best he can with deal to unload TFC’s panic buy of Hassli

Panic buys very rarely work out in the world of soccer. And Toronto FC president and GM Kevin Payne made the best of a bad situation by dealing Designated Player Eric Hassli to FC Dallas for a conditional second-round pick in the 2014 SuperDraft.

“Eric requested a move for family-related reasons and we committed to him we would make every effort to do so, providing the deal was favourable for the team,” said Payne in a release issued by the club Monday. “We are satisfied with the terms of the trade. If Eric has a productive year for Dallas the consideration paid to us will be greater.

“The most important aspect of this deal is creating salary cap room and a Designated Player spot. We’d like to thank Eric for his contributions to our club and wish him all the best with his new team.”
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Cesar signing: TFC’s rebuilding process includes bringing a 34-year-old to the dance

Julio Cesar

Toronto FC confirmed Tuesday morning that it has signed veteran Brazilian defensive midfielder Julio Cesar.

Cesar continues his much-traveled career. He has played for more than 15 professional clubs in his career, and hasn’t played more than 90 matches for any of hem. He’s best known for his time at Olympiacos and Real Valladolid, but he played 21 times for Real Madrid and four times for AC Milan.

He made 54 appearances for Sporting Kansas City since 2011.

“It’s important that Toronto FC becomes a more difficult team to play against this year. Julio Cesar will be an important part of the backbone of our team in the middle of the field,” said Toronto FC President and General Manager Kevin Payne in a release issued by the club. Read the rest of this entry »

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Breaking down TFC’s 2012 season, player by player

Reggie Lambe: TFC winless when he plays the full 90; was a -20 on the season

We broke down the Whitecaps, now we break down Toronto FC.

We looked back at Toronto FC’s disastrous 2012 campaign, but we broke down the games minute by minute. From that, we came up with a goal difference for every player on the Reds, similar to a plus-minus in hockey. And, we also looked at the Reds’ record when each player on the team was utilized as either a starter or a sub.

(For more on our methodology, check out the Vancouver Whitecaps recap. Click HERE)

We did not include the CONCACAF Champions League or Amway Canadian Championship in this statistical snapshot. This only includes MLS regular-season matches.
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Braun offers an insurance policy for Toronto FC

Justin Braun

Like a good neighbour, Justin Braun is there.

Yes, we’ve taken some liberty with State Farm’s famous advertising jingle. But, for Toronto FC, that’s what the newly acquired American striker offers — some insurance. He’ll play behind Designated Player-strikers Danny Koevermans and Eric Hassli, whose thirtysomething bones and joints promise increased injury risks. So, in making this deal, Toronto FC has increased its depth at striker and felt it was worth the sacrifice of defender Aaron Maund.

Maund, a first-round selection in the 2012 SuperDraft, was sent to Real Salt Lake in exchange for Braun.

Braun has enjoyed some Jekyll-and-Hyde games against TFC in the past. He scored against the Reds as a member of Chivas USA back in 2011; but he had games in 2010 and 2011 at BMO Field where he found himself open for numerous chances in front of goal but couldn’t convert.
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Hassli a finalist for FIFA goal of the year

Eric Hassli: No longer a Whitecap, but nominated for one of his greatest Vancouver moments

Eric Hassli’s wonder goal from the 2012 Amway Canadian Championship has put him on an exclusive list with the likes of Lionel Messi and Radamel Falcao.

The Toronto FC striker is on the short list for the Ferenc Puskas Award, which FIFA awards for the best goal scored in 2012, anywhere in the world. Messi is nominated. Falcao is nominated. And Hassli is also on the list, for his May 16 goal that gave the Vancouver Whitecaps a 1-1 draw with Toronto FC in the first leg of the Amway Canadian Championship final.

(Toronto FC would go on to win the second leg, and Hassli would later be traded to Toronto, so there’s plenty of irony about this goal, too).

After being nominated for an ESPY in 2011 for his audacious long-range-goal-while-shuffling-away-from-goal tally against the Seattle Sounders, Hassli once again showed his penchant for the spectacular in May. He allowed a long cross to sail past his torso, then whipped his right leg through the ball and smashed the volley into the top corner of the Toronto FC goal. The goal set BC Place alight. What made the goal special is that it wasn’t an easy cross to handle; it was hit with decent velocity, but wasn’t high enough for Hassli to strike with his head.
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TFC season ends with the whimper of indifference

Federico Higuain: Two goals

In the cold and rain of Columbus, it finally came to an end.

It wasn’t quick. It wasn’t merciful. With a 2-1 loss to Columbus on the final day of MLS regular-season play, the Reds finished their last-place season with a 14-game winless streak in MLS play. Aron Winter began the season coaching the team to nine straight losses; Paul Mariner finished the season with no wins over more than three months.

The last time the Reds won an MLS game, July 18 over Colorado, Canada was still in control of its World Cup destiny, Mitt Romney still hadn’t become the official GOP candidate, Robin Van Persie was still an Arsenal player and Lance Armstrong had seven Tour De France titles.
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TFC’s attendance grief offers a cautionary tale for the Impact

As TFC played Montreal, this was a common sight at BMO Field.

Toronto FC’s home schedule ended not with a bang of another last-second concession but rather the whimper of a fairly rote 0-0 draw with the Montreal Impact. It was the indifference that might be the most worrying thing for the Reds as they finish their sixth straight year out of the playoffs — out of the announced 16,151 in attendance at BMO Field, the majority of the noise seemed to be coming from the 150-odd Impact fans in the visitors’ section.

As far as the Impact is concerned, the erosion of support for TFC in its home city is a cautionary tale.

“You know these Canadian cities are tough with teams except for hockey, where you have a century of tradition,” said Impact midfielder Patrice Bernier. “You have to win to make sure the people keep coming. This first year has been good since we’ve been very solid at home and I think the people are proud of that and proud of the season we’ve had. We have to make sure we have the same kind of season and even better next year to keep it going.”

Montreal’s first season as a Major League Soccer franchise has been a respectable one, with the Impact sitting with 42 points and a 12-15-6 record heading into its season finale against New England next weekend. The 12 wins and 42 points, for the record, are already more than TFC has ever achieved over six years of existence.
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O’Dea: Toronto FC “is mentally weak”

Darren O’Dea

Same old story.
 
Toronto FC was looking to bounce back from its dismal effort and the tongue-lashing dished out by coach Paul Mariner after Wednesday night’s dismal performance in a 2-1 loss to Chicago Fire at home.

The team definitely rebounded with a better overall team game but the Philadelphia Union (7-13-5) snatched victory out of TFC’s grasp with a goal in the game’s final minutes, allowing the visitors to escape BMO Field with a 1-1 draw. TFC (5-17-7) rued the missed opportunities in a strong first half and lacked the mental toughness once again in the late stages of a game that erased the advantage supplied by Eric Hassli in the 58th minute.
 
TFC’s winless streak has now reached nine games and the team remains entrenched in the cellar of the Eastern Conference. Read the rest of this entry »

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