Home MLS Toronto FC TFC waves bye bye to Bob de Klerk

TFC waves bye bye to Bob de Klerk

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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.

Bob de Klerk

With Winter gone and the Dutch 4-3-3 system being dismantled by Paul Mariner, de Klerk was increasingly isolated in the club.

And, while on the bench, de Klerk was on a first-name basis with a lot of referees in the league, which wasn’t a good thing for the club. A series of sending offs and altercations with referees made him TFC’s unofficial voice of protest, but it got to the point where his need to confront officials had become problematic for the club. Really, when TFC fans remember de Klerk, the first thing they’ll think of is that time he confronted a ref or wouldn’t let a controversial call go.

While Thomas Rongen is still present in the youth ranks of TFC, you could argue that de Klerk’s departure is yet another nail in the coffin of the Dutch system in Canada. In 2011, Winter brought 4-3-3 to TFC, while Harry Sinkgraven employed the system at FC Edmonton of the NASL. Both systems have been scrapped and all the coaches involved are out of North American soccer. Too rigid in their applications of the system — Edmonton didn’t go to a 4-4-2 till too late in the 2012 season — they found more roadblocks than successes.

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