Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
The pressure's on Preki in Toronto
by Ridge Mahoney, January 26th, 2010 7AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

[MLS]When quizzed about his team's lack of aggression at the 2010 SuperDraft, Toronto coach Preki neatly finessed the issue as easily as he did potential tacklers during a playing career that spanned more than two decades.

"We weren't going to panic," he said of TFC sticking with its two lower-round picks (Nos. 24 and 53 overall) and not swinging a move to get a first-round selection. "We had a good draft last year and we have a lot of players coming back, and we have some moves in mind, so we're happy with where we are."

TFC had dealt its 2010 first-round pick to FC Dallas during the 2009 season to acquire defender Adrian Serioux, and late in the season brought aboard midfielder Julian de Guzman as its first Designated Player.

The departure of midfielder Amado Guevara to his native Honduras and the retirement of fan favorite Danny Dichio had already roiled the roster, so despite his nickname of "Trader Mo," manager, director of soccer Mo Johnston and his newest hiring decided to stand pat.

The dynamic between Johnston and Preki -- former teammates not only with Kansas City but in England with Everton - will be one of the fascinating subplots of the 2010 MLS season. Despite regular sellouts at BMO Field, TFC has missed the playoffs in each of its three seasons, so both of these fiercely competitive men must be ready to produce success. The team is also spending millions of dollars to install a grass field and build ancillary facilities to replace the synthetic-turf surface being removed.

"Of course the pressure is on us to make the playoffs but to me the most important pressure is what you put on yourself," says Preki. "Mo and I and the players don't need anyone to tell us we are under a lot of pressure. Mo and I may disagree about some things but we are committed to winning. I think that's more important."

At Chivas USA, Preki reached the playoffs three straight years - he'd served as an assistant to Bob Bradley in 2006 before taking the helm when Bradley jumped to the U.S. national team - and each season ended in the conference semifinals. Injuries marred the team, especially in the last two seasons, but disagreements with club management - parent club Guadalajara and owner Jorge Vergara are taking more control of the U.S.-based operation -- triggered speculation he'd be gone after the 2009 season even when the team held first place in the Western Conference.

"There's no need to talk about it," he said of his departure, which opened the job for Martin Vasquez. "The time was right for me to leave and this is a great opportunity for me in Toronto, to work with Mo and this organization, and I'm just really glad to be here."

Preki will need some grounding in the special rules MLS has set up for its only, to date, Canadian entry. Each MLS team is allotted eight international slots, except Toronto, which has 13 such allotments, five of which may be used on U.S. players.

For TFC, domestic players refer to those legally authorized to work in Canada: Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or those assigned protected status.

His 40-29-21 record in the regular season contrasts sharply with a mark of 0-3-3 in the playoffs. Johnston, though, moved quickly; less than a week after Chivas USA announced Preki had been let go, TFC announced his hiring to take over a team that has posted a 25-41-24 record under three previous head coaches, including Johnston.

"He was a great teammate as a player, and I think you can see he brought that winning mentality to Chivas USA as a coach," says Johnston. "That's what we want at this club, and now it's up to him and all of us."

 



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Copa Centenario: U.S. leagues heavily represented    
The USA's roster for the Copa Centenario includes 10 current MLS players, but 17 other MLS ...
USA-Ecuador: Kellyn Acosta called in, Chandler OK    
U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann added Kellyn Acosta to the U.S. roster for Wednesday's friendly ...
What They're Saying: Carli Lloyd    
"I have scored some big-time goals. I've done well in Algarve Cups. I've done well in ...
NWSL Rewind: Olympic hopefuls stand out in goal    
Chicago Red Stars keeper Alyssa Naeher, who is battling for one of two spots in goal ...
USL Rewind: Wheeler and Warshaw lead Isles to victory    
The Harrisburg City Islanders and Bethlehem Steel squared off for the first time Sunday, and Aaron ...
NASL Rewind: Cosmos back in first place    
The defending NASL champion New York Cosmos returned to first-place in the spring standings thanks to ...
What They're Saying: Earnie Stewart    
"He [Freddy Adu] was 14 years old, very talented but only practiced once a day. That ...
Copa Centenario: Final rosters released    
The final 23-player rosters for the 16 competing teams in the Copa Centenario were unveiled on ...
Video Pick: Wright-Phillip' strikes with overhead kick    
Two of the Red Bulls' goals from their 7-0 win over NYCFC feature among the eight ...
What They're Saying: Andrea Pirlo    
"It's a very hard league to play in. It's very physical, there's a lot of running. ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives