Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Toronto FC gets Dutch touch from Winter
by Ridge Mahoney, January 6th, 2011 7:20PM

MOST READ
TAGS:  mls, toronto fc

MOST COMMENTED

[MLS] Can Aron Winter turn Toronto FC into a bastion of Total Soccer, or will the former Dutch international be more like compatriot Ruud Gullit?

TFC has changed course, again, by selecting Winter as head coach and technical director; in essence, he replaces manager/director of soccer operations Mo Johnston and head coach Preki, who were both dismissed last August. To assist his education in all things MLS -- salary cap, player distribution mechanisms, drafts, and other nuances Gullit never attempted to master during his brief, disastrous run with the Los Angeles Galaxy three years ago – TFC has also brought aboard former Revs assistant coach Paul Mariner as director of player personnel.

“I will use Paul a lot in the early days as I get used to how things work here," Winter said in a press release confirming the hires.

The choices were made by former German international Juergen Klinsmann, who was brought aboard as a consultant by the team’s ownership, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, after it dismissed Johnston and Preki.

Winter, 43, has been on the coaching staff at Ajax for more than five years. He started his pro playing career with Ajax in 1986 at age 18 and also played in Italy with Lazio and Inter Milan. Winter finished his playing career, which also featured 84 caps and six goals for the Netherlands, in 2002 with Ajax and a loan spell at Sparta Rotterdam.

(Klinsmann also played at Inter, but Winter arrived four years after Klinsmann moved on to Monaco. They were opponents in one of the most notorious matches in World Cup history; the 1990 World Cup second round match between the Netherlands and West Germany in which Frank Rijkaard spat on German striker Rudi Voeller. Both players were sent off midway through the first half. Klinsmann scored the first goal in a 2-1 win for West Germany.)

This will be Mariner’s fourth coaching stint in North America; prior to joining the Revs, he was a player-coach for the APSL Albany Capitals and San Francisco Bay Blackhawks. Numerous Revs, including recently retired midfielder Steve Ralston and striker Taylor Twellman, give Mariner much of the credit for the team’s three straight (2005-07) MLS Cup apppearances.

“I know Toronto fans have been told to ‘watch this spot’ for several years,” said Mariner, a former English international who spent six years with the Revs before joining the staff of Plymouth Argyle in 2009. Plymouth, mired deep in financial difficulties, released him from his contract last month.

“Can we turn it around right away? The intelligent football answer is ‘No, we can’t.’ There are no guarantees. All I can say is that I am extremely confident that this is the right mix. I wouldn’t be here otherwise.”

Klinsmann and Mariner are both admirers of the Ajax system, which features a reliance on skillful, attacking play honed by one of the best player development programs in the world. As a player and coach, Winter’s time at Ajax adds up to 16 years.

“People are aware of the Dutch playing Total Football. We want to play a style for Toronto, but it will take time – maybe three years,” Winter said. “We have goals in the meantime for next year.

“The playoffs are our goal.”

That may not seem like much, but for a fan base frustrated by more than four years of bungling management, coaching turnover, and absences from postseason play, it would be a major step forward.



0 comments
  1. James Froehlich
    commented on: January 7, 2011 at 11:26 a.m.
    I am not a Toronto fan, HOWEVER, the success of Winter and Mariner in bringing Total Football to MLS can have a positive effect on the entire league. The problem will be to find enough players in MLS and the US with sufficient skill to actually play Total Football!! Good luck Aron and Paul -- may the soccer gods be with you!!

  1. Haaj America
    commented on: January 7, 2011 at 3 p.m.
    Winters does not have a strong reputation as a trainer here in Amsterdam. Let's hope he makes the best of this opportunity in the MLS. Wonder why at his he age he is not pursuing a coaching career in Europe? Ajax Amsterdam would be the first to tell you, a lot of the ex-famous players recently have not turned out to be strong trainers. Sonny Silooy definitely falls into this catergory. Unlike Silooy,Winters is a nice guy. May success follow him!


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




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: Pachuca's Marco Garces    
"We keep scouting the U.S. and send scouts every so often and one of them came ...
id2 National Selection picked for Argentina trip    
The id2 National Selection roster for the international tour to Argentina Feb. 28-March 10 features 18 ...
RSL will build stadium for USL PRO Monarchs    
Lots of MLS clubs have built soccer-specific stadiums. Real Salt Lake is taking things one step ...
Chile-USA: Three storylines to follow    
Nine veterans of the 2014 World Cup have been summoned by head coach Jurgen Klinsmann as ...
Chile longshots begin Copa America prep    
For the USA, the game against Chile Wednesday in Rancagua will the first match of the ...
What They're Saying: Phil Neville    
"I'd be first over there and I'd probably look to two-foot him or take him out ...
Video Pick: Artist and maverick, Riquelme retires    
Juan Riquelme announced the end of his fascinating career on Sunday, at age 36. The Argentine ...
Hope Solo's U.S. future remains up in air    
U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati hopes women's national team star Hope Solo makes progress during her ...
What They're Saying: Sunil Gulati     
"Sure. ... We've asked her to do a number of things, and she's going to have ...
MLS Trade Central: Red Bulls land Felipe    
The New York Red Bulls made their first major player acquisition since new sporting director Ali ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives