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
Clyde Simms needs second kidney transplant    
Just days after receiving a kidney transplant, former U.S. international Clyde Simms, who was forced to ...
What They're Saying: Thierry Henry    
"Now teams have their own stadiums. You see the fans wearing the jerseys of their teams. ...
Youth Report: U.S. U-20s sweep, U-18s split    
The U.S. under-20 national team wrapped up its trip to San Pedro Sula with a second ...
ODP Boys Winter Interregional all-stars named    
All-Star teams were named for the 2014 U.S. Youth Soccer ODP Boys Winter Interregional that wrapped ...
Tottenham edges New England prep stars for IMG Cup title    
Tottenham's U-18s won the Super Group in the fifth annual IMG Cup with a 1-0 win ...
Houston switches USL PRO partners for 2015 season    
The Houston Dynamo will team up with the Charleston Battery as its USL PRO affiliate in ...
Bradenton and Austin to host MLS preseason events    
Eight clubs will take part in the inaugural IMG Suncoast Pro Classic Feb. 16-28 at IMG ...
TV Report: EPL Breakaway set for New Year's Day    
NBCSN will present its first-ever Premier League Breakaway --  a special two-hour show featuring RedZone-like live ...
MLS Trade Central: Monday's deals    
The Chicago Fire signed Indiana University defender Patrick Doody as the club's sixth Homegrown Player. In ...
No time to end the one thing I love to do    
Taylor Leach, a two-time first-team All-SEC defender, led the University of South Carolina to the quarterfinals ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives