Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
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: France U-17 coach Jean-Claude Giuntini    
"He was determined to take the penalty. There was no way I could refuse him." -- ...
Friday: Shared interests foster Beckham's Miami meeting    
Friday could be a decisive day as David Beckham seeks to get the ball rolling on ...
What They're Saying: Luis Figo    
"I have seen with my own eyes federation presidents who, after one day comparing FIFA leaders ...
NWSL Roundup: Reign has plenty to counter China    
Seattle Reign FC has another bye week in the NWSL, but it will use it to ...
TV Report: Top 15 U.S. EPL markets    
NBCUniversal, which concludes its second year of English Premier League coverage with "Championship Sunday" at 9 ...
ICYMI | MLS: Wondo takes century chase to big stage    
A fast start to the 2015 season has Chris Wondolowski one goal away from reaching the ...
MLS this weekend ...    
A 42-day stint on the road will take FC Dallas to both coasts and several points ...
Open Cup: Cosmos-NYCFC? Jersey gets a say first    
U.S. Soccer conducted the draw for the fourth round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, ...
Twenty for Canada 2015: England's Lianne Sanderson    
With the international retirement of Kelly Smith, her Arsenal Ladies teammate, Lianne Sanderson could be the ...
Twenty for Canada 2015: Nigeria's Asisat Oshoala    
Asisat Oshoala is being tipped as the greatest young female player to ever come out of ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives