Toronto FC executive Anselmi resigns

[MLS SPOTLIGHT] Another Toronto FC majordomo has been shown the door as the makeover under Tim Leiweke continues.

Tom Anselmi, a Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment executive since 1996 and formerly the executive vice president of TFC, announced his resignation Friday. He had been working as MLS&E chief operating officer since 2004; the hiring of Leiweke last April as MLS&E president and CEO had brought into question of status of several executives within the organization.

TFC president and general manager Kevin Payne departed earlier this week, just nine months after being hired by Anselmi to rebuild the team. Payne’s choice as head coach, Ryan Nelsen, who as a player helped D.C. United win the 2004 MLS Cup during Payne’s long tenure at that club, has produced one of the league’s worst teams. Yet Leiweke has stated Nelsen, who before coming to TFC had no coaching experience at any level, will return as coach.

Under Anselmi, Toronto lurched through many head coaches -- Mo Johnston, John Carver, Chris Cummins, Preki, Aron Winter -- and hired the likes of Paul Mariner (as interim coach last season) and Jurgen Klinsmann (as a consultant) to straighten things out. Nothing worked; since joining MLS in 2007 TFC has never qualified for the playoffs.

“The entire organization, including our ownership group, is grateful to Tom for his many contributions to the success of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment over the years,” said Leiweke in a press release announcing the move.
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