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  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ultra & Proud View Post
    To say he hasn't had time or autonomy is just wrong.
    Your argument does not support that.

    We have no idea how much of what he does is board directed. Zero. He may have had zero autonomy since Ali was fired. He may have had zero from before that.

    Certainly, my impression in discussing things both with him and with other front office people is that there is always a constraint, always someone at either the league or MLSE that requires consideration. The politics are considerable and often in the way.

    The communications person, whom he initially referred to when asked as a "star" I later learned is a political appointee, largely, and that the communications direction and deliverables are largely determined by the league head office, not internally.

    That's WHY there's little specific direction to mold narratives and engagement. It's not even that the person is incompetent, it's just that neither she nor he is really calling those shots, and are strongly encouraged not to "end around" the league being in charge of messaging.

    On top of having to keep the board and MLSE happy -- and whether he has partial or full autonomy of final decisions (which I really no longer believe to be the case), there's no doubt he's told people internally that big spending decisions get board judgment after the fact, and MLS judgment before it.

    It seems likely those two sides often do not see eye to eye.

    Similarly, several of his hires have had more power within the league, or influence anyway, than he has had, because although he is from that community -- he played a few years of semi-pro basically -- he was out of it for years working in the NFL and at smaller clubs. So he is not considered an "old guard" MLS guy. But Dodd, who left, was. So was Bob.

    So he gets pressure to hire certain people, and then afterwards gets pressure to 'let them do their jobs' without his interference.

    I think there's a chance he's been relegated to puppet status on the MLS side -- but kept because he's done well with the financials on both teams. And I say that because almost nothing he personally espouses that he'd like to see or do ever actually occurs, and I know it's not for lack of trying to make it happen. There just isn't the support there, either because he's already lost their confidence to make those types of decisions or because there hasn't been a time when the board and league didn't interfere constantly.

    It's difficult for me to place the person I've talked football and management with in the shoes of the guy who's running this show. They seem like abjectly different people. One seems willing to listen to fans, to Hernandez as an ex player, to media critiques. The other... makes terrible decisions that ignore all those things.

    He's either schizophrenic, or he's not got the free-wheeling destructive capability everyone thinks. I'm not sure it can be both.
    Last edited by jloome; 09-26-2023 at 10:40 AM.

  2. #32
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    The flipside of that is, if he has such little autonomy, why was Bezbatchenko so successful as GM he turned us into the best team the league had seen, and Manning (and his hires under him) so consistently poor? You can see the influence of one vs the other in outcomes, results on the field and just the type of signings and roster construction. Similarly, the Bob Bradley era had a very distinct feel to it in terms of the signings, also.

    Just looking at the results and the signature of the signings, to me, implies there's alot of autonomy in constructing a roster and that someone with the exact same ownership constructed a roster that was maybe the best the league had ever seen to date

    Now I have zero insight, so I'm not disagreeing, just from the outside looking in I can see the difference the man in the roster construction seat makes and that says to me that they're given alot of rope and, with the right person in there, have shown they could succeed with what they were given to work with
    Last edited by JoesphNdo; 09-26-2023 at 11:11 AM.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoesphNdo View Post
    The flipside of that is, if he has such little autonomy, why was Bezbatchenko so successful as GM he turned us into the best team the league had seen, and Manning so consistently poor?
    Because his hires for GM, Ali and Bradley, constructed absolutely shit rosters?

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by jloome View Post
    Your argument does not support that.

    We have no idea how much of what he does is board directed. Zero. He may have had zero autonomy since Ali was fired. He may have had zero from before that.
    We don't have an idea what the board is directing but it's commonly thought that the board often forgets there is a TFC as it's some rinky dink thing floating around like the Argos. Just there to look good on their corporate graphics to fill out the page.

    Possibly he has zero influence on anything but I doubt it. Somebody is making the managerial and backroom hirings. I doubt the board is looking through physio's CVs to see if they should be hired. On just the eye test, many of the mistakes are the same mistakes repeated and they began when he came aboard and more so after he lost Bez & Vanney. So somebody is making decisions that are poor. Somebody chose the Italians as huge DP signings and brought in the likes of Gallardo, Soteldo, etc and that wasn't the board. For sure a bunch of our terrible TAM or higher sub threshold signings were on Bob, Curtis, or Armas but Bill hired them all and gave them autonomy. Somebody is hiring the people running the academy at all levels and watching them fail and doing nothing. I can't say it's Bill but it all goes back to him as somewhere down the line he hired the guy that hired the guy. Almost every facet of Toronto FC has degraded under his watch and he is still there. So as much as we don't know if he has autonomy or has been given time, we don't know that he doesn't/hasn't and the fact that he remains in his position though his remakable amount of high profile failures leads me to think he does or at least did up until recently.
    Last edited by Ultra & Proud; 09-26-2023 at 11:13 AM.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by wopchop View Post
    Because his hires for GM, Ali and Bradley, constructed absolutely shit rosters?
    Because they were allowed to, that's what I'm driving at

    You change the person in charge of roster construction and you see *profound* differences in results, in how the roster is constructed and the type of signings made. That implies that 1) that position is incredibly important, and given a level of autonomy to do their thing and 2) that the right person in that seat, with everything else the same, can turn us into a winner and has done so before. Which says to me the problem is the GM, and changing it would probably end alot of these conversations

  6. #36
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    Iíd like to point out as a professional who has been stuck in many of these situations, you always have a choice. It may not be a choice for the better of TFC but itís always a choice for the person.

    If you stick around and allow your reputation to be repeatedly denigrated by others bad choices and donít push back when itís called for, itís hard to argue itís undeserved.

    In the end itís a choice between on the right path and security. Being agreeable (spineless) might keep you employed longer and lead to nicer conversations but it wonít take you to the top. It also doesnít meet the definition of leadership.
    Last edited by ag futbol; 09-26-2023 at 11:19 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoesphNdo View Post
    Because they were allowed to, that's what I'm driving at

    You change the person in charge of roster construction and you see *profound* differences in results, in how the roster is constructed and the type of signings made. That implies that 1) that position is incredibly important, and given a level of autonomy to do their thing and 2) that the right person in that seat, with everything else the same, can turn us into a winner and has done so before. Which says to me the problem is the GM, and changing it would probably end alot of these conversations
    Yes, I agree that the lack of a good GM has made the biggest difference.
    Personally I'm not a fan of Manning, and to me his biggest failures have been in his poor hires for that position.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoesphNdo View Post
    Which says to me the problem is the GM, and changing it would probably end alot of these conversations
    This is the main thing we need and Hernandez is not it. Since Manning is eternal, a proven GM with autonomy and no meddling from Bill on DPs for marketing purposes is what would solve a lot of our issues. But who makes this hire? The guy who made the rest of them is terrible at it and the board aren't exactly football people.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by ag futbol View Post
    Iíd like to point out as a professional who has been stuck in many of these situations, you always have a choice. It may not be a choice for the better of TFC but itís always a choice for the person.

    If you stick around and allow your reputation to be repeatedly denigrated by others bad choices and donít push back when itís called for, itís hard to argue itís undeserved..
    Oh yeah, I actually made that point to him in the same conversation as asking him why he hadn't resigned on principle. And he was honest: he thinks he can fix it, he loves the job generally and being in sports management.

    As was pointed out to me by a few other fairly experienced exec types, once you lose that kind of gig you quite often NEVER get anything comparable again.

    So I get it. But he's still responsible, regardless of whether being directed or directing others. THAT comes with the title, the car and the paycheque.

    And here's the thing: As I've told many people, I spent more than half my career at newspapers in management. I fucked up MANY times, at MANY levels, sometimes with drastically negative consequences to others.

    If you're in media, are overconfident and emotionally immature (as many, many people are), you can do a lot of damage. I still, on balance, did far more good, so I'm not tortured by it or anything. But the reality is having some power, it's easy to fuck up.

    You also have to wear it at some level, however, or the lessons aren't learned; by you, by the organization, by society as a whole.

    So, if he's in puppet mode... well, his decisions post Bez brought that upon him.

    Jospeh Ndo, to your point, Bez was a league-endorsed winner. Most people with money that I've known generally know better than to fuck with a winner when they're making out like bandits. He got us into the top 250 clubs iin the world. (We're now behind clubs from Estonia and Senegal).

    But the very fact that he was league endorsed, I can see that annoying board members in terms of his being moved up. And I can see Manning with the realization that eventually, Bez would want to move up again... and there's only one other spot left, which is his.

    The politics are often ridiculous, let's be honest.

    The thing is, I'm pretty sure that even if he is getting huge pushback from above, they will expect results eventually. Perhaps even more so, because some of the richest guys tend to forget fairly early in their wealth that they make mistakes, that the thing that made them rich isn't even the matter at hand, that they're not experts.

    So if it goes badly with Herdman, he's done. They'll see it as "we told him what to do and he still couldn't win," even if the reality may be "our approach was stupid, shortsighted and arrogant."

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ultra & Proud View Post
    This is the main thing we need and Hernandez is not it. Since Manning is eternal, a proven GM with autonomy and no meddling from Bill on DPs for marketing purposes is what would solve a lot of our issues. But who makes this hire? The guy who made the rest of them is terrible at it and the board aren't exactly football people.
    Yeah, this is a real issue. His instinct is telling him that because Hernandez started waving flags earliest, that outspokenness equates with seeing and resolving problems more quickly.

    But... that's nowhere near enough proof of ability when it comes to cutting deals, signing players etc.

    Look at Atlanta: after Tata left, they were floundering. So Arthur Blank lured Garth Lagerway away from Seattle, and they're getting better by the week. He knows how to sign players that work in MLS, and how to develop youth.

    Hernandez is a total crapshoot based on character, precisely the type of call that got him in trouble with Ali, where he misperceived Ali's outward tendencies to be cleverness and had trusted him for years. If he's right, he looks like a brilliant people person, because he's promoted a young African American executive to winning position. If he's wrong, we go through three-to-five more years of horrible shit and he's out of a job.

    To me, the wise move would've been someone like Lagerway, who is proven. But perhaps Ensco is right, perhaps someone like that won't come to a corporate-board-run team like us. Maybe he realized an individual owner, while problematic in some cases, can also be a lot easier to navigate in others.

    I feel a little that way about Herdman, too. He seems sold on Herdman's plan being so comprehensive, so precise and full of forethought, that it's going to make everyone else's job easier; Hernandez, because Herdman will know who or specifically what traits he wants. Communications and marketing, becasue of his Canada role.

    I think of the two bets, Herdman is obviously the better one to take, but it's not a sure thing. He hasn't managed at the club level, with a deeply divided dressing room, with deeply divided money, in a political organization. MLSE might make Canada Soccer look empathetic and confident by comparison.
    Last edited by jloome; 09-26-2023 at 12:12 PM.

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by ensco View Post
    I am still on this question of our ability to compete for GM/President talent.

    Let me just leave this quote from the CEO of Brighton here. Paul Barber is an interesting name because, to me, he would be the central casting "perfect" hire for Manning's role. Barber grew up at Spurs, then came over and ran the Whitecaps in their first couple of years in MLS, then left to go to Brighton & Hove Albion(where Paul Beirne worked for him for a couple of years). Barber rebuilt that team - but it took them 5 years to get to the EPL from the Championship.

    Ask yourself, could you get someone like this to come here? If you threw enough money at them? The answer I think is no, because they know they simply wouldnít be allowed the time to spend/build, or the autonomy, to do what they doÖ

    ______

    Brighton chief executive Paul Barber:

    "We try to have players through our door before we need them. In an ideal world, you donít want to be targeting a player right after youíve sold one in his position, because everybody knows youíve got money! A lot of work goes into that process of looking at players all over the world. The more data there is when it comes to recruiting that player or coach, the better, but there are certain markets where the data is thinner than others. The data will be thinner in places where, for example, players have a longer education or donít feature in as many league games. When weíre looking at players from those areas, we combine our research to make sure weíve got plenty of eyes on scouting and character referencing, to build up a picture as best we can.Ē
    Any team should be doing anything they can to lure anyone from Brighton. They are absolutely killing it on player identification and with managers. And when one player goes for $100 million, they have the next one come straight in without losing a beat. It's amazing what they're doing right now.

    Speaking of Brighton, remember the time we were rumoured to be in for Alexis MacAllister?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jloome View Post
    I feel a little that way about Herdman, too. He seems sold on Herdman's plan being so comprehensive, so precise and full of forethought, that it's going to make everyone else's job easier; Hernandez, because Herdman will know who or specifically what traits he wants. Communications and marketing, becasue of his Canada role.

    I think of the two bets, Herdman is obviously the better one to take, but it's not a sure thing. He hasn't managed at the club level, with a deeply divided dressing room, with deeply divided money, in a political organization. MLSE might make Canada Soccer look empathetic and confident by comparison.
    The thing I wonder about Herdman is where he will be looking to get players from? In the past we knew Vanney loved his French footballers, Armas/Curtis wanted their RB types, Bob wanted ex-LAFC and odd randoms but what about Herdman?

    Simplest thing is to say young Canadians or else whoever he scouted in CONCACAF but who knows really? Even worse is trying to figure out what Hernandez knows besides MLS. I think he understands MLS but what about outside that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Canary10 View Post
    Any team should be doing anything they can to lure anyone from Brighton.
    We should have been trying to get Pfannenstiel off St. Louis or aim for someone like him to be our Sporting Director. Guy did a great job with most of his moves and not for huge money.

    But now real clubs want him so he is probably gone soon.

  14. #44
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    This is probably not a popular idea but I would have stolen Montrealís sporting director. Heís doing good work over there operating under a madman.

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    back to Og's comment, at least for me personally its definitely not just a shift in the on field product. Like Ag and others have mentioned- there's definitely been a slow but steady sterilization of the club from how it originally felt when there was a closer relationship/bond between management/players, and the fans (both supporters groups, regular holders and walk-ins). Communication was consistent, ticket agents felt like they truly wanted to help you out in giving you the best experience possible back when things began- peaking in the Bez era. Ticket prices were fair value and there was some humility shown through actions by freezing tickets, or hosting other town halls and events when shit was hitting the fan and fans needed an outlet.

    Not so long ago the club might have still been owned by MLSE, but there was still very much a vibe where the club cherished its relationship with supporters; the idea that if we can build closer bonds with our concentrated customer base through communications, member events, open door feedback & availability (from GM to coach to even big Tim L for some events), and a clear on field identity mixed with transfer and development strategy, we can continue to build a very educated and passionate fan base who will stick through the projects thick or thin, and that base will just grow. Guess that was short lived.

    Somewhere along the way it felt like with stadium expansions, DP's becoming prominent - and seeing how ticket sales/season seat purchases and league/playoff standings improved drastically with Giovinco type signings & marketing, things went cold with the current brass. They started to give less shits about the individual fans and their experiences (and feedback) and began rolling the dice on fans or walk-ins that only care about an epic football experience, or being apart of an 'event' (which not to knock fellow Torontonians but Toronto has always been an "Event/bandwagon" type city- people jumping on when the getting is good, so they can feel positive experiences/vibes and be apart of the end product of something magical -> see raptors, TFC 2018, etc.). But anyway you cut it - the strategy shifted to building DPs, rosters and everything around mining the shit out of that hype experience, and that profile of customer. My Season ticket rep felt like changed a couple times a year, they never reached out, stopped giving a shit about any flight risks of me leaving. When I did there was no attempt to keep me - it was "thanks for the 12 years FiveThreeTwo!A few times I had to email them to ask about fan events or other things.

    And meanwhile every other team in the MLS used our original model of building organic strong supporters cultures, close feedback channels and transparency (and letting organic local cultures dictate transfer policy and club image/matchday experience) - see LAFC, Dallas, St Louis, Seattle, Atlanta, etc etc.) to great success - we've gone ice cold end product and corporate marketing.

    Hate to say it, but half of the reason i've been shut off isn't exclusively the on field product. Going around to other clubs games now and feeling their matchday - its vibrant. It's unique. It isn't perfect or corporate boilerplate. They don't have the best sound systems or jumbotrons or fancy aesthetics, but its put together with passion and energy. You go to TFC games now and everything from the decorations/themes, to the Jumbotron shit, to the "Hey TFC fans' at the start of games. It's all just big time corporate assembly line marketing mass produced bullshit. It's bland, and maybe its because of being around it for 12+ years lol, it just got old and tiring- especially when the club isn't winning, the team is clearly a pile of shit - they try to keep up the car salesmen vibe of selling you some shallow 1/4 baked Football experience.

    Mixed with the other environmental factors - the more we suck, the more it all just comes off as disingenuous and plastic, and not really trying to keep together the original "All-For-One" supporters orientated mindset that made this club the de-facto template for every MLS expansion franchise after.

    Just my personaly reflections to Ogs post. I actually withdrew my seasons after last year. Truth be told I wasn't expecting us to be so shit this year, but it didn't surprise me either given the clusterfuck of technical debt this club as accrued. But I think the above is a main reason why this club has started to lose it's identity... or at least no longer feels like something one can be 'proud of' even when things aren't so great and there's adversity- just shitty Ops and losing their way on nurturing the relationship with their supporters, mass turnover of ideas & poor decisions, and the lack of respect in keeping all paying stakeholders in the loop, giving a speaking forum, and making them feel valued.
    Last edited by FiveThreeTwo; 09-26-2023 at 05:26 PM.

  16. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoesphNdo View Post
    The flipside of that is, if he has such little autonomy, why was Bezbatchenko so successful as GM he turned us into the best team the league had seen....

    A reminder that the disaster that was 2018 is ALL on Bez.

    And the bombs in the roster that were issues in 2020? Again..Bez.

    He did a lot of good - but he didn't stick around to watch it all fall apart.

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    Not to derail the thread but what Brighton is doing is unsustainable, they are going to find out quickly what it feels like to pay the "big club tax". Magnificent footballing operations though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OgtheDim View Post
    A reminder that the disaster that was 2018 is ALL on Bez.

    And the bombs in the roster that were issues in 2020? Again..Bez.

    He did a lot of good - but he didn't stick around to watch it all fall apart.
    And a reminder of our results without him vs with him, there's two speeds at Toronto fc - utter dumpster fire (no bez) best team in league history (bez). And a reminder of what he's done at Columbus since vs what we've done with far more budget.
    Last edited by JoesphNdo; 09-26-2023 at 07:58 PM.

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    Oh I know what he did and is doing

    I also remember 2018 and a lot of contracts signed before that year that hobbled us until 2021

    Which is kinda the point of this thread - we've been crud way more then not and even when we were good, the sustainability hasn't been there, even with those who were around then.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OgtheDim View Post
    Oh I know what he did and is doing

    I also remember 2018 and a lot of contracts signed before that year that hobbled us until 2021

    Which is kinda the point of this thread - we've been crud way more then not and even when we were good, the sustainability hasn't been there, even with those who were around then.
    I don't see any evidence whatsoever what we were doing wasn't sustainable and a mountain of results based evidence that it was, both with us and with the person who was behind it getting results elsewhere. The roster was good enough to still challenge in 2019, which would certainly imply it was sustainable as does, again, what has happened at Columbus. Good roster construction wins you championships in this league, we were good when we had it and have been garbage without it

    You can cite a few contracts, in return I'll cite a decade of results. You seen to really not like the man and I'm sure you have your reasons but we're talking a pretty substantial sample size on his track record here
    Last edited by JoesphNdo; 09-26-2023 at 09:18 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OgtheDim View Post
    Oh I know what he did and is doing

    I also remember 2018 and a lot of contracts signed before that year that hobbled us until 2021

    Which is kinda the point of this thread - we've been crud way more then not and even when we were good, the sustainability hasn't been there, even with those who were around then.
    Totally fair to point this out. He signed VDW and Aketxe, both were incredibly awful.

    VDW in particular, they really outsmarted themselves taking a chance on him. Everyone said his attitude sucked and he was playing his way out of football nooo clearly we knew better.

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    I don’t really see Bez as anywhere near as important as Leiweke and Vanney were. Bez to me is kind of the root cause of the problem. He didn’t really build a platform. He couldn’t, he just wasn’t that guy, didn’t swing that bat, didn’t know how.

    The team he helped lead won, but why? I mean, Drew Moor was huge, but he didn’t come for Bez, he came to play with the stars (same as Matt Hedges btw).

    Bez was a nonentity to the suits, I mean Leiweke publicly called him Doogie Howser or some such.

    What Bez taught the suits: management doesn’t matter, just buy the stars, the others will come, developing youth doesn’t matter…

    Both Columbus and NYRB came within inches of putting us out in 2017. Amazing to realize how different things would have been…

    He didn’t build anything. The academy and youth development problems became acute under him. His time here was all about a spin of the roulette wheel. He was along for the ride. Because it worked, our overlords decided they liked roulette…
    Last edited by ensco; 09-26-2023 at 09:44 PM.
    ďWhat the world needs is more geniuses with humility; there are so few of us left.Ē

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    Quote Originally Posted by ensco View Post
    I donít really see Bez as anywhere near as important as Leiweke and Vanney were. Bez to me is kind of the root cause of the problem. He didnít really build a platform. He couldnít, he just wasnít that guy, didnít swing that bat, didnít know how.

    The team he helped lead won, but why? I mean, Drew Moor was huge, but he didnít come for Bez, he came to play with the stars (same as Matt Hedges btw).

    Bez was a nonentity to the suits, I mean Leiweke publicly called him Doogie Howser or some such.

    What Bez taught the suits: management doesnít matter, just buy the stars, the others will come, developing youth doesnít matterÖ

    Both Columbus and NYRB came within inches of putting us out in 2017. Amazing to realize how different things would have beenÖ

    He didnít build anything. The academy and youth development problems became acute under him. His time here was all about a spin of the roulette wheel. He was along for the ride. Because it worked, our overlords decided they liked rouletteÖ
    If that's the lesson they learned then they missed the point completely, which judging by what has happened since is likely true

    The big DPs helped but can't win in isolation. We won because we had the deepest squad ever assembled at the time, plus the DPs naturally, but we've always spent on DPs and we certainly haven't always won. If their lesson was "buy some Italians and the rest sorts itself out..." well there's a reason TFC has done what it has done and Columbus has done what it has done despite us massively outspending them over the past few years

    I'm all for any argument against him and don't think he's perfect, but it needs to be results based. Because here's the bar in terms of outcomes

    Toronto FC from inception to him coming - Dumpster fire, never make the play offs, he takes over the "worst team in the world"
    Toronto FC in the years he's here and the year after with his squad - Supporters shield, three cup final appearances one championship, Concacaf champions league runners up and by the slimmest of margins, 2017 team widely regarded as the best ever
    Toronto FC after - Each year a bigger dumpster fire than the previous. Maybe the worst team in the league atm despite the highest non Messi budget

    Columbus Crew - Wins another championship, their second ever, and this season has put together another strong team that look like they should make the play offs and be a credible threat again, despite a budget quite a bit smaller than ours. And I mean this was at a team in an existential crisis, one that almost ceased to exist at the time. This is very far from an ideal circumstance.

    So ~10 years as GM in this league - 4 final appearances (You can argue against 2019, but that is mostly his squad), 2 championships, 1 shield & 1 concacaf champions league runner up spot and that's being at two teams who had one championship between them in their history which was a decade before he even joined the league and both teams in a pretty bad place when he takes over

    I'm swayed by results and outcomes. It doesn't matter to me why we assume Drew Moor came here, that is a long sample of results and consistent results in places where there is no history of results, where he is an outlier. To me results speak and his resume says 1) he is a very good GM in this league, not perfect, maybe not the best, but you cannot argue against very good without mental gymnastics and arguments that go into abstract rather than results and 2) we have never had another one outside of him, not even close.
    Last edited by JoesphNdo; 09-27-2023 at 05:25 AM.

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    ^Fair enough. I too am impressed by the job he has done in Columbus.

    It's just my own view that he had little to do with acquiring that depth here, and totally failed at the thing he should have been measured on most carefully - building a player development system. It's just my opinion. He certainly may have learned a lot here though!

    My point is less about Bez anyway, more about how the suits see team management for TFC.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoesphNdo View Post
    If that's the lesson they learned then they missed the point completely, which judging by what has happened since is likely true

    The big DPs helped but can't win in isolation.

    We also have to sign the right type of DP.

    There are four types, it seems to me, when it comes to the Europeans (young South American is another large, nebulous subgroup)

    1) Legends, who have a continued vested interest in the spotlight and high performance: Henry, Zlatan, Beckham, Messi. These guys have a legacy of always performing they wish to preserve and pretty much always do well.

    2) Major players who have accomplished everything they can in Europe: Gerrard, Insigne, Lampard, Matheus. These guys are here for purely mercenary reasons, and it almost NEVER works well.

    3) Talented players who are still hungry for stardom but it hasn't come as expected: Seba, Gill, Pozuelo, Ricky Puig. I'd throw Borjan in there, too, but he was burned out before coming over. These guys USUALLY do well.
    ,
    4) Talented players who never quite made the top tier: Mukhtar, Vrioni, Cucho, Bouanga. This tier pretty much always does well.

    The commonality in success versus failure is having a reason to be here other than just money.

    The tier that always fails: older world-class players who are top of the field but not mythic, and do not have a public persona demanding continued excellence. They don't have speed or fitness anymore, they don't have the drive to overcome it through adjustments of position or style, they want to be catered to as the stars they are.

    Both our DPS, realistically, fit into that tier. They've already felt like they reached the top of the heap. They have little motivation to fight for a shelf on the mountain well below its summit.

    We should be realistically looking for players in tiers three and four, either massive talents with a chip on their shoulders ala Seba, Puig or Surridge; or more talented than most MLS players and looking for a bigger stage, ala Mukhtar, Gioacchini, (American but grew up in the French system), Bouanga.

    The latter are most realistic, because they're usually coming from Scandinavia, France, Portugal -- leagues outside the top five but still very good -- and are cheaper.
    Last edited by jloome; 09-27-2023 at 10:16 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jloome View Post
    We also have to sign the right type of DP.

    There are four types, it seems to me, when it comes to the Europeans (young South American is another large, nebulous subgroup)

    1) Legends, who have a continued vested interest in the spotlight and high performance: Henry, Zlatan, Beckham, Messi. These guys have a legacy of always performing they wish to preserve and pretty much always do well.

    2) Major players who have accomplished everything they can in Europe: Gerrard, Insigne, Lampard, Matheus. These guys are here for purely mercenary reasons, and it almost NEVER works well.

    3) Talented players who are still hungry for stardom but it hasn't come as expected: Seba, Gill, Pozuelo, Ricky Puig. I'd throw Borjan in there, too, but he was burned out before coming over. These guys USUALLY do well.
    ,
    4) Talented players who never quite made the top tier: Mukhtar, Vrioni, Cucho, Bouanga. This tier pretty much always does well.

    The commonality in success versus failure is having a reason to be here other than just money.

    The tier that always fails: older world-class players who are top of the field but not mythic, and do not have a public persona demanding continued excellence. They don't have speed or fitness anymore, they don't have the drive to overcome it through adjustments of position or style, they want to be catered to as the stars they are.

    Both our DPS, realistically, fit into that tier. They've already felt like they reached the top of the heap. They have little motivation to fight for a shelf on the mountain well below its summit.

    We should be realistically looking for players in tiers three and four, either massive talents with a chip on their shoulders ala Seba, Puig or Surridge; or more talented than most MLS players and looking for a bigger stage, ala Mukhtar, Gioacchini, (American but grew up in the French system), Bouanga.

    The latter are most realistic, because they're usually coming from Scandinavia, France, Portugal -- leagues outside the top five but still very good -- and are cheaper.
    I like the idea of this analysis, but I think that Pirlo would have been in your first group, and Robbie Keane and David Villa are examples of your second group - older, slower world class players “at the top of their field but not mythic”.

    I think it's fair to say that this second group is a particularly tricky subset of DP player type…
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    Quote Originally Posted by ensco View Post
    I like the idea of this analysis, but I think that Pirlo would have been in your first group, and Robbie Keane and David Villa are examples of your second group - older, slower world class players “at the top of their field but not mythic”.

    I think it's fair to say that this second group is a particularly tricky subset of DP player type…
    Yeah, there are some blurred lines.

    I'd say Keane qualifies as having lost his luster in England, so this offered him another shot at stardom, just in a new venue.

    He wasn't old enough to have lost his third gear, which is important, but he wasn't going to get another starting role at the top level in Europe. Whereas everyone in that second group is someone who was never outside the top level there. He'd been at Coventry and had a failed Italian romp before Tottenham, and after Tottenham sort of flamed out at Liverpool.

    So coming here offered him another shot to go out on top, and live in LA. The guys in group two had nothing to prove. They were still on top when they left Europe but facing the prospect of having to play for smaller clubs.

    Villa had a massive personal fascination with the U.S. and had been saying for years he wanted to play there, so that is a motivation of sorts, just not one that's primarily competitive.

    Perhaps the other factors along with the strong motivating factor is age and relative fitness. Despite being 32, Villa was still quick: not fast over distance, but his initial step/thought/action was quick.

    The guys struggling were nearly all over 33 and had injury histories. Insigne would be on the young side, as he's only just hit that, but he's certainly starting to show it in missed games.

    So they have to be a) strongly motivated and b) be fitter than the average older player, retaining some quickness.

    EDIT: And it's worth nothing that, as previously mentioned, Bernardeschi had a major ACL injury that cost him quickness, and his scoring record in Italy evaporated, with three goals in the entirety of his last three seasons.
    Last edited by jloome; 09-27-2023 at 01:13 PM.

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    problem is bill manning uses transfrmarket and looks for names that have built equity already established such as Insigne.

    I personally would enjoy if TFC focused on youth from south america who want a platform to perform and possibly move to europe. unfortunately its all about dollars and cents - so TFC will either bring in another name with equity built-in or stick to their italian/cmnt rolodex.

    hopefully herdman goes the youth route- at this point i literally mentioned before the season started that TFC has way too many players on the wrong side of 30- TFC needs youthful player with speed and big dreams - achieve something bigger.

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    Yeah that first tier is a rare rare breed- star players who have elite professionalism and determination that never waivers - while also being able to juggle that dichotomy of being world class and in demand - and putting the ego on hold to move to a lower league like MLS (and carry on with those principles). Teams like us think those players at that tier are all the same and anyone can become the next Keane or Giovinco, so it becomes a slippery slope when they donít do any sort of proper character scouting. But itís more of a fluke then a sure thing now that an old guard legend player actually comes over with that same fight.

    Reality is most players who have the cognitive IQ traits mentioned above along with grit and leading by example, simply wonít come here because by definition anyone with those traits suggests they still think they have more in the tank to give for the upper echelon - which MLS isnít.

    Based on his character, mentoring and professionalism/ drive I can say absolutely that Toni kroos would dominate this league and influence everyone around him on the team to be better professionally, and technically - every single day. Not just because he can ping a ball around- but because heís the type of player to focus at 200% every single day until the one day comes and he decides he wants to step away and 100% be focused on his wife and kids- no inbetween. But like most players in that mould - they are destined to retire young and become legends of EU clubs.

    Having that relentless professionalism, commitment to being a student of the game, and leading players around them through excellence and example, usually means they arenít bound for a club willing to just open the wallet and entice them to move. Which is why yeah I agree with you guys, we gotta stop swinging for the fence with these type of lottery DP picks, get players in those other tiers who pass the character checks.

    LA picking up Billy Sharp from the championship being a legend with career long grit and dedication to his craft is an example of that type of picking the right players that have the right mindset to translate to our league and keep pushing forward and producing
    Last edited by FiveThreeTwo; 09-27-2023 at 02:39 PM.

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    About Columbus & Bez


    Nancy - great

    Caleb Porter - 2019 - no playoffs
    2020- MLS Cup Winners
    2021 - no playoffs
    2022 - no playoffs


    Make of it what you will but CBus is not yet a Seattle powerhouse.

 

 

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