Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Klinsmann job

Interesting developments out of Toronto FC this week, it was rumored for about a week, but it was made official by the club today. German legend Juergen Klinsmann and his company Soccer Solutions has been hired by TFC to help consult with the entire operation of the club. From identifying and hiring the new head coach and GM, to working on the football operations of the club right down to the academy level. Many people have been applauding the move as at the very least MLSE have recognized that they need to have proper football people helping to make decisions. However a world of caution to those who think Klinsmann or his company is the savour...they are not, they are just a part of the solution.

Juergen Klinsmann, here to clean the mess.

First thing to note, Klinsmann himself is not taking any official office position with the club, he is just a consultant. In fact since he's the CEO of Soccer Solutions there is no guarantee that he will be talking the executives at TFC. I believe that he'll be apart of the dialogue, but he's not managing the club nor will be  apart of the transfer policy. Nor will Juergen be moving anywhere near Toronto during the off season, he'll be running the show from his home in California.

What I think he and his company will bring is contacts in the world game. Last season the idea what that TFC needed a manager with MLS experience, that didn't turn out that well. Now the organization realises that they need the best person available, regardless of MLS experience. Soccer Solutions will be able to line up the best football people in the world for TFC to look at. The great advantage for this club over other in the league is that money is really no object when it comes to hiring the best talent. This will allow the club to seriously pursue some great managerial talent both on and off the pitch.

lthough the GM and manager positions will be the two high profile finds for Soccer Solutions the one that intrigues me the most is the involvement with the TFC academy. I'm a big proponent of building academies and growing a clubs strength through youth players developed in house. Toronto have an excellent crop of players to choose from as I believe only B.C soccer produce players at the same level. The youth levels is where I believe the company can have it's greatest influence and success. current interim GM and academy head Earl Cochrane has done an amazing job building the program form the ground up, but having a few ideas from one of the game's greats can only make it better. Tom Anselmi, MLSE's executive vice-president and chief operating officer, indicated that Klinsmann's role with the club ends in the summer. Although you have to believe that his wisdom will be called upon will after his tenure is over.

The next few months in TFC land will be interesting, it's clear the club will be looking to go big with it head coach signing, and the new GM will probably have some serious pedigree behind him. TFC will want to make a splash this off season, with Vancouver joining the league in 2011 the club is about to lose its strangle hold on the Canadian soccer market.

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