Welcome to the first edition of Red Shots, what will be a regular feature where I take stories or links from the last few days that amuse me, or are interesting but not really interesting enough for a full post, or that I just don't have time to write about, and half-arsedly throw them together into one post. Expect to see this once or twice a week depending on how busy things are.
Today, after the jump, Aron Winter vs the media, more on the De Ro trade, including all the unusual extras offered to entice him to stay, TFC breaking more old promises, and another Canada game in Toronto announced.
Winter v The Media
Aron Winter ruffled a few feathers among the media with his decision, announced before Saturday's game against Chivas that reporters would no longer be allowed in the dressing room after games to get interviews, but instead those interviews would take place in the gym instead. It could be seen as a good thing for the players, protecting the inner sanctum of the dressing room, or could be seen as a bad thing as it allows players to sneak out without talking to the media if they wish to.
Combined with media access to a couple of recent practices being abruptly cancelled, and there's a bit of unrest, and protests that Winter's trying to be too controlling for a team that let's face it, needs all the press it can get these days with the crowds at all time lows, the golden goose replaced with duck a l'Orange. Maybe Winter just doesn't care about that sort of thing, and is 100% about doing what's best for his players. Another option is that this is all very deliberate, that by upsetting the media and MLS, who have rules about this sort of thing, and which MLS Commissioner Don Garber said would be enforced, he's trying to create an "us against the world" siege mentality as a way of buliding team spirit.
Most people don't seem to really care, and a lot even agree with Winter, but locker room access is the standard in MLS and North American sports in general. Winter's argued that it's not that way within football in Europe, so he doesn't see the need to do it here. Problem is that he's not in Europe, and as John Carver discovered, there's going to be all sorts of wierd and unusual MLS rules he's going to keep bumping against, is this one really worth causing problems about?
More De Ro trade stuff.
Getting tired of this yet? A couple of new bits of info about it all. Firstly, though this sort of thing doesn't really get released officially, and there's no details or dollar figures, according to the New York Post TFC will be paying a chunk of Dwayne De Rosario's salary in New York. Not really surprising, but quite depressing as "cap space" was a guy I thought could really do something for us in the future. Also, on a media conference call on Tuesday, De Rosario confirmed that he's on the same salary for the rest of the season, and he'll be hoping to play his way into a DP deal with the Red Bulls for next year. It seems he felt disrespected, and that the club should have been looking to keep "their hometown boy as comfortable as possible", and that's what forced the trade.
So it's not more money that he left for, it's just simply to get away from TFC and management, which I think is even more depressing, and a bigger indictment of both De Rosario and MLSE that it had to come to this.
What did TFC offer him?
De Rosario says TFC's offer wasn't good enough to persuade him to stay, and they weren't really taking care of him, but what exactly did he get offered? The Yorkies have all the inside details of the unusual extras TFC used to entice him to stay.
The disgruntlement just keeps piling up.
Remember at the end of 2010, when we went over a 100 days with no real management and Earl Cochrane doing an interim-job? Remember his expert handling of the De Ro in Celtic situation, and his absolute stealing of Nathan Strugis for the low low price of a first round draft pick? Well, apparently he also went around making promises to a bunch of players that they'd get contracts when the management situation was cleared up. Who knows, maybe he thought he'd get the job permanently, according to this report from Ben Rycroft at the time, that almost did happen.
Anyway, one of the players involved, Eddy Sidra, is now with Edmonton, and going by this article in the11, he's holding a bit of a grudge,
"I won’t lie. I didn’t like how it went," said Sidra from FCE’s training camp in Sunrise, Fla. "I won’t say I’m bitter, but I certainly won’t say that I was happy. There was a lack of information that was passed on to me."
Now it's easy to say that that's football, and it's perfectly within Winter's rights to make his own judgements on players, rather than be beholden to what Cochrane promised, but as it says in the article, if promises of contracts are made, then there's a good chance the player won't keep shopping himself around to other clubs. If TFC further develops a reputation as a club that can't be relied upon, it's not going to help attract players in the future. In the grand scheme of things, MLS is a C-list league, TFC really don't need to be considered a D-list team within that C-list league. I wonder if Aron Winter knew exactly how much of other people's crap he'd have to be clearing up before he signed on.
Canada v Ecuador, June 1st, Bmo Field.
The CSA announced today that as a warm up for the Gold Cup, Canada will play against Ecuador at BMO Field on June 1st. Tickets go on sale to the public on April 20th. Does Toronto have a large Ecuadorian community? It more than likely does, so hopefully plenty of Canada supporters will be able to make it out so it doesn't feel like another away game. Kudos to the CSA for getting another good friendly opponent, better than Canada, but definitely beatable, Ecuador should provide a good test. And to balance out the dirtiness I feel from that whole "kudos to the CSA" thing, let's hope they actually manage to have the new jerseys available for sale before then.