Get used to the name Tim Bezbatchenko Toronto FC fans. That is the man who is being heavily linked with the club's vacant General Manager position which is set to be filled with a major announcement on Friday morning. If you are scratching your head about just who Bezbatchenko is then you are not alone as his hiring will certainly raise a few eyebrows among Toronto supporters and media.
All of the regular names have weighed in with reports that Bezbatchenko will be the new GM for the club. John Molinaro, and Ives Galarcep have reported it on their twitter accounts and Jeffery Carlisle has a report saying the same thing up on ESPN.
So it seems safe to say that Bezbatchenko will be the club's newest General Manager which raises the question of just who he is. A quick google search of his name is not likely to yield a lot of results as he is not a household name by any means. His current role is with MLS' Head Office where he he worked for the past three years and his current position is listed as MLS Senior Director of Player Relations and Competition.
In his role with MLS HQ, Bezbatchenko has had a lot of time to work extensively with player contracts and how the league develops young players which would make him the perfect fit for what Tim Leiweke said he was looking for in Kevin Payne's replacement.
Bezbatchenko would come in and be relied on to help the club work the cap and make the most of their money. It would leave Ryan Nelsen and Tim Leiweke free to decide what players to bring in and evaluate talent while the new GM would look after the financial side of things.
Prior to joining MLS HQ Bezbatchenko did have a playing career of his own that included a two year stint with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, a third division club. He also has a law degree behind him so working with players and contracts seems to be his forte.
So when Friday morning comes around and Bezbatchenko is announced as the club's new General Manager it will leave a lot of folks scratching their hands. It should not be a surprise though as he is exactly the kind of front office staff member that Leiweke said he was looking for.
Bezbatchenko is young, smart, and hopefully motivated. He knows MLS rules inside and out, is experienced working with players, and has good connections within the league. All of those things are positives about him and make him a good candidate but his lack of previous experience in a similar role jumps out as a major red flag.
The move may work out as MLS moves forward with teams around the league being forced to do everything they can to make the most of their cap space but the club once again going with an inexperienced hiring is worrying.
Leiweke is set to build this team his way as he looks set to move TFC forward with a rookie GM and an inexperienced head coach. If you don't have a lot of faith in Leiweke then this hiring will certainly be another reason to worry. For now though we should at least give Bezbatchenko the chance to impress when he is introduced at Friday morning's press conference.