I make no promises to be calm and measured about this; there are others that will take the pragmatic approach but in this case? Well, that is just not my way. If you read my writing you know how highly I rate Matias Laba and how concerned I was when it became obvious that he wasn't going to play with TFC this year. You also would have read the piece I wrote about the alleged loan and that I'd come to reluctant acceptance of his loss for the season. Because there were only so many rules that Toronto was going to be allowed to bend - But this, this?
They've traded him away for future considerations, to a rival, in our league - future considerations. How do you go on and on about moving heaven and earth to keep a player, a DP, a player that was a difference maker the previous season and then just let him walk away for nothing. Not even a bag of balls, let alone you know another player (or two or three) or allocation money that could be used to help shore up Toronto's now (as per usual) faltering frontline.
No, they let him go for nothing - they let the fans twist in the wind for weeks and then release the news at 10pm at night! The only thing closer to sweeping this under the rug would have been to do it on Friday night at 11:59pm; right at the roster compliance deadline. What I don't understand is how our braintrust of the two Tims could have muffed this so badly. I get that the league may have said you can't have all the toys in the sandbox - but surely Bez in his vast understanding of MLS rules and regs - not to mention TL's network of contacts - couldn't have figured out something that doesn't amount to a slap in the face of TFC fans.
Even if you don't rate Laba (although, really?) no one can think that this is good business. That this is something that says 'we know what we're doing', that this is anything other letting another team take full advantage of whatever floundering has been done. And before you say 'but Michael Bradley' - I'll just stop you right there - Bradley and Laba are not the same player; they don't play the same role and it doesn't change the fact that Toronto have just let a very good DM walk away for nothing.
I'll admit that I know nothing of what's gone on behind the scenes. I'm not privy to what the Tims and Nelsen are thinking in letting Laba go to the Whitecaps for what amounts to basically a kick in the pants. But this team, this management should know better than anyone about the optics of such a move. Of how this looks to the fans. Do they think that everyone is blinded by the shiny new toys that the long suffering fanbase will just ignore this sort of thing? Not if my twitter feed is any indication they won't.
Maybe tomorrow, or next week, month, year and so forth - we'll find out that future considerations are something worth having; except when has that ever happened? In the end TFC management have frittered away a large chunk of off season goodwill and potentially harmed the team in the future. Welcome back #WTFC - we didn't miss you.