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Toronto FC 2011 Top 40 Countdown: Number 20 - Adrian Cann

Whoo, this season's gonna be great for both of us eh Stef?  High five.
Whoo, this season's gonna be great for both of us eh Stef? High five.

We're into the top half now, and we start off with the 2010 team MVP, and one of the nicest guys on the team.  if not for injuries he'd be much higher, at number 20, it's Adrian Cann.

Average Ranking: 20.500
Highest ranking: 8
Lowest ranking: 33

Duncan: 19.  I imagine 2011 can't end soon enough for Adrian Cann as he had a lot of trials and tribulations.  After winning the MVP award in 2010, and getting a cap for Canada in Greece, things started to go wrong with him walking out of training camp in a contract dispute over just how much of a raise he should be getting, another one of Mo Johnston's unwritten promises coming back to cause problems.  That ended with Cann not getting the raise he had been promised, and being forced into a public apology which I'll do him the favour of not hunting down and re-linking here.  Next up was the utterly baffling decision to play him at Left Back in Vancouver, he really didn't look good, and that was a big part of why Vancouver scored 4 goals that day.

He did get his Centre Back position back the very next game, though the partnership with Nana Attakora that did so well last year never really got going again.  Instead he was usually paired with Ty Harden, with the full backs being a rotating cast of mediocrity and looming disaster, Gargan, Peterson! Attakora, Borman, Yourassowsky.  He was clearly the best of that bunch, and helped keep things more or less together at the back.  When reinforcements arrived in the shape of Dicoy Williams and Richard Eckersley, we actually looked fairly decent back there, and Cann was a big part of that.  He probably looked at his best in the game against Philadelphia, he was rested and it fell apart spectacularly without him.

Just when things were looking up, and his importance was fully confirmed, he got injured.  In training he tore his ACL, and was thus done for the season.  The defence was chaotic without him, then TFC traded away a good prospect to try and replace him with Andy Iro, before pretty much giving up on the flat back 4 idea for lack of reliable options.

If his 2010 team MVP award seemed to owe quite a bit to internal politics and not wanting to give it to Dwayne de Rosario, his value to the team was amply demonstrated again in 2011.  Hopefully he'll recover well and be able to play a big part in the team next year, and let us go back to a 4-3-3 without falling apart at the back.  Ideally he'll have an expensive shiny new Centre Back partner to play alongside, but even if not, if he has to step up and be the main man again, I'm confident at the very least he'll be a big improvement on what we saw this year.


Dave: 15. His season ended far too early thanks to a nasty knee injury. Now the question will certainly come up as to if he will be back next year or not. When healthy he was the clubs best defender by some margin but even with him in the lineup the team was still conceding far too often. He did start 12 matches in the MLS this season but they were all in that first half I am now blocking from my memory, it will be interesting to see if he has a spot in the revamped lineup.

Keaton: 16. I'm very much looking forward to Cann coming back and anchoring our crap defense next season. If we can get some one to play beside Adrian, we may find ourselves in the playoffs

James: Injury cut season, would be much higher otherwise (18). Once saw him at Loblaws.

James DeCosta: Anyone but Iro

Blindfolded Tank Driver: Struggled to adapt early to Winter's plans and then injury ended his year early. More to see if he can stick with it next year.

Canadian Texan: After he went down the defensive line was in complete disarray for the duration of the season, particularly in the middle so his impact was greatly felt

Jimmy Stone: Would have played a big part in the season if it wasn't for a season ending injury

The Yorkies: Really, really good looking. Really, really bad injury.

JC_Plante: Still had a leadership role to provide, clearly looks forward to some image rehabilitation for next year

Alex: Had he played and not been injured so quickly, might've been higher(31)

Number 21: Andy Iro
Number 19: Doneil Henry

Full Top 40 so far.