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Toronto FC 2011 Top 40 Countdown: Number 17 - Maicon Santos

How do you feel your time as captain went Maicon?
How do you feel your time as captain went Maicon?

The parade of former captains continues in the Toronto FC Top 40 Countdown. After Number 18, Dwayne de Rosario was traded away, for some reason the captaincy was given to this man, at number 17, it's Maicon Santos.

Average Ranking: 18.091
Highest ranking: 10
Lowest ranking: 32

Duncan: 15: Second in the golden boot race, with 6 goals in 19 MLS games, all in that shoddy first half of the season, and another 3 in Voyageurs Cup action, and yet he still only gets the number 17 spot?  Well yes, and I could argue he was lucky to get that, Santos was simply put, the most infuriating player in TFC's season.  

He looked good at times last year, but it seemed like in Aron Winter's 4-3-3, there was just no obvious place for him.  The Centre Forward needs to be very involved with the play, holding the ball up, pulling the defence out of position and creating space for the wide players or midfielders to exploit, and Santos was just never involved enough to do that.  He would flit in and out of the action, disappear for long stretches of the game, before suddenly coming to life and getting a shot on goal.  He scored at a decent rate using that style, but in this system you really need to be able to do more.

After starting the season at Centre Forward and having a decent game, setting up a goal for De Rosario with just the sort of play I was talking about above, and then scoring a great goal of his own, he was moved back to the Attacking Midfield spot when Alan Gordon was ready to start.  Gordon turned out to be very very good in that centre Forward role, and thus Atttacking Midfield was what Santos was stuck with for a while.

If his style didn't really fit in the Centre Forward spot, he was even worse as an Attacking Midfielder, selfish with the ball, and lazy off it, he looked lost, caught between two roles and never seeming to understand what he needed to do, or even care about it for that matter.  None of which would have come to a surprise to any TFC fan, which makes it all the more surprising and mysterious that he was given the captain's armband after De Rosario left, the first non Canadian to be the official club captain.  Maybe it was just the lack of good options, or maybe it was a desperate tactical ploy from Winter to try and inspire a player he knew he'd need playing at his best for TFC's season to be a success.  Either way, it didn't work, and the Santos as a point forward AM experiment ended after the debacle in Seattle at the end of April.

Alan Gordon was injured shortly after that, which allowed Santos to work his way back into the team as Centre Forward again, but he was just the same as before, not really involved until popping up to score some goals here and there, the biggest probably being the crucial goal in the first leg of the Voyageurs Cup final against Vancouver.  He did develop some good chemistry with Joao Plata in early May as they linked up for Santos to score in two consecutive home games, celebrating with delightful little dances.  

The rest of his goals were consolation goals in blowouts, two against Philadelphia and one against Real Salt Lake, and he continued not really having an impact at all.  Finally it all ended with the trade to FC Dallas for Eric Avila, which has worked out very very nicely for Toronto so far.  At the time, Dallas fans seemed pretty happy and were confident he'd flourish with the higher quality supporting cast they could provide him.  

It didn't really work out for him there either, and he ends the season on their unprotected list for Wednesday's expansion draft.  I can't see him being taken by Montreal, but I could see him eventually drifting out of the league, just one more talented player with more skill than work ethic, the world's most unlikely captain.

Dave: 13.Maicon ended the season second on the team in scoring in the league with 6 goals despite being traded to FC Dallas. He was a bit of an up and down type player who could dominate games from stretches and then totally disappear and mess up every time he got the ball. He was fun to watch while he was here but since TFC traded him he did next to nothing for FC Dallas.

Keaton: 20. Maicon was great trade bait to get in my mind, a way better player. He was a good striker when he played for us.

Peter Meraw: Not worthy of the captaincy, inconsistent scorer, not strong enough to be a leader, but did score some

Blindfolded Tank Driver: Former Captian, mercurial at best. So much talent, so much lack of desire to use it.

Ignirtoq: How I wanted Santos to be a legend. He was too inconsistent and disappeared too often for it to work out. Still a great find, but he was never going to be the CF that Toronto craved.

Canadian Texan: Captain? Really? I mean he's good...but captain?

The Yorkies: Possibly most over-rated Red of all-time

JC_Plante: Beloved, but was top scoring threat by default, not because of skill

James: Mercurial at best, scored some great goals, oddest appointment of a captain ever, sad to see him leave, but not that sad. Got his autograph on a FedEx pennant.

Kristin: Could have been anywhere from 20-30 - too lazy and not as talented as he thinks he is.

Number 18: Dwayne de Rosario
Number 16: Terry Dunfield

Full Top 40 so far