The Toronto FC Top 40 Countdown rumbles on into week 2, with someone who's the first player featured who was actually here last year, and more than likely he'll end up being the first who actually survives into next year's squad. At number 33, it's Oscar Cordon.
Average Rank: 29.955
Highest Rank: 18
Lowest Rank: 37
Duncan: 34. Cordon was one of the 4 academy kids signed up to the big squad in March of this year, along with Keith Makubuya, Ashtone Morgan and Matt Stinson, and initially it looked like he'd be the one out of the 4 who would have the best year and get the most first team action. In the end Morgan and Stinson blew by him, actually earning Canada call-ups, but for the first few months of the season he became the poster boy for the academy and TFC's future, at a time when the club really didn't want to have to talk too much about the present.
He'd actually played a couple of games in 2010, though he wasn't eligible for MLS as he hadn't been officially signed to the first team. He played in a couple of dead rubber games, against Vancouver in the final game of the Voyageurs Cup, and against Arabe Unido in the CCL after TFC had already been knocked out. This year he got minutes in meaningful games throughout the first half of the season.
A sub appearance against LA Galaxy was followed by a spot in the starting XI against DC United. That game of course saw TFC go 2-0 down within 10 minutes, and eventually lose 3-0. Cordon was subbed off to bring in a defensive player after Ty Harden got a red card. It was the obvious choice, but it was a bit harsh, as I note in the game thread, 'Cordon's looking decent at least' and his 54 minutes earned him the man of the match award. His best games came in the Voyageurs Cup, in the away leg Vancouver and also in Edmonton where he had a shot cleared off the line which would have capped his best performance of the season nicely. In June when TFC were shorthanded due to the Gold Cup, he got another couple of sub appearances, but once reinforcements arrived in July, he was left to take up what was probably his rightful position for this year, providing depth and learning with the reserve team.
Still only 18, he's one for the future, though he'll have to improve to see much first team action next year given the other midfield options we now have available. Whether it's next year or further down the line, I'm confident he'll be coming much higher than 33 in the years to come.
Dave: 33. Has to be considered as more of a player for the future rather then the present. Yes he did manage to make a few appearances for the club this season having managed to impress in training camp but unlike Stinson and Morgan he was unable to really earn a regular spot. He seemed to have a decent season with the reserves this year and should be ready to push for more time in the first team but with so many attacking options in place now he will have to continue to work hard if he wants to make that breakthrough.
Keaton: 18 Oscar Cordon is a great young Canadian player with a lot of potential. I had the chance to write a piece on Oscar becoming the poster boy for young Canadian soccer players. He's humble, focused, and works his butt off. I can see Cordon becoming more and more important for TFC as the years go by.
Peter Meraw: Made the cover of the program and a center piece of PR, not sure why, maybe somebody in MLSE with influence think he's cute
James: Feel bad putting him so low (37), but expected more; still have high hopes. Not in any way a reflection of the player or the person
JC_Plante: Showed glimpses of promise. Provides needed depth for a long season
Macs_Daddy: Nice to see him get a run at the beginning of the year, but isn't ready for MLS yet
The Yorkies: Needs to add some beef for the world of MLS
Jimmy Stone: Exciting academy prospect. Will play a part in years to come.
Blindfolded tank Driver: Needs time to develop with the reserves.