The announcement from Toronto FC on Monday about their new training centre and plans for the academy wasn't really new news, but years from now, in a warm and fuzzy future that I try to imagine will be full of success, it will be looked back as a key turning point in the history of both TFC and the Canadian national team.
The plans for this centre had been made public some time last year, this was just the confirmation of the location, Downsview Park, and final plans which can be seen at Torontofc.ca, along with some videos from the press conference including a very entertaining "academy philosophy and formations 101" type presentation from Bob de Klerk.
May 2012 was the date given that this would be up and running and the academy will be expanding to have more teams and younger players, going as far down as age 11 by using affiliate clubs. While having a dedicated training centre as opposed to having to go to Cherry Beach or Oakville will help the first team to a certain extent next year, the real benefits of Monday's announcement won't come through for another 5 to 10 years or so, and given that MLSE is investing $17.5m all told, they really should be applauded for what is a substantial investment in long term planning. This season will have it's share of ups and downs, but it's decisions and investments like this that can give TFC fans real hope for the future.