The relationship that Daniel Lovitz has had with TFC is one that is full of mixed messages and feelings. Last offseason with the introduction of two new teams to the league NYCFC and Orlando City SC an expansion draft was in order. With the eighth pick of the expansion draft Toronto FC lost Lovitz to New York. A few hours later Lovitz was re-acquired by TFC in exchange for allocation money. Those couple of hours must have been very confusing for the young winger. One minute the team is ready to see you go. The next minute the team wants to retain you. Well even though Toronto FC retained Lovitz he never really saw enough of the pitch to leave his mark on this past TFC season.
Average Rating: 21.5
Highest Rating: 16
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Looking back at Lovitz's career with Toronto one can see that the club has a lot of faith in the player. Lovitz was taken in the second round of the MLS Superdraft 24th overall. Heading into the draft Lovitz had a serious knee injury that was jeopardizing his chance of making it as a professional. But Tim Bezbatchenko and the rest of the backroom staff saw enough in Lovitz in order to give him a go.
In his first season with Toronto FC Lovitz struggled to break it into the first team. He was loaned out to the Wilmington Hammerheads. Having shown his attacking qualities out on loan Lovitz earned his chance in the first team. This chance provided Toronto FC with one of the moments of the 2014 MLS season: his assist to Doneil Henry that gave TFC the Trillium Cup and the win over rivals Columbus Crew.
This past season Lovitz has not featured as much as one would have hoped. Despite TFC going out of their way in order to retain the skillful winger Greg Vanney never really gave him a chance. When Lovitz did feature in the team it was when the injury bug had hit the Toronto FC squad really hard. Rather than play the tricky winger in midfield Vanney opted to have him play in the back four taking up a spot at left back.
What is really peculiar is why couldn't Lovitz cement a spot on the wing this year? Considering what Toronto FC had to offer in wide areas Lovitz should be closer to the first team then he is. Robbie Findley left a lot to be desired, despite constantly getting into dangerous positions his work with the ball was unsatisfactory. Jonathan Osorio just does not have the pace or the tricks in order to operate out wide in an effective manner.
Every championship team has all eleven players on the pitch putting in a shift in order to get the result. Finding the right mixture of players featuring grit, skill and passion is what the manager is required to do. This year Vanney managed to bring out the best from Giovinco, helping the atomic ant produce a truly remarkable season. But Vanney couldn't get the other 10 players to be as effective as they should be. If Giovinco was shut down for a game Toronto FC was also shut down. Lovitz could have provided some attacking relief from Giovinco. I go along the philosophy that if some how Lionel Messi was to join the worst soccer team in the world he still would not help them win.
If Toronto FC wants to field a championship team the head coach, be it Vanney or someone else, must find eleven players that will help the team produce. Daniel Lovitz is a player that requires a bigger chance. His footwork pace is something that Toronto FC could use. Marco Delgado got his chance to produce and he hit the ground running. Next season Lovitz needs to show that he can also make an impact. If he manages to improve and earn more minutes on the pitch perhaps at the end of the next season Toronto FC will be celebrating its first playoff win.