One of the many pieces brought in last offseason to help improve the team, Damien Perquis was looked at as a defender of high caliber with international and European pedigree. Things looked bright for both the team and Perquis at the season's beginning, but by the end, the play had not lived up to his potential.
Average Rating: 9.2
Highest Rating: 6
Lowest Rating: 14
Things looked to be going well for Perquis when he joined the team in the preseason. The former Polish international seemed to be fitting into the team and had begun the process of building a solid partnership with fellow defender Steven Caldwell. The tandem looked impressive in their preseason matches together, with Perquis and Caldwell making up for each other's weaknesses.
The same could not be said once the season began. After what was a relatively solid performance from the team in the season opener in Vancouver, things began to go downhill.
In just the second game of the season against Columbus, both Perquis and Caldwell would sustain injuries. Perquis would recover quickly, only missing one match, but his partner Caldwell would go on to retire due to the injury. That left Perquis with the likes of Nick Hagglund and Eriq Zavaleta as potential centre back partners.
While usually other players should not have an effect on the outlook of a player's form, it would be unfair to Perquis to not mention the conditions surrounding him in his first MLS season. Not only was Perquis trying to adjust to the style of play in this new league, he was now faced with the task of being the leader on the backline with the absence of Steven Caldwell.
When playing with either Hagglund or Zavaleta, Perquis would have to stand in as the veteran leader, as both other centre backs were young and lacking experience. Perquis in most situations did not succeed as the leader of the young back line, but that would be an unfair criticism to him as he was not brought in to be the leader. Another result of having to play with other young defenders was that Perquis was moved to the right side of the centre back pairing. While this may not seem like a big deal, this contributed to Perquis's dip in form as he was not able to easily deal with crosses on his off side.
Perquis's play did improve in the second half of the season when the team claimed Josh Williams off of waivers from New York City FC. This move eased the burden on Perquis as he was now able to play on his natural left side and he was now also playing with another veteran defender who did not require the same amount of leadership from him. As a result, Perquis was in great form as Toronto crept closer to clinching their first ever playoff spot. During their late season run, Perquis had become a stable force on the backline whom the team could rely upon.
Unfortunately of the team, Perquis's importance to the team could be seen when he went down with a season ending injury. This forced coach Greg Vanney to play Ahmed Kantari, a now departed player who shall never be spoken of ever again. It was clear in the final two games of the season against Montreal just how much the team missed Perquis and what he brought to the team.
Looking forward to next season many fans are getting excited about recent acquisitions such as Drew Moor, Will Johnson and Clint Irwin. One returning player who they should be excited for is Damien Perquis. With a year of MLS experience under his belt and a new centre back partner in Moor, Perquis should be able to build upon his strong end to the previous season. With aspirations of making the Polish Euro squad, Perquis will certainly be motivated to improve and show his worth.