Last week, I suggested that Toronto FC should spend the last games of this lost MLS campaign playing the kids, full stop. A team of them, rest the starters, see what we have in these prospects who have been waiting on the wings for years to prove their individual and collective bona-fides.
Well, last Friday, TFC II did just that vs Greenville, and the results, well, let’s just say they were less than inspiring.
So, yeah. maybe Michael Singh and more than 75 per cent of WTR-Land were onto something when they countered my idea for a full kids lineup.
Play the kids, just not all at once? Save the kids and their fragile confidence?
Where does that leave us?
Because I’d STILL play ALL the kids at once over trying to establish chemistry between players that may not be here next season, or trying to establish an identity with an interim Gaffer.
On this week’s Waking The Red Weekly, when we finally got around to talking Tee Eff Cee, all we could agree on was that there is no easy answer here. This is the darkest timeline, a hybrid pitch full of catch-22’s.
If we’re not judging the kids on performance, is giving them minutes, full stop, still enough of an impetus to risk their egos? I mean, as Mike said on the show, aside from Ralph Priso, the entire academy crop hasn’t shown progress this season.
To me, it’s still a yes. To me, a major point lost in this conversation is that these kids are in fact professional athletes, and therefore this temptation to coddle them is suspect. They are being paid to play soccer, and now we should see them play soccer, warts and all, there won’t ever be a “perfect” time — and I’d argue waiting for such an occurrence has stunted the kids development at the same time as freezing the academy pipeline.
Further, if we’re still reluctant to play the kids in almost meaningless games, then why keep them? If all we need are warm bodies/pylons/homegrown roster relief, we should be hiring them through extras casting - you only need to put down some coloured tape and tell them where to stand and they will, quietly, for hours on end. The best part is there’s no growth to stunt.
It’s bad vibes all around in TFC-Land, but to me, the ray of hope is seeing what we got in these guys. I don’t know about the rest of you, but if we’re still talking about this same group in abstract future tense next season, I think we’ve made a huge mistake.
What do we think out there in WTR-Land? You know the drill, hit me in the comments thread!
THIS WEEK’S PLAYLIST
Are we trash? Worthy of a second chance? Only my Spotify knows for sure:)