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Toronto FC Top 31 Countdown: Number 26 - Ty Harden

He spent a lot of time on the training table and sliding down the depth chart. Those days as an ever present at the end of 2011 seem a long way away now, as he only made 5 league appearances. At number 26, it's Ty Harden

I Ty to say goodbye and it hurts...
I Ty to say goodbye and it hurts...
Bob Levey

Average Ranking: 24.65
Highest Ranking: 18
Lowest ranking: 30

Dave: 23 Thinking back to preseason it seemed that Ty Harden was going to be looking at a greatly diminished role with the club. The team had brought in a pair of Central American centre backs, Dicoy Williams and Adrian Cann were getting healthy and Ty looked like he would be fighting with the likes of Doneil Henry and Logan Emory just to fill in the odd minute with the first team. Then things went sideways for Caicedo and Aceval which should have opened the door for Harden to again be a regular in the Toronto XI.

It did go that way early in the season as he was in the lineup for the big games against L.A. He played a big (though quite possibly unknowing and inadvartent) part in Luis Silva's goal in the first leg, and then scored an own goal in the second leg, though not one you could really blame him for. He also started the clubs first four MLS games, all defeats, but then out of nowhere he found himself slipping all the way down to the very bottom of the depth chart behind everyone but Williams. It was through a combination of being seemingly out of favour with both coaches and carrying a number of knocks throughout the course of the season. It was hard to keep track of whether he was just being left out of the team or if he was actually on the injury report week after week. He managed to sneak in one more MLS appearance, the 2-2 draw against Portland in August when everyone else was off playing internationally,, actually playing at right back, but didn't impress and wasn't seen again. All told he only made 5 league appearances this year.

2012 was a big step back for Harden who was actually starting to show some flashes of consistency towards the end of the 2011 season. That may have had a lot to do with the presence of Torsten Frings in the backline helping to cover for him and Andy Iro but it was still improvement. It seemed that he might finally be on track to recover some of the potential that saw him make 24 starts for the LA Galaxy in his rookie season and win the club's rookie of the year award but none of that showed in 2012. Before dropping out of the lineup the only reason he didn't look completely awful in his four starts was having Miguel Aceval beside him who was kind enough to always be that much worse than Harden.

For me Ty remains one of those players that you just know will prove to be a solid MLS player when he leaves Toronto and joins a stable team that actually puts in a total effort to defend. Sadly that's not TFC, and he was never going to be good enough to be the man to sort out the defence, but then again very few defenders out there are.

Duncan: 21 I liked Ty Harden, thought he was unfairly maligned last year and had high hopes that he'd do alright this year with better players around him. Those better players obviously didn't materialise though and thus he struggled. I would have liked to see him given a chance alongside Darren O'Dea, but it wasn't to be. Can't imagine he'll be back next year, unless Mariner and Cochrane decide to go with a 'better the cheap and mediocre depth devil you know' policy to avoid too much turnover. Actually, scrap that, looked it up and he was on 90k this year, best of luck in the NASL Ty.

Michael: 26 Likely not back next year

John: 24 Not really improved since the last time.

Kristin: 18 Not even Trying Harder could help him crack this line-up. Bye bye Ty.

The Ghost of TFC Future: I could only remember Harden nailed to the bench (when Mariner even decided to fill it), but apparently he started the first four games of the season and the 2-2 draw with Portland in August. I seem to recall him being responsible for Portland's equaliser in that game... but maybe I'm mixing my Harden memories. Forgettable.

The Yorkies: Seriously. Just leave.

Casual Soccer Fan: Treated like a scapegoat. Who remembers his bicycle kick clearance from CCL?

DichioTFC: Does this guy still exist? Not just on the roster, but, on the face of the Earth. Question of existentialism aside, Dave Rowaan had it spot on in his October 30 post where Dave questioned his spot in Mariner's lineup. Not finding minutes for one of the worst teams in MLS history speaks volumes about a player. Mariner will be dropping overpriced Harden like an ugly baby and nobody will blame him.

Prizby: Played a pivotal role, rather started many games at the beginning of the season as other defenders recovered from injuries. Always fit the nickname “Try Harder”, but was never able to accomplish much on the field; speed being his number one deficiency.

Sir Alphonso Applegate: Harden was at the bottom of a long list of inept Centrebacks. I think the NASL is calling if Ty wants to keep his career going.

JC_Plante: Turrible. Just turrible.

David Kent: Could never put him last for his trying. An honest player but not good enough for a steady starting position.

Panos Kelamis: Ty's TFC adventure will be remembered only for a gashed leg

Number 25: Matt Stinson

Number 27: Miguel Aceval

Full top 31 countdown