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Toronto FC Top 31 Countdown: Number 25 - Matt Stinson

After an impressive end to 2011, it just never really got going for him this year. Thanks to a number of injuries he found himself behind an out of position Aaron Maund on the depth chart (now that is a tough place to be). Number 25 is Matt Stinson

2011 was such a simple time when Matt and Peri could be so happy.  Not much happy for either in 2012 though.
2011 was such a simple time when Matt and Peri could be so happy. Not much happy for either in 2012 though.
Mitchell Layton

Average Ranking: 24.00
Highest Ranking: 12
Lowest ranking: 29

Dave: 26 Looking back on Matt Stinson's season is a sure fire way to make a lot of Toronto FC fans even more sad about 2012. Having made 13 league appearances for the team in 2011 it looked like the academy product was starting to come into his own both as a holding midfielder and occasionally as a right back. He had even earned himself a late season call up to the Canadian national team which he missed due to injury. It seemed that, like Ashtone Morgan, Stinson was on the right track to make a big impact on the first team in 2012.

That never happened though. Under Aron Winter he would only see the field once in league play when he started against Chicago in April but only lasted 68 minutes. Winter did give him a pair of chances in the Champions League bringing him on as a late substitute against LA and then bringing him on against Santos when the return leg was already slipping out of reach. Then when Paul Mariner took charged it looked like he was at least going to get a sniff at the first team with two very brief substitute appearances in July against New England and Colorado but it never really turned into more than that. He would get another short cameo against Chicago in September but when all was said and done it was only four appearances and 89 minutes of league play for Stinson.

It is a bit of a tricky season to break down for Stinson as he did spend time being sidelined by a couple of different injuries. He missed a fair bit of training over the course of the year and never really got the chance to fight for minutes but the problem is that there were times that he was fit enough for a place on the bench but could still not get into games. When Torsten Frings went down injured and Julian De Guzman was shipped off to FC Dallas it should have been easy for Stinson to just walk into the team and become the natural partner in the middle of the park for Terry Dunfield but that never happened. Instead, Mariner went with a number of players being used out of position including trying to pull Luis Silva into a deeper role and more frequently trying to turn Aaron Maund from a CB into a holding mid. None of the experiments really worked out well but still the only times we saw Stinson it was on the bench.

Though he hasn't signed a second contract like Doneil Henry and Ashtone Morgan did, you'd think he's done enough in the past to be back with the team next season. Hopefully 2013 will be an injury free season for the Canadian and we can really see what his standing is with the coaching staff.

Duncan: 27 What to say about Little Matty Stinson. Looked like he could go on to be a useful multi position back up player this year, but it just never got going for him. You'd think he'd be ideal for Paul Mariner's purposes, hard working, tidy, unspectacular but generally reliable, like a mini Terry Dunfield. But no, couldn't get in the team ahead of Jeremy Hall at right back or Aaron Maund in midfield. Another of those where you never really knew if he was injured or just out of favour. Part of me hopes he's back, part of me hopes he can move to a team where he'll get playing time.

Michael: 25 Rarely played

John: 26 Had his moments, but again time is so limited we can't say he had much impact.

Kristin: 15 Injuries and well I don't know what else kept him off the field. Don't know what else to say

The Ghost Of TFC Future: Ah, Matty Stinson. I had such high hopes for him after he got some minutes towards the end of last season. He had a lot of energy and youthful enthusiasm. I would have liked to see much more of him, especially once the season was a lost cause.

The Yorkies: Once bright future now looks downright FC Edmontonny

Casual Soccer Fan: Limited by injury, but well worth keeping.

DichioTFC: A particular disappointment for me. In 2011 we had big hopes for Stinson. Maybe a future depth player for the Canadian Men's team. Well, I sure as hell was wrong. He was effective in his 13 games in 2011 but had a massive drop-off in 2012, he couldn't find a place in this basement dwelling club, playing only 4 games.

Shem: What's with Matt? Loved him last season, hopefully finds a club where he get's to play next season.

Prizby: Another victim of injuries this year, Stinson leaves his mark on the team as the guy who never stands out by doing an extraordinary good or bad. He is still a project player and it will be interesting to see if Mariner brings him back next year; he should; I think there is more to come from Stinson in the future. Maybe Mariner will find a place to loan him out so he can get experience.

Sir Alphonso Applegate: Sadly all the progress from last season seems to have been halted by his injury and the fact that he's apparently never been introduced to Paul Mariner.

Panos Kelamis: Talented midfielder whose season was cut short by injury, needs more games to develop

Number 24: Stefan Frei

Number 26: Ty Harden

Full Top 31 Countdown