Just when you thought things couldnít get any worse, Toronto FC finds new levels of low.
Assistant Coach Nick Dasovic has been at the club long enough to witness numerous embarrassments. Yet, the so-called TFC ďNumber-TwoĒ in charge was nowhere to be seen along the sidelines Saturday.
Dasovic wasnít on the bench for Wednesdayís draw in Chicago or last Saturdayís loss at Dallas either. The club says Dasovic has been away scouting, rather than performing his usual game-day and training duties.
Red Flag raised.
Why would a well-liked, hard working and important member of the club be assigned to remedial scouting duties at such a crucial juncture of the season? The entire focus of all team members should be on playoff qualification.
So you can believe that story, pushed by the spinsters at TFC if you may. But doing so would mean youíre a sheep. It makes zero sense for a top assistant coach to be scouting local youth teams, as Iíve been told, at a time the senior side is battling tooth and nail for their playoff lives.
The only thing consistent at Toronto FC is thereís more than meets the eye.
Dasovic has in fact been left in the cold, pushed out of his first team duties and re-assigned.
Dasovic was unavailable for comment, but multiple sources confirm Head Coach Preki sent Dasovic away to scout instead of being with the first-team. It is unknown and unconfirmed why Preki made such a dramatic move.
Sources say Dasovic declined such a demotion. A re-assignment as such is a slap in the face, a sign of blatant disrespect to a man whoís been nothing but a solider for the club since 2008. What transpired next has not been confirmed, but there was a clear following out between the coaches.
Dasovic never was a Preki guy, being leftover from the previous years coaching staff. Sources indicate Dasovicís future at the club remains up in the air. Toronto FC can only confirm Dasovic hasnít been fired.
Whispers of issues with Dasovic at the club began at the Canada/Peru game in Toronto last weekend, the same night TFC was in Dallas. Those whispers turned into voices Saturday, with the situation still looming and a resolution not in sight.
This isnít the first time a coach has been absent from the sidelines and the club as explanation has spewed half-truths. John Carver watched from the rafters as Head Coach, as assistant Chris Cummins lead a TFC side victory. Carver left the club days later.
Make it clear; Dasovic will not leave TFC on his own accord. Sources close to Dasovic say he as committed to the club as ever and has been put in a vulnerable position by making a stand for the betterment of the soccer.
Dasovic was also left in a precarious position last year when it came to replacing Carver. Multiple sources have acknowledged over time that Dasovic was to be named the Interim Head Coach, before being back-doored by the Cummins appointment.
The dysfunction and intrigue continues. The fact there is issue between Preki and Dasovic, yet the latter has not been removed of his duties and is well liked at the club, is clear indication there is question of what becomes of Preki after this season.
Let the rumour mill start churning Ė Dasovic still on the pay roll, yet out of Prekiís plans is clear indication there is serious doubt whether the Preki experiment will extend beyond one season.
Believe it folks; there is a distinct possibility Preki will not be in Toronto after this season. That would make it five Head Coaches before TFC kicks a ball in their 5th season.
Whether it would be the club, or the coach himself deciding to step away is all conjecture. But thereís no question Preki has become frustrated, has been tactically inferior, and hasnít dealt with life under the magnifying glass in Toronto with any kind of enjoyment.
Sources at the club have described Preki as being Ďtiredí on multiple occasions. The frustration is plain to see, whether in post-game press conferences, media scrums, or even on the sidelines. Preki took a swipe a Rogers Sportsnet camera Wednesday night in Chicago after a Fire handball was not called.
And even behind the scenes, stories of frustration with Prekiís ways are starting to pop up, as the teamís struggles grow deeper. Prekiís departure from Chivas USA played out in similar fashion.
So itís more instability at Torontoís beloved soccer franchise.
The question is for how long will TFCís most loyal fans keep the blinders on and not see whatís happening before their eyes. If the status quo remains and failure continues to be met with a smiling face, TFC and their supporters are no better than the Toronto Maple Leafs and their fans.
Hopefully guys like Dasovic, who care deeply about the club and soccer in this city, donít fight the good fight in vain.