Silence speaks volumes in TFC camp

GARETH WHEELER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:16 PM ET

Sometimes the bigger story is who’s not talking rather than who is.

That was the case Wednesday as Toronto FC held its media day.

Media day works like this: No matter the team or sport, all players are made available to the media. For this one day, players and coaches put up with whatever burning questions are thrown at them. There usually are no exceptions — all players have to deal with it.

This apparently isn’t the case with TFC, at least this year.

Carl Robinson and Dwayne De Rosario turned down media requests, choosing not to speak.

And the silence speaks louder than words.

As reported in the Toronto Sun earlier this week, Robinson is on the trade block. Whether it’s by his accord or the team’s is not known. It has been suggested the move towards a divorce is mutual.

From TFC’s standpoint, it wants to shed Robinson’s salary. TFC will be up against the MLS salary cap, regardless where it lays after the new Collective Bargaining Agreement is delivered. Banking on an increase in the cap-number without a contingency plan is like playing Russian roulette with your roster.

Robinson’s quality is desirable to many teams, but sources say the stumbling block in a potential trade is his salary. So for the time being, Robinson remains a Red, but is not happy about it.

The two-time team MVP reportedly feels disrespected by how the team has handled the situation. The Welshman choosing not to speak suggests as much. Robinson has been a true leader, cordial, willing to sacrifice for the franchise and extremely gracious with his time during his stay in Toronto.

From a playing and professional perspective, it’s too bad the situation is virtually beyond repair.

De Rosario is another case of hard feelings. Last year on the Casino Rama Grill Room, De Ro made it clear he wanted to get paid what he deserved after the season, meaning Designated Player money.

Sources say the club originally told De Rosario he would be the team’s Designated Player before agreeing to come to Toronto last winter. An apparent reneging of a promise by the team doesn’t bode well for that relationship.

Common sense dictates that the team’s leading goal-scorer deserves the money, but the new CBA may not. TFC can ill-afford its best player being unhappy.

Adrian Serioux was a notable absentee Wednesday. The Canadian defender has yet to come to terms on a new deal with TFC. Published reports of a possible career-threatening injury are erroneous. The matter is strictly contractual. And if it were up to Serioux, he would be back playing in his home-town, saying he’s “Red at heart and wants to be here.”

Yet TFC seems prepared to let him walk. This doesn’t make much sense, considering Serioux is Canadian and fits a need as a physical presence in defence.

This all makes for a challenging start for new head coach, Predrag (Preki) Radosavljevic. With little cap room and a desire to reshape his roster, nothing is going to come easy. Making matters worse, many players who are under contract are overpaid and untradeable.

“We’re not going to fix the team in one day or two days, it’s a process that will take us some time to get the team we want here,” Preki said.

Smells to me as if there’s a new cook in the kitchen without the ingredients to serve up a decent meal.


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