TFC ready to load up

RYAN WOLSTAT, TQMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:37 PM ET

Toronto FC will have to find a new captain. In the meantime, expect to see some new faces on the roster very shortly.

Jim Brennan, the club’s inaugural signing and leader, announced on Wednesday that he has retired and will become TFC’s assistant manager.

He will be manager/director of soccer Mo Johnston’s right-hand man.

“On and off the field, a great leader,” Johnston said of Brennan.

Brennan said he would take advantage of his years of experience on the pitch and his international connections to help fulfil his new role.

Johnston acknowledged the team has been working on signing four players and said he was “just waiting on contracts.” Johnston said the team is following the process which often involves transfer agreements, inputs from agents and finally, approval from Major League Soccer.

“I would like to think by (Thursday) we could get it done,” Johnston said. “We’re trying to get stuff through right now.”

Johnston said he has had contracts pending for four or five days and specifically said the club is looking at adding to its backline and bringing in another striker.

The most likely add is Adrian Cann, the 6-foot-3 Canadian national team defender who has been training with the club.

Johnston confirmed he has talked to diminutive striker Paul Dickov. Dickov, 37, is a scrappy player who, though isn’t much of a finisher, earned the nickname (the pest) because of his ability to get under the skin of opponents.

Brennan said he had been thinking about making the move to management for a while and made up his mind following the season-opening 2-0 defeat to the Columbus Crew.

He also said there was no truth to rumours he quit because he couldn’t get along with new coach Preki.

“I think everyone here knows and everyone in the dressing room knows that that’s all a lie,” Brennan said.

“There was never a bust up between me and Preki. I’ve got respect for Preki. I know he’s going to do a great job for this club and I never said anything like that.”

Preki did not attend the news conference, though Johnston said: “We’re all big boys here. There’s nothing wrong with Jimmy and Preki and we’ll all move on from it.”

Brennan, who helped Canada win the 2005 Gold Cup – the highlight of his career, he said — was an MLS all-star in 2008. The defender played 84 games for TFC, scoring four goals and adding four assists. He was TFC’s MVP and defender of the year following its first season.

The Toronto native left home at 14 and signed with English side Bristol City when he was 17.

He went on to Nottingham Forest, which paid a record fee for a Canadian, $2.6 million, to acquire his services and was capped 49 times by the Canadian national team.

Johnston said a new captain would be named and Preki would make the call.

ryan.wolstat@sunmedia.ca


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