Run with the Bulls, TFC

STEVEN SANDOR, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:56 AM ET

What next?

Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment has the resources to go out and make the right move.

"Now we have to go do a thorough search and find the right guy," MLSEL's vice-president and COO Tom Anselmi said.

There's already an example out there for Anselmi to follow: The New York Red Bulls. After the energy drink maker's New York franchise finished dead last in the MLS last season, the house was cleaned and heavy investments were made in the club.

Norwegian football executive Erik Soler was brought in to be the sporting director. Hans Backe, a manager with years of experience in Europe, including three championships in Copenhagen, was brought in to coach.

Then, the Red Bulls spent big, but spent wisely; striker Thierry Henry and Rafa Marquez will make $11 million US this year, for a half season of work.

Last year, last place. This year, second in the East.

MLSEL has the resources. It now has to show its fans that it is willing to open its pocketbook to bring in the right management team. With a name coach and general manager, players will follow.

Back in March, as TFC was off to a slow start and the right to host the MLS Cup was awarded to the city, Anselmi turned up the heat on GM Johnston and coach Preki. He said the team had to make the playoffs.

"It's show-up time," said Anselmi. "We have to take the next step this year."

Now, the tables have turned. It's show-up time for Anselmi. He has to get it right this time.

But, for now, Nick Dasovic inherits a team that will remain unchanged through Wednesday's roster-freeze deadline. No last-second deadline deals will be made. The club confirmed that Tuesday.

So, even though Preki and Johnston have left the building, their players remain. The hard-working lunch pail crew that was brought in during the Great Preki Purge of the team's training camp will all keep their jobs for now.

That means the ex-Colorado Rapids Jacob Peterson (zero goals) and Nick LaBrocca (one wind-aided goal) stay on.

Mista, brought in at the halfway point of the season for almost $1 million US, will keep on searching for his first MLS goal.

And Nick Garcia, the veteran defender brought in by Johnston last season -- a man who played with Johnston and Preki on the Kansas City Wizards team of 2000 that's regarded as one of the best in MLS -- is safe ... for now.

The warning signs were there, even as Preki conducted training camp with the Reds. As Preki was reforming the Reds into a team of hard-working average Joes, new Chivas coach Martin Vasquez, a former member of Bayern Munich's staff, was ripping Preki's old club apart. He wasn't housecleaning.

He demolished what was there and started over.

Chivas has struggled this season, but has come on of late, as players buy into Vasquez's far more attack-minded philosophy.

In August, after Toronto FC had beaten Chivas USA 2-1 at BMO Field, then-head coach Preki was asked what it was like to get one over on his old club.

After all, Preki had coached Chivas for the previous three seasons.

He admitted that the Chivas team was totally strange to him, that there were only a couple of players left from when he was there.

"That's a completely new team," Preki said.

Once the season is done, a new general manager will begin taking apart Preki's work in a new city.

Anselmi needs to ensure that the person in charge of both the demolition and rebuild is the right person for the job, and has the financial support to do it right.

All Anselmi has to do is turn to Red Bull for advice.


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