|Hawkishly rooting for Montreal to lose.|
The most interesting bit of news today comes out of Toronto, where coach Paul Mariner didn't pass Kevin Payne's muster. Mariner is gone. Ryan Nelson is in, he of epic MLS Cup glory with DCU that plunged gloriously into the era of the Don Garber pencil-thin goatee. This came on the rapidly clicking heels of Nelson's early move to dismiss technical manager Bob de Klerk. Nelson, who's technically still a QPR player, won't be an out-and-out player/coach. That much you can bank on.
So this is a little off the wall. Let's look at it in two ways. There is the first, which is tactical and relatively straight-forward in nature. Payne was entering a new situation in which he wanted to impart his own brand. Paul Mariner faced an obviously difficult decision not of his own design, but there was the implication that he didn't contribute much to its benefit, either. TFC was 4-2-4 in Mariner's first 10 but went winless in TFC's last 14 of the season. That lay on the table like a flopping, bleeding albatross. But then there is the other issue, the one that every GM in a new house has to face. The one that he cleans house to clean house, that he is an indiscriminate rolling pin tamping down both bubbles and smoothened tasty bits alike. That he has little to no pulse of the organization after mere month(s) on the job and that he is making changes because it seems as though changes need to be made. Analysis be damned.
Of course we have to look at both sides because it could be either or a subtle mix of both. But let's say this - Payne's history in DC gives him some rope to work with, but not much. He left because the Thohir brain trust gave him the convenient leeway to do so. I'm not so certain that this is tinkering. But with the institutionalized failure in place in Toronto in recent moons, again, the rope is there. Now all eyes turn to the SuperDraft. Your time is now, PayneTrust (yeah? yeah).
We stay in the land of maple syrup for the second bit of coaching news. Jesse Marsch of course was jettisoned for reasons of, uh, "amicable and philosophical nature?" Right. So as Saputo strives to prove he's not the next MLS tyrant, in comes Swiss man Marco Schällibaum to take the top spot on our office poll of crappiest names to continually spell in MLS. There has literally never been a better second-year situation for an MLS coach to step into and literally nobody is hoping for the whole thing to go down in flames more so than Marsch.
Party on, Montreal! Your second year will be so, so much worse than your first. I'm calling it now.
- Will Parchman