TFC Trio To Face New Challenges

Brennan, Dichio & Dasovic tackle the Academy and Scouting.

Toronto FC announced Wednesday that former players Jimmy Brennan and Danny Dichio will be taking on new roles with the club’s Academy. Dichio becomes Head Coach of Toronto FC’s Senior Academy Team and Brennan will take charge of the Junior Academy Team.

RELATED: Academy Staff

“This is a great opportunity for Jimmy and Danny to grow as coaches and also play a significant role in developing the young talent at our club,” said Toronto FC Head Coach and Technical Director Aron Winter. “The Academy has a vital role to play in this club so these positions are very important. We want all of the teams throughout the club to play the same way so that we can develop young players who know how to play the Toronto FC style.”

That 'Tiresome' Toronto FC

Toronto interim head coach Nick Dasovic admitted after Toronto's nil-nil draw away to Cruz Azul that it wasn't pretty football, but he wasn't in the altitude, heat and poor air quality of Mexico City to win a beauty contest.

The Reds' effective draw has set them up to close out the group stage of the Champions League with two winnable home games that could see Toronto advance to the Quarterfinals of the continent's top club tournament - though only with more hard work ahead.
 

VIDEO: September 21, 2010 - Toronto draws Cruz Azul in Mexico City.

On the popular football website Goal.com, Cruz Azul's Christian Gimenez is reported to have complimented Toronto's defence, albeit in a backhanded manner.  The Argentine midfielder and set-piece specialists called the Dasovic plan "complicated" and "tiresome." He went on to say, "the truth is we could not break through their defence."

"It's impossible to play like that, when they put all 11 in front of you and waste time,  even though it's also our fault but we're fine with the game because we gave it our all."

"In Mexican football it's difficult to play the way Toronto played - it's too tiring. Here we couldn't break that defence and you leave a bit upset, hurt because those were three important points at home."

In fact, Gimenez' teammate Fausto Pinto was so frustrated by Toronto's ability to close down space, that he lashed out with an elbow to Julian de Guzman at the 80th minute that cost the Mexican defender an ejection from the match.

Toronto advancing to the quarterfinals may sound a bit far fetched given that Salt Lake and Cruz Azul are at nine and seven points respectively to Toronto's four. But if TFC takes maximum points in its final Champions League games against Salt Lake on September 28 and in the October 19 finale versus Arabe - both at BMO Field - the improbable becomes possible.

Should the Reds advance, both former coach Preki and current boss Dasovic will be credited for taking four points out of six from powerful Cruz Azul - a type of feat against Mexican clubs that MLS teams rarely ever boast. The head-to-head superiority over Mexico's league leader could be a cutting (and cunning) edge in Toronto's pocket when the dust settles.
 

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Dichio and Brennan have been with the club since the inaugural season in 2007 and were the first two inductees on Toronto FC’s Wall of Honour last year. Dichio, 36, moved across the Atlantic to join Toronto FC after a long career in Europe and scored the first goal in the club’s history on May 12, 2007. He retired from playing in September 2009 having scored 14 goals in 59 MLS appearances for Toronto.

“I am very excited about being given the chance to coach my own team and bring through the next set of kids,” said Dichio.

“Stuart Neely and Jason Bent have done a fantastic job so far and I am just looking to continue that trend. Toronto FC is moving forward in the right direction with a system and philosophy that will runs throughout the club. Part of my role is to make sure every player knows his position within the team so that when they reach the First Team, they are familiar with the way they need to play.”

Brennan, 33, served as the team’s Assistant General Manager last season following his retirement as a player on April 6, 2010. He became the first ever player to join Toronto FC when he signed with the club on September 8, 2006 and held the role of team captain from the inaugural season through until his retirement. The Toronto born defender also had an accomplished career with the Canadian National team and was part of the Gold Cup winning squad in 2000.

“It’s a great opportunity for me to be on the pitch every day working with the young players,” said Brennan. “The Academy is very important for this club and we will be working very closely with the First Team staff as we look to develop the types of players that fit into Toronto FC’s style of play. It is our job to help produce players, and that is an exciting challenge.”

Toronto FC also announced Wednesday that Nick Dasovic has been named the club’s North American Scout. Dasovic, 42, has been part of Toronto FC’s team staff since 2008 when he joined the club as Academy Head Coach and First Team Assistant Coach. Prior to joining Toronto FC, he spent five years with the Canadian National team program.

As part of his role, Dasovic will keep a close watch on college tournaments and matches. As well as scouting in North America, he will also attend youth tournaments in other areas of the world and has just returned from the CONCACAF Under 17 World Cup Qualifying tournament in Jamaica.