Complement The Core

Toronto looks to add experience to youthful squad this offseason.

Photo: TFC will look to add to a youthful core that includes Luis Silva (Getty)

TORONTO – When a team wins five league games all season, something has to change drastically. Toronto FC are trying to do that and it involves more than improving at certain positions. Changing the culture of the team is another priority.

And Earl Cochrane, the club’s director of team and player operations, feels that progress is being made in this quest without revealing the names of players who might be added.

“I think we need to bring in guys who are of great character who are going to change the mindset,” Cochrane told MLSsoccer.com this week. “Sometimes losing can be contagious,  just as winning can be contagious. And we want to be able to bring that in to just change the overall feeling of our entire team.”

From a position standpoint, centre back has been an obvious need for the Reds who allowed a league-worst 62 goals and had a goal differential of minus-26, second worst in the league.

Three of the players whose options were not picked up by the club on Thursday were centre backs – Adrian Cann, Ty Harden and Dicoy Williams – so it is obvious there will be changes there.

But Cochrane said that the scope of the off-season plan for a team that was 5-21-8 in the league is wider than that.

“I don’t think I’d put any one position over another,” Cochrane said. “It’s getting the types of characters and types of players in here that are going to help us be far more difficult to break down and that means all over the park.”

He feels that improving the defence is more than altering the back four. “We want to be very difficult to beat,” he said. “We want to be stronger defensively but that also means we need to stabilize things in front of our back four.

“We need to bring people in here who are responsible on both sides of the ball. I think that’s going to mean a couple of guys in the middle of the park and stabilizing and shoring up our back four. We’re down the road in doing that.”

It’s a matter adding to a group of young players who have yet to reach their potential.  “We’re pretty happy with the young core that we’ve got and their upside down the road,” Cochrane said.  “We just think we need some different characters that are going to be able to bring some accountability and change the overall aura of the room.”