Adrian Cann

Say what you will about Toronto FC's 2010 season, it certainly didn't lack tension or drama. MLSE senior writer Mike Ulmer recaps the good, the bad and what's up next.

Texans, someone once said, are like everywhere else … only more so.

Toronto FC’s season was like that. Lots of good, lots of bad and everything imaginable sprinkled in between.

Might as well start with the good.

[inlinenode:4692]- Brampton native Doneil Henry was the first Toronto FC Academy grad to advance to the parent club’s roster. By late September, another player, Nicholas Lindsay had moved up and two more players, Oscar Cordon and Ashtone Morgan saw action in Champions League competition.  A productive development system is a traditional building block for successful franchises and to turn out players in only three years since the Academy took shape represented a significant achievement.

- Dwayne DeRosario delivered a 15-goal season, good for third in the Major League Soccer goalscoring table. The club scored 33 goals, roughly one goal in two belonged to the Scarborough native.

- Stefan Frei emerged as a premier keeper. The 24-year-old native of Switzerland won Toronto FC Player of the Month honors for March and April. He carded eight clean sheets in the year.

- A 4-1 win over Chicago in May nudged the team to an eight-game unbeaten streak.

- The undisputed high point of the season came when Toronto beat Mexican powerhouse Cruz Azul in the CCL. The team would eventually finish third in a very strong four-team group in its first ever group stage appearance.

- Dan Gargan proved himself one of the team’s best off-season signings. The veteran defender/midfielder played three positions and worked beautifully with his teammates.

- A good case could be made for Canadian defender Adrian Cann who was the team’s Most Valuable Player and top defender. Cann provided much-need stability and mentored 21-year-old Nana Attakora.

- Toronto won the Nutrilite Canadian Championship and beat Motagua of Honduras in the two-leg CCL preliminary round, an improvement from 2009.

How did you know there had to be bad?

node:4887]- The season ended with an unprecedented level of disappointment from supporters and everyday fans unhappy with the team’s performance and ticket pricing policies. Their concerns resulted in a free home opener in 2011 and a ticket price freeze for 2012.

- For the first time in the club’s four-year-history they did not improve on the previous season’s point total. TFC finished 11 points out of the playoffs.

- DeRosario, the team's captain, mimed signing a cheque after a goal in a 3-2 loss to San Jose. He had been campaigning for a raise despite two years left on his four-year-contract. The San Jose outcome decimated any thoughts of a playoff appearance.

- A low point in the season (losing to lowly D.C. United) coupled with Toronto's position in the standings resulted in the simultaneous firing of Preki, in his first season as the team’s coach and general manager Mo Johnston, who was the team’s first soccer hire. They were replaced by Nick Dasovic and Earl Cochrane.

- Top draft choice Zac Herold was forced to retire after doctors discovered a heart defect.

- Canadian international defender Julian de Guzman endured a poor season.

- Brought on to boost scoring, Mista was a disappointment. The Spaniard scored only once in 11 games and was released in November.

- DeRosario trained with Glasgow powerhouse Celtic without permission from TFC or Major League Soccer.

[inline_node:5300]Next up:

- MLS has proven itself to be a league of fast rebuilds. The New York Red Bulls’ jump from 21 to 51 points is proof of that, but the club has yet to take a comparable plunge on a big-ticket star.

- Soccer immortal Jurgen Klinsmann and his consulting company, SoccerSolutions have been hired to find a coach, general manager or manager. They are expected to release their choices within the next few weeks. Filling those vacancies is essential since the SuperDraft is January 13 in Baltimore and the team is anxious to avoid last season’s rush when big changes were being made right up to the season kickoff.