TORONTO – Nick Dasovic knows he might not be hired as Toronto FC’s head coach next season. But would he take the job if offered?
“Absolutely, I’d take it in a second,” TFC's interim coach told reporters on Tuesday. “In saying that, if they feel it’s not the right time, I would respect that decision as well.”
VIDEO: Toronto FC defender Dan Gargan on GOL TV following 2010 season wrap.
Since taking over from Preki on Sept. 14, Dasovic led the club to a 3-4-3 record in all competitions over a six-week stint.
The Reds have failed to make the playoffs in each of their four years in existence. Though Dasovic fell short of breaking that streak, he was pleased with the players’ response to his more flexible approach.
Those same players endorsed him, saying the creative license they had was quite different from control that characterized Preki’s defensive regime. While the offense picked up in the new open style, the team’s once strong defense struggled down the stretch, committing mistakes that led to multi-goal games.
“It’s up to us to show an entertaining brand of football, now we have to find a compromise where we can show and entertaining brand of football, but also get results, and this was a starting point,” Dasovic said. “This six weeks has been a great eye-opener. I’ve learned a lot and, hopefully, stepping forward, I’ll be better for it.”
Whether he steps forward as Toronto’s head coach on a permanent basis remains to be seen. TFC parent company Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment is in the process of hiring a new director of soccer operations to replace Mo Johnston. Dasovic, interim director of soccer Earl Cochrane and assistant coach Jim Brennan may not be part of the Reds’ plans for 2011.
Until then, it’s business as usual for the three, who have already met to discuss which payers will stay and which ones won’t. Dasovic’s knowledge of the club’s youth is an asset the new director of soccer will be asked to consider when deciding on front office personnel.
“If I get a phone call that says ‘You’re going to do this and this,’ then I’ll just re-evaluate and then start that job differently,” Dasovic said. “I don’t plan on leaving the club. I’ve grown to love this club. I’ve been here for three years now and we’ll go from there, but I’ve enjoyed my time here and will continue to be here.”
MLSE executive vice president and COO Tom Anselmi said the new director will be encouraged to have “an open mind” when it comes to keeping Dasovic and assistants Danny Dichio, Mike Toshack and Leo Percovic.
In the end, regardless of the players’ support of Dasovic, his knowledge of the youth system and fondness for the club, Dasovic doesn’t control his own fate.
“The new boss will make all the decisions around the soccer business,” Anselmi said.