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Toronto FC fires Preki and Johnston; Dasovic to serve as interim coach; Red Bulls-Rapids trade; MLS schedule expands to 34 matches

Toronto FC has fired Coach Preki and director of soccer Mo Johnston, and will name assistant Nick Dasovic as the interim coach, the Insider has learned.

The drastic moves comes three days after Toronto (7-10-7) lost at home to MLS bottom-dweller D.C. United, 1-0 -- the club's fifth scoreless performance in six matches. TFC is 1-6-3 in its past 10 league games. The team will play a CONCACAF Champions League match Wednesday at Real Salt Lake.

Meantime, one day before the roster deadline, the New York Red Bulls have traded forward Macoumba Kandji (eight starts, one goal in league play) to the Colorado Rapids for midfielder Mehdi Ballouchy (19 starts, three goals, five assists).

And MLS has finalized plans to increase the regular season schedule by four matches next year to 34 -- each of the 18 clubs will play every other team home and away.

D.C. United news and notes to come.....

By Steve Goff  |  September 14, 2010; 10:44 AM ET
Categories:  MLS  | Tags: MLS  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Tuesday kickaround: D.C. United injuries, Edu and Jones in Champions League, Seattle's Open Cup crowd, CONCACAF schedule, UVA at White House
Next: D.C. United news & notes: injuries, signing

Comments

Preki to DCU- bank on it...

Posted by: rademaar | September 14, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

@rademaar.. yep probably. And while preki's inability to get success wasn't his coaching ability, it was the players inability to work together

oh wait...

Posted by: SexyOffender | September 14, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

hey dadryan, if you are around, and we have another CL group, let me/us know...

Posted by: Reignking | September 14, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

no way they bring Preki here.

Posted by: torrey151 | September 14, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

In a disastrous season, the franchise is holding the two individuals most responsible for a poorly assembled team...what a radical concept!

Posted by: cmjhawk86 | September 14, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

slow news day huh?

The schedule news is great. It's really the only sensible way to do it, and the balanced schedule points out yet again the meaninglessness of the conferences. I guess that means 2 fewer "special" game tickets that usually turn out to not be very special anyway.

Posted by: fedssocr | September 14, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

weird wild stuff all around

good for TFC and Colorado

Posted by: csd1 | September 14, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

D. C. United:

We get coaches fired.

On both sides of the ball.

Posted by: lgm6986 | September 14, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

With this trade, Ballouchy has officially attained "journeyman" status. Kandji may be headed that way too...

Posted by: Modibo | September 14, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Big soccer news day... I can't remember a bigger one. That's a lot of games for MLS teams. Nothing like curing fixture congestion by adding in even more games.

As for the Kandji-Ballouchy trade. It's an odd one. I think it's really one-sided in the Red Bulls' favor, especially since Kandji isn't really healthy, is he? Besides, Mehdi has been one of the most productive midfielders this year. Kandji's done next to nothing. The odd thing about the trade is that I don't understand why either team made it. NYRB probably has more need for a player like Kandji than Colorado does...and I don't know what the Rapids have to fill-in the hole they've created in the midfield.

Preki's a decent coach, but I'm not sure his style makes the most use of TFC's creative talent.

@RK -- Dadryan did start a league called Soccer Insider. If you go back a few threads, you'll see where he's posted the pass-code, but your league haas more people and I think all the same people.

Posted by: fischy | September 14, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

The schedule news is great. It's really the only sensible way to do it, and the balanced schedule points out yet again the meaninglessness of the conferences.

Posted by: fedssocr | September 14, 2010 11:59 AM
________________________________________

To say it is "the only sensible way to do it" is to insult the management and fans of every other North American major team sport, who have been doing it another way for four decades and up, and quite successfully. Any arrangement involves tradeoffs. For starters, the burden of a single-table format, in terms of both travel costs and quality of play, is higher in a league that stretches across four time zones than in one that is geographically compact.

In any event, the de facto single-table format won't last beyond next year (unless you really believe the league will go for a 38-fixture season at this point), so don't get too used to it.

Posted by: universityandpark | September 14, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

seems like I was auto added to Argy Bargy Goff so no worries.
HOpe some more folks join one or both. If the leagues are duplicates we can always delete one.

Posted by: DadRyan | September 14, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

DC United is not be smart enough to get Preki...Too bad. I think he is an excellent coach.

Posted by: alan19 | September 14, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Unless this is a pure salary dump, you have to wonder WTH Colorado is thinking.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | September 14, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Sure. It's home and away, but is it really single table?

They may be able to lessen the travel burden by scheduling, for example, DC@COL on Wednesday, then @RSL on Sunday.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | September 14, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

So both Preki and Mo are available. Whaddya say that Kevin Payne signs someone else.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | September 14, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Ironic that other execs get fired for losing to our pathetic excuse for a team while our FO remains untouched.

Posted by: grognard66 | September 14, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

yes, i think it is the only sensible solution. The inherent unfairness of an unbalanced schedule in any sport is not sensible as far as I am concerned. And I think it does taint the results. I don't know why nobody ever talks about that. But it does make certain trophies and awards have a giant asterisk next to them as far as I am concerned.

And why not play 36 or 38 matches in future years? Teams play that many games now anyway with all of these stupid, meaningless friendlies that they put on the schedule to pad things out.

I do think the league should be capped at 20 teams though.

Posted by: fedssocr | September 14, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

DC United = coach-killers

Posted by: DrBeaker | September 14, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

"Unless this is a pure salary dump, you have to wonder WTH Colorado is thinking."

GoG, Kandji's guaranteed salary for 2010 is a hair under $113k, while Ballouchy makes $88,800. So NY comes out $25k per season ahead on that part of it.

Here's the deal: Kandji is potentially an excellent forward for the right team. He's one of the most creative forwards in the league, and has great skills. I think he'll work pretty well with Casey, assuming he can beat out Cummings for a starting role.

NY has him #4 on the depth chart, behind JPA, Henry, and Salou, and Conor Chinn and Juan Agudelo are just behind him. The experiment to play Kandji as a winger was started by Osorio and continued by Backe, and it's a total bust. Kandji doesn't think like a winger. He doesn't look to play an early ball, and he doesn't have the pace of Richards that allows him to get past a defense. As a forward, he has a lot to offer, but he wasn't going to crack the NY lineup in that position.

Backe expressed the desire to find a player "like Ballouchy" early in the year. He's got good touch and is a smooth passer. Playing between Marquez and JPA/Henry, with Lindpere and Richards to either side of him, Ballouchy could be a fine playmaker.

I like Kandji a lot, but without a doubt, this is a great move for NY. I've been skeptical about Backe starting with his decision to sign a decrepit Chris Albright, but Albright looks like the comeback player of the year. So Backe has my faith.

Posted by: Mastodon_Juan | September 14, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

34 games?

Aside from the extra road per diem for lunch at the strip mall Chili's in Portland, do they pay the players more for more games or is the Union (players, not Philadelphia) content to play as many games as possible without an increase?

Can't wait for the mid-August Wednesday game between Kansas City and Vancouver - should be a thriller.

Posted by: IamAM | September 14, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

The whole world plays a balanced schedule, yes even Russia with many more time zones--except for North America. Playing a balanced schedule is only fair, and it also contributes to credibility.

Posted by: bechtoldpk | September 15, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

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