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Toronto fires head coach Aron Winter

Jun 7, 2012, 1:36 PM EDT

CORRECTION MLS Toronto FC Wrapup Soccer

Well, so much for the three-year plan.

Dutchman Aron Winter is out as manager at Toronto – and the piecemeal revolving door of management, philosophies, tactical approaches, personnel plans, etc., just keeps a’swingin’ for TFC.

We’ll have more on this later, on what it means to a club that has never made the playoffs, even in a league where the post-season structure remains fairly forgiving.

I always endorsed Winter’s long-term approach; he said all along, from his introduction as head coach before the 2010 season, that he had a three-year plan. But it really was harder and harder to see where this thing was going; TFC just set a league mark for futility to open a season, losing its first nine.

And Winter (or perhaps the collective management conglomerate) never seemed to get a grip on what kind of men would and wouldn’t work along the back line in MLS. Bold tactical approaches and 4-3-3s are fine and all – but any system requires defenders who can, you know, defend.

And the midfield was a habitual, unstructured mess, one that never seemed to improve.

Whatever the reason, losing nine in a row in a season where hope had floated along Lake Ontario that playoff soccer was within reach, that just wasn’t good enough.

In a league of such parity, teams damn near have to try to lose nine games in a row. I’m not suggesting anything untoward here; just saying that’s how bad things were around BMO Field.

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