Monday, December 15, 2008

De Guzman to TFC?

Umm, no. It's not going to happen.

One writer, though, must be smoking the crack, because he seems to think it is a possiblity:

Sources say another Canadian international, Julian de Guzman, has been Mo's long-time target and the club is holding hope that something can be done to bring another Scarborough native home.

De Guzman, 27, is out of his contract at the end of the season and can begin negotiations with other clubs in the New Year. He repeatedly has reiterated his preference to stay in La Liga with Deportivo de La Coruna. But de Guzman's injury-riddled start to the season may have made the crafty midfielder more expendable, considering contract talks are at a standstill.

Aside from TFC, there's been other interest in de Guzman across Europe, including the English Premiership. But de Guzman needs to ask himself, at this point of his career: What is the right move?

If de Guzman believes he's better off being a major player on one of England's or Europe's middle of the pack clubs, then so be it. On the flip side, returning home to become one of the faces of Canadian soccer may be a profitable and worthwhile venture.

De Guzman and De Rosario have instant marketing potential and also can have a long-term impact on the legacy of soccer in this country. Leading the way as a star player with a Canadian club in an ever-improving brand of MLS soccer is an option now more than ever.

Aside from the off-field possibilities, the on-field lineup options are even more intriguing.


Ideally, de Guzman and Amado Guevera would run the show from the middle of the pitch. That would allow Carl Robinson to move back to central defence; a problem spot for TFC.

Paired with a proper sweeper, someone who's an experienced ball-winner and has the ability to keep the side organized at the back, Robinson could be extremely effective.

And a midfield featuring De Rosario, de Guzman, Guevara, and Rohan Ricketts from left to right would be among the most talented, if not the most talented in MLS.

Step 1 is done with D-Ro. Let the day dreaming begin with Step 2.

The bolded sentence nearly made me spit out my coffee. Excuse the imperfect analogy, but this is like saying to, say, Mats Sundin in his prime that he should play for his hometown Swedish club instead of being the star of an NHL team so that he can become the face of hockey in Sweden.

Quite frankly, the sort of marketing opportunities that Wheeler (the author) is dangling in front of de Guzman do not exist for Canadian soccer players plying their trade in Canada. De Guzman will play more and better soccer, earn more money, and have more opportunities to improve his game if he stays in Europe, either in Spain (option #1), England, Germany, or anywhere else.

Keep dreaming, Toronto fans.

. . . and Sharman confirms the obvious, getting it right from the horse's mouth: Julian won't be playing for TFC anytime soon.

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