Soccer: Nelsen feeling the heat in Toronto

By Steven Holloway

Ryan Nelsen achieved abundant success as a player, but hasn't found the transition into coaching run quite so smoothly. Photo / Getty Images.
Ryan Nelsen achieved abundant success as a player, but hasn't found the transition into coaching run quite so smoothly. Photo / Getty Images.

Ryan Nelsen achieved abundant success as a player, but hasn't found the transition into coaching run quite so smoothly.

The new Toronto FC coach is staring down the barrel of six consecutive losses and is feeling the media heat as the club braces itself for yet another season without reaching the MLS playoffs.

While there may be many solutions to the Toronto puzzle, the most outlandish suggestion emerged today that the Canadian club sees Argentinian superstar Carlos Tevez as a potential answer.

Toronto has won just two of their 14 games this season, and Nelsen - who is their eighth manager in the past seven seasons - is feeling the pinch.

In an interview with the Canadian Press today he addressed the fact that of their seven losses this season, only one was by more than one goal.

"Every game we potentially could have got points out of," he said. "You guys don't see it because you only take a look at the result. Just like yourself, you're not really educated on how a game can be.

"When we start winning, you guys will be having a go at us because we're only winning by one goal. "And then once we win 15 in a season, you'll be having a go at us because we're only winning 15. That's your job.

"The players, they know. They're confident. ... We're very close."

Nelsen believes his team could still make the top-five playoffs in the East Conference but said they would need to win their upcoming two fixtures against the Philadelphia Union and D.C United.

Their chances of success would improve with a world class striker and reports from Brazilian sports newspaper Lancenet suggest Tevez will leave Manchester City this summer and is looking for a new home.

Lancenet reported that Toronto and French club Monaco FC have both made bids for the enigmatic striker, who has a reported transfer vale of $US 10 million.

The newspaper claims that a three-year deal has been tabled, and is expected to be worth $US85 million between wages and sponsorship deals.

The reports suggest that Tevez would prefer to play in France, allowing him to stay in Europe and have a chance of playing Champions League football again.

The move to the MLS seems as ambitious as it is improbable. If the sums are accurate Tevez would be earning several times more than the league's highest paid player Robbie Keane.

Tevez alone would command more in wages than any club in the league and with the MLS' emphasis on parity, it would seem outlandish to allow a single club to make that kind of investment in a player.

Meanwhile, All Whites striker Jeremy Brockie has played two games for Toronto and has yet to find the back of the net after leaving the Wellington Phoenix on loan three weeks ago.

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