I went to former DC United president and now Toronto FC president Kevin Payne’s press conference and all I have for you is impressions.
Well, one impression.
It’s clear MLSE president Tom Anselmi wanted a president (at least since June) who knew MLS inside and out, wanted to give him or her as much power as they could to direct both sporting and business operations, and maybe wanted this president to not come in and fire Paul Mariner and Earl Cochrane right off the bat so to stop the constant press conferences. And chances are they also wanted a guy they both knew and liked (apparently from MLS board of governors meetings), and who had a good track record with a current MLS club.
I think many Toronto FC fans would be down for that, but then toward the end of the presser, Payne answered a question about his “team philosophy.” To which he started speaking in fairly specific terms about high pressing and possession-based attacking football.
With both Cochrane and Mariner looking on in the front row, fully aware their jobs were safe, as Mr. President had confirmed only moments earlier.
Pressers are just little presentations, and if Payne wants to find a reason to make changes pre-season, he’ll find them. But even with the full, clear sentences, and the shiny MLS ring, my head nearly ruptured from the cognitive dissonance. And despite all the warm and fuzzy feelings in Toronto over the appointment, this dissonance may come back to haunt Payne.