There has been a troublesome revolving door policy at Toronto FC ever since the team joined the MLS. The franchise is currently on its fourth coach in four years with Preki (Predrag Radosavljevi) now at the helm, and it appears the door is also being used to ship numerous players in and out of the club on a regular basis. It has been suggested by cynical fans that everybody wear name tags from now on.

While Preki may have enjoyed some level of success during his three year tenure with Chivas, by winning the Coach of the Year award in 2007, this means nothing to Toronto fans if he can’t produce a winning team for the Canadian faithful. On the PR front Preki hasn’t really endeared himself to the city’s fans and press corps with his attitude and actions thus far. In fact, the new coach had many of Toronto’s journalists up in arms as he basically suggested that local writers should more or less be utilised as cheerleaders for his team. This was something that certainly didn’t go down well with all levels of the local media in Toronto.

The new manager’s attitude of ‘it’s my way or the highway’ has puzzled thousands of the club’s supporters. Many of the Toronto fans have felt that where Preki has performed a complete facelift on the team, all that might have been needed was something as small as a nose job. While the Canadian side failed to excel in MLS last season they did only miss out on making the playoffs by a single point, and most press and pundits thought minor tweaking was all that was needed to push Toronto over the line this year. Preki however has made wholesale changes, bringing in 11 new players and letting nine go.

Some of Toronto’s best players in the shape of Carl Robinson, Ali Gerba, Adrian Serioux, Amando Guevara and Marvel Wynne were all shipped out by Preki for reasons unknown. When the side took to the pitch for their home opener on 16th April, Dwayne De Rosario was the only face remaining from the same time last year. Captain Jim Brennan looked set to join him, but the 32-year-old inexplicably quit the team after their first game of this season. Local reports have hinted at a bust up with Preki, but the official word coming from BMO Field is that Brennan is happy to move to a back office job.

Preki would be enjoying more of the benefit of the doubt in Toronto if the work he had done in pre-season made sense to the club’s faithful. As it is, many of the local media are calling this year’s team the club’s worst ever. Preki’s men looked abysmal in their first two matches of the new season, losing both, firstly at Columbus Crew (2-0) and then at New England Revolution (6-1). Toronto did manage to win their home opener 2-1 against expansion side Philadelphia Union, in part thanks to a red card handed out to the visitors’ captain Danny Califf and an 82nd minute penalty slotted home by De Rosario. That in itself brought to the fore another key criticism, that the squad looks thin up front: Midfielder De Rosario has scored all three of their goals at the time of writing.

Toronto’s director of soccer, former Scottish international Mo Johnston, has reportedly been at odds with many of Preki’s moves, but has given the new coach responsibility for rebuilding the squad and is loathe to get involved. This may be a suicidal decision on the part of Johnston as if Preki fails to make the playoffs then the Scot will see just as much heat as his coach. While allowing Preki to dictate player moves might seem to Johnston to be passing the responsibility parcel, the public do not see it that way and hold the ex-Rangers man equally culpable for the state of the club.

However, the city’s sports fans are used to the way the club’s owners, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Limited (MLSEL) operate. The group also own the equally underperforming Toronto Maple Leafs ice hockey team and basketball club Toronto Raptors. Needless to say, neither of those teams made the playoffs this season either, and it appears Toronto may be getting ready to make it three for three if judgments about Preki’s side are correct.

May supporters feel MLSEL lobbied so hard to host the 2010 MLS Cup final knowing there is little chance their side will contest it, partly to take attention from the current state of the side. Unless Preki can turn things around in a hurry, it appears the freshest thing at BMO Field this year will be the new grass turf that was laid.