Is it too late for Toronto FC to make a serious playoff run? Probably. Still, the quick turnaround under Paul Mariner from patently pitiful to downright respectable is nothing short of stunning.
Since a loss to Sporting Kanas City in his first game in charge, just a few days after assuming control, TFC is a respectable 2-2-4 under Mariner.
Further, they’ve won two in a row, which would have been unthinkable for a team that lost nine in a row to begin 2012. Last night’s 1-0 win at New England was extra special for Mariner, who spent six years as an assistant under Steve Nicol with the Revolution. Jay Heaps, now the Revolution manager, played under the Nicol-Mariner regime.
I asked NBC broadcaster Kyle Martino yesterday who would make the playoffs first (this year or whenever): TFC under Mariner or Philadelphia under John Hackworth, who has also gotten his team moving in the right direction?
He predicted Hackworth, simply because the organization is younger and not weighed down by the legacy of losing that Mariner must try to overturn.
But that doesn’t mean that Martino, like everyone else, isn’t impressed with the TFC reversal so far.
Here are highlights of last night’s big road win for Toronto: