Soccer  > General Soccer  > Toronto FC fires Johnston, Preki
September 14, 2010, 05:29 PM
TORONTO - Two-time reigning Canadian champion Toronto FC fired Mo Johnston as manager and director of soccer, and Preki as coach on Tuesday, looking to re-energize the club as it heads into the third round of the CONCACAF Champions League and the final stage of the Major League Soccer season.

Assistant coach Nick Dasovic, who joined the team in 2008 and who coached the Canadian under-23 side in 2008 Olympic qualifying, will replace Preki on an interim basis, while Earl Cochrane will do the same for Johnston's position.

"This was a difficult decision, but one that was made in the both the short-term and long-term interest of the club," said Tom Anselmi, executive vice-president and chief operating officer for Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment - Toronto FC's owner.

"We felt we had to make this move at this time to best position the team for the final push for the (MLS) playoffs as well as for its long-term success. The search for a new management team begins today."

Preki is the second coach of a Champions League team to be fired within a week. Nicolas Suazo was dismissed as manager of Marathon on Thursday and was replaced by Edwin Pavon.

The moves come three days after Toronto was beaten 1-0 at home by D.C. United - the worst team in MLS, extending its winless streak to six straight with four losses. Its last victory was a 2-1 win August 17 against Cruz Azul and has scored two goals since.

The result left Toronto in third place in MLS' eight-team Eastern Conference with 28 points, five points out of the last playoff berth. Toronto also is in third place in Group A of the Champions League with three points, equal with Cruz Azul, Real Salt Lake and Arabe Unido.

Its next game is Wednesday at Real Salt Lake in the Champions League.

Johnston, 47, a former Scottish international who came to North America as a player with the Kansas City Wizards in 1996, had recently completed his fourth year with Toronto, first installed as coach in August 2006 and promoted to director of soccer before the 2008 season.

The 47-year-old Preki, who played six seasons with Johnston at Kansas City, was in his fourth season as a coach, and first with Toronto.

After three winning seasons with the Los Angeles-based Chivas USA, compiling a 40-11-29 record, Preki was 7-7-10 this year with Toronto as the club appeared headed to missing the MLS playoffs for fifth straight time.

Dasovic joined Toronto as the head of its academy program and moved on to the staff of the first team as an assistant in 2009. Prior to coming to Toronto, Dasovic had been a staff member of the Canadian national teams program for five years.

"We have great confidence in Nick's ability to lead the team for the balance of the year," Anselmi said. "He brings experience both as a player and a coach to the game. He understands our expectations and we think he will inspire a renewed effort and enthusiasm among our players necessary for this final playoff push."
 
September 14, 2010  11:19 PM ET

Hot-Headed but a Good Manager...Not sure if canning Preki is a good move

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