Toronto FC part ways with head coach Paul Mariner
The Toronto FC shuffle continued on Tuesday morning, as the club announced that it had parted ways with head coach and director of soccer operations Paul Mariner.
The news came just minutes before the club held a press conference to announce the hiring of former D.C. United and current Queens Park Rangers defender Ryan Nelsen as the new boss.
“This was a difficult decision, but one that was made in consideration of the strategic and cultural direction our club is taking,” said Toronto FC president and general manager Kevin Payne. “I want to thank Paul for his dedicated service to Toronto FC. He had a difficult task last season when he was asked to take over the club after a tough start. On behalf of our club, we wish him well in his future endeavours.”
Mariner took over as head coach in June 2012, replacing Aron Winter to become the club's seventh coach since its founding in 2007. Mariner, a longtime assistant during the New England Revolution's glory days in the mid 2000s, struggled to lead the Reds, posting a 4-12-8 league record as TFC finished at the bottom of the standings. After an initial improvement, TFC finished the season with a 14-game winless streak.
The club, which has never made the MLS Cup playoffs, did see more success in the CONCACAF Champions League after Mariner took over. They posted a 2-2-0 record but failed to advance to the knockout stage.
Mariner's tenure was also marked by the high-profile trade of Designated Player Julian de Guzman to FC Dallas, which sparked some controversy in the aftermath over what was said by both sides. But Mariner also orchestrated the deal to bring Eric Hassli to BMO Filed.