Toronto FC relieves Johnston and Preki of duties

Toronto FC announced Tuesday that effective immediately, Mo Johnston has been relieved of his duties as Club Manager, Director of Soccer Operations and that Predrag (“Preki”) Radosavljevic has been relieved of his duties as Head Coach. Toronto FC Assistant Coach Nick Dasovic will take over as Interim Head Coach and Earl Cochrane has been appointed Interim Director of Soccer Operations.

Assistant Coaches Leo Percovich and Danny Dichio, Goalie Coach Mike Toshack and Assistant General Manager Jim Brennan will remain with the club.

“This was a difficult decision, but one that was made in the both the short-term and long-term interest of the club. Mo has been with the club since its inception and has embraced the Toronto community. Preki is a proven winner who led the team to the Nutrilite Canadian Championship and our first taste of CONCACAF success,” said Tom Anselmi, executive vice-president and chief operating officer for Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. “At the start of the season, we set a team goal of improving on last year’s record and making the playoffs. Anything less would be unacceptable to our club and our supporters. We felt we had to make this move at this time to best position the team for the final push for the playoffs as well as for its long-term success. The search for a new management team begins today.

“I want to thank Mo for his years of dedicated service to building Toronto FC from day one, as the inaugural Head Coach and then as Manager, Director of Soccer Operations. I also want to thank Preki for his passionate determination.”

Johnston became Toronto FC’s first Head Coach and Director of Soccer Operations in team history on August 25, 2006. In February 2008, he was named Manager, Director of Soccer. Johnston leaves Toronto FC with a MLS record of 32-51-31. Preki was hired by the club in November, 17, 2009 and leaves with a MLS record of 7-10-7.

Dasovic is in his third season with Toronto FC. He joined the club in May 2008 as Head of the TFC Academy. He became a member of the first team in 2009 when he was named Assistant Coach.

“We have great confidence in Nick’s ability to lead the team for the balance of the year. 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,” said Anselmi.

Prior to joining Toronto FC, Dasovic spent five years with the Canadian National team program. He was also the Head Coach of the Men’s Olympic team that finished third in the CONCACAF Olympic qualification tournament and an Assistant Coach of the Men’s National Team in 2007.

Cochrane has been with the team since 2007. Prior to joining Toronto FC, he held positions with the Canadian Soccer Association and with other MLS Clubs in both team management and communications capacities. Cochrane was also a former professional soccer player in Asia.

“Earl knows our team, our coaches, our culture and our vision. We believe he has the necessary skills to assume these responsibilities on an interim basis,” added Anselmi.

The team currently has a record of 7-10-7 and remains five points out of a playoff position.

STATEMENT FROM MO JOHNSTON

“I’d like to take this opportunity to express my deepest gratitude for being given the role as inaugural Head Coach and Manager, Director of Soccer Operations for Toronto FC. This club has grown to become one of the finest teams in MLS and it’s been an honour to be part of it from the beginning.

I’d like to express my thanks to Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment for the opportunity and support they’ve shown over the years. This is a first-class organization and it has been a dream to work for this company.

During my four years in Toronto I’ve grown to love this city and country. I would also like to express my appreciation to the phenomenal supporters who have created the foundation for a successful club. I believe these supporters and this club will be the driving force in the growth of soccer in Canada. The establishment of this club will prove to be the turning point in the development of this sport.

I wish everyone involved with the club the greatest success. TFC will always be in my heart.”

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