Toronto FC Finalizes Technical Staff For TFC Academy

May 6, 2008 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Toronto FC News Release

Toronto FC announced Tuesday that they have named Nick Dasovic TFC Academy head coach, and 2nd assistant to the first team. Stuart Neely and Jason Bent have also been named TFC Academy coaches; Bent will coach the U-18 team, while Neely the U-16 team. In addition, Earl Cochrane, Toronto FC's manager of team operations, has been promoted to Academy director. Cochrane will still maintain his role within team operations and will work closely with Dasovic on both strategy and philosophy within the Academy.

Dasovic joins Toronto FC after having spent the last five years with the Canadian National program where he was the head coach of the Men's Olympic team, and assistant with both the National and U-20's. The Vancouver native has also worked with the Vancouver Whitecaps (USL) where he served as head coach of the Reserves (2006) and as an assistant coach while playing from 2002-2005.

As a player, Dasovic has plenty of international experience on his resume. He began his career with Dinamo Zagreb of Croatia's Division 1 (1989-1991), but he would return back to Canada, where he played four seasons plying this trade with the Toronto Rockets of the CSL, Montreal Impact, and then Vancouver 86ers. In 1995 Dasovic returned to Europe where he joined French club St. Brieuc. He then moved on to Sweden and joined Premier League side Trelleborg I.F for one season, which was followed by a move to Scottish Premier League side St. Johnstone where he spent four seasons.

Dasovic also enjoyed a long career with Canada's National team serving from 1993-2003 where he amassed a total of 63 Caps. He holds both his UEFA "A" and "B" license.

Bent, a Brampton native, brings a wealth of experience having played internationally and within Major League Soccer. His last professional club was Plymouth Argyle of the Championship in England where he played three seasons (2001-2004). Prior to that Bent became one of the first young Canadians to be signed by an MLS club when the Colorado Rapids inked him to a two year contract in June of 1998.

Bent is one of the few players to have played at every level for Canada - U-17, U-20, U-23, and Senior Men's. He finished with 32 Caps, and was a member of the 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup winning squad.

Bent has a UEFA Level 2 Football Certificate.

Neely rounds out the technical staff and will coach the TFC Academy's U-16's. He brings with him plenty of international coaching experience with Canada's National teams - U-17, and U-20. He holds his Canadian "A" License (UEFA B equivalent) and has a High Performance Coaching degree from the National Coaching Institute. His knowledge of soccer also lead him to the Canadian Soccer Association where he served as their Technical Programs Manager from 1998 to 2003. From there he moved east to Winnipeg, where he joined the Manitoba Soccer Association as the High Performance Program Manager until September of 2005.

The TFC Academy will begin its inaugural year by participating in the CSL. The team's first game will be May 16th at Lamport Stadium against Toronto Croatia. For more information on the TFC Academy, please visit www.torontofc.ca

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